Manchester Terrier Association

Manchester Terrier 15/12/2020

Happy Christmas everyone, hope you are having a wonderful time and not over indulging. 

Before you read these answers, be sure to find the questions regarding Christmas Movies with dogs from last weeks breed notes…….1 ) Santa Buddies. 2 ) A Dog Named Christmas. 3 ) A Christmas Story. 4 ) How the Grinch Stole Christmas. 5 ) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. 6 ) A Charlie Brown Christmas. 7 ) Benji’s Very Own Christmas Story. 8 ) Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure.

I think 4 or more is a good score there.

As these notes had to be prepared well in advance, some of this news is a little outdated, however….

The Manchester Terrier online show came to a conclusion ..... Many thanks to everyone who entered the online show, a great entry and some wonderful dogs for the judge to view. Not always easy when you just get the one photograph and the quality and stance vary.

The judge was Janelle W Robbins a truly international judge, Janelle started judging in 1985 and to date has judged nearly 26,000 dogs from every corner of the globe. She has judged Manchester terriers in Norway, Netherland, Denmark, Australia,. the first time been in 1993, at an open show. So in Janelle's words ...... Originally from Australia, Janelle has lived in the UK for the past 6 years and judges regularly in Europe as an FCI All Breeds Judge. As a boxer breeder and specialist judge, Janelle has judged Boxers in the UK, and around the world, before leaving home her last homebred male was Australia's Top Boxer Rising Star 2014. As a teenager, Janelle was the founder of the Junior Kennel Club and co-created the final Junior Handling competition to send representatives through to Crufts. In these trying Covid times, all hands-on judging appointments have been cancelled for 2020. It is extremely generous that associations such as the Manchester Terrier Association provide online shows to provide the closest experience possible for exhibitors, owners, and judges. I was privilege to the wonderful class winners, before going to print, but not the details for the final ‘top’ achievers, I am sure they would be great choices.

An increased number of homes across the UK have welcomed new family members in the form of pets this year. Spurred by the coronavirus lockdown, puppy sales and adoptions have soared thanks to people seeking ‘Covid companions’.

But the high demand for 'pandemic puppies' has seen an increase in the price of some of the UK's most sought after breeds. Data by Dogs Trust has shown the average price of pugs has increased by 56% from March to June this year, while the average price of dachshunds has increased by a staggering 89% in the same time period.

The heightened demand has also meant that incidences of dog theft have been on the rise this year. The BBC reported that five policing areas in the UK have seen a double-digit increase in dog theft reports between January and July 2020 when compared with last year's records.

"The public in this country have an ongoing desire to have animals, which is great. But it means they've become more of a commodity so far as thieves are concerned," says solicitor Trevor Cooper, a dog law expert.

"The more we can do to make it difficult for them, the better." So how exactly can we do that?

According to Trevor, one of the most effective ways is to change the laws around pet theft.

There is currently no specific legislation relating to the theft of dogs, but instead, pet theft is treated the same as any other property theft under the Theft Act 1968. While the current sentencing guidelines do require the courts to take the emotional distress caused to the victim into account, Trevor is calling for much more consideration to be placed on this aspect in order to make sentences stricter. At the moment, prosecution rarely results in more than a fine.

"I think it's imperative that the sentencing council changes the guidelines very quickly so that it becomes an effective deterrent, because if all they're going to face is a small fine, what kind of deterrent is that?"

Following a parliamentary debate about pet theft reform on 19 October 2020, the government has said that it is open to making changes to the sentencing guidelines, which will hopefully lead to tougher sentences.

In the meantime, taking preventative measures is the best way of keeping your pets and litters safe.

5 tips for keeping your pets and litters safe from theft

Vet potential buyers

As a dog law expert, Trevor suggests breeders should learn as much about potential buyers as possible before they come to your home; most will of course be totally legitimate, but some may be scoping your home for potential ways in.

Ahead of a potential buyer visiting you and your puppies, talk to them on the phone and ask them questions like why they want a dog and why they've chosen this breed, or anything else which could help guide your judgement as to whether they are a legitimate potential buyer.

When they do come to meet you, take precautions like accompanying them during the entire visit, and consider asking a friend or family member to be there too.

Invest in CCTV or security lighting

Consider installing CCTV to monitor your visitors. If something does happen, you'll have footage on hand to help in the investigation.

Security lighting is a good way to deter anyone who could try to sneak onto your property.

Use alarmed padlocks

Locking your kennels with an alarmed padlock is a great way to stop thieves from trying to steal your litter. They'll either see it and be deterred, or they'll trigger the alarm and flee before they can take any pups.

Take plenty of photographs

Trevor advises taking lots of photographs of your puppies, making specific note of any individual markings, and keeping the photos updated as they grow. Having a lot of pictorial references of the dogs will help prove they're yours and get them back to you quickly if something happens.

Microchip as early as possible

It's a good idea for breeders to get their litters microchipped as soon as the puppy is old enough. While it won't prevent theft, it will give any stolen pups the best chance of being found in the future.


Here is an interesting little story, that will hopefully make you think …..

Our black Labrador Gwen arrived one Saturday afternoon in November 2012. She was eight months old and we got her through the breed rescue.

Inevitably Gwen was pretty hyper to begin with as she got used to her new surroundings. But my wife is pretty 'doggy' so she settled down eventually (Gwen, not my wife). She turned out to be a wonderful addition to the family. Our boys at the time were nine, seven and five.

As Christmas approached that year, the excitement mounted. Christmas, yay! And with a new doggy! Gwen lay quietly and obediently in her bed. "Aren't I a good girl?"

Turns out she was plotting.

Christmas means a huge amount of packaging, especially when your children are at primary school. Deliveries from grandparents. That ancient box with the Christmas decorations that you can never find. And of course hampers.

Our friend Kathleen is from Ireland, and this year she put together an incredible hamper for the primary school Christmas raffle. It included her legendary home-made soda bread and fruit loaf, a giant lump of cheese, sumptuous olives and grapes, a huge packet of Black Pepper crisps, a bottle of dodgy liquor that looked as if it might have been recycled from last year's hamper, and a box of Quality Street.

As Kathleen and her family were going back home for Christmas (remember when you could do that?), she brought the hamper to stay with us for a few days before the raffle was drawn by Fr Graham at the fair.

Gwen had other plans.

At first we didn't realise the full extent of her crime; we'd stashed the hamper in an inaccessible corner after all. She couldn't have eaten all of it, could she?

Then one of our boys called out, "Mum, why is Gwen's poo so shiny?" We went out into the winter afternoon and peered at her, ahem, output. Sure enough, it was glittering. Gwen looked embarrassed and scuttled into her bed.

Sure enough, on closer examination (yuck), it turned out that Gwen hadn't only eaten Kathleen's legendary soda bread, fruit loaf, olives, grapes, the huge packet of Black Pepper crisps and the Quality Street, but she hadn't even bothered to unwrap the orange creams and toffee fudges from their shiny gold and blue wrappers that now twinkled at us in the dusk.

The serious bit

A bundle of excitable children, carols playing in the background, a lolling dog, what could be better at Christmas? But dogs are capable of Christmas destruction – and not just on hampers.

We were fortunate that Gwen has a pretty iron constitution but a lot of the stuff in Kathleen's hamper can be very dangerous for dogs. Chocolate is particularly bad as it contains theobromine, a chemical that's poisonous to dogs. Grapes and sultanas are also toxic for them. Some dogs can have an adverse reaction to blue cheese.

So my advice to anyone who's got a dog this year and is looking forward to spending Christmas with them is:

  1. You can never, ever underestimate a dog's potential for food crime.

  2. Anything at dog height is fair game. And when they're in the mood, dogs can easily clamber onto kitchen surfaces.

  3. When you think you've covered anything, go and remove those chocolate Christmas decorations. And don't forget Uncle Mick's box of chocolates under the tree.

  4. If you want to leave anything hanging around at Christmas, make it that dodgy bottle of liquor. Gwen didn't seem to fancy that. Mind you, I opened it on Boxing Day and it was actually pretty tasty.

Please get in touch and send any info to myself on the breed or dog talk in general, don’t be afraid to mail me with your personal stories, think everyone likes to listen to doggy chat, whilst we remain in these more confining times.

I am readily contactable with your news by any of the following means:

Facebook / Email: / telephone: 01287 652860 / face to face at all Champ shows.

Mark Walshaw JANMARK