Just over a week ago, London’s biggest dog show, Discover Dogs 2016 came to town. Back for its twentieth year and its second at London ExCel, here’s our round-up of our highlights from this year’s show….
1 – Dogs, Dogs & More Dogs
Be it one of the nation’s much-loved breeds or a little-known breed, meeting the four-legged attendees is a highlight of the show. Given there are over 200 breeds to see, there are simply too many to list but here are some of our favourites…
2 – Staffie Smiles
One of our favourite dog breeds at the show is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (or Staffie). And you are always guaranteed a warm welcome and a big Staffie smile at the East Anglian Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club stand. Last year Blake the Staffie who had a talent for saying Chihuahua won us over. This year Louis was the star of the show, ready to turn many a trick as long as there was a treat at the end of it. Keep up the good work Louis!
And in case you missed Blake saying Chihuahua from last year…
3 – Rescue Dogs Rock
We are big advocates of rescue dogs, so were pleased to see the spotlight shine on breed rescues such as Valgrays Border Collie Rescue and the Retired Greyhound Trust. Considering over 47,000 rescue dogs were left unclaimed in council pounds last year, the more that can be done to encourage people to adopt a rescue dog the better. The Kennel Club have created a useful resource dedicated to finding breed specific rescue dogs: findarescuedog.org.uk
4 – Honey The One-eyed ‘Dog With A Job’
Rescue dog Honey was working hard raising money on the Southern Lurcher Rescue stand. Handing out doggy kisses, Honey raised over £150 on the first day of Discover Dogs alone…Honey, we think you’re due for a ‘treat raise’ for sure!
5 – Dog Treats That Give Back
Talking of treats, we’re always on the lookout for new treats when we go to Discover Dogs. Having two dogs who have both suffered from Pancreatitis, treats need to be first and foremost healthy. The second thing that makes them a winner is when they give back to dogs in need. So when I discovered Barney’s Biscuit Boxes tucked away at the far end of the show it was too good to be true.
It was the advent calendar that first caught my eye as it had so many great treats in it. Turns out they were all natural, healthy human grade ingredient treats, so even better. The advent calendar was created as a way to help raise awareness of the cruel puppy farming trade (Barney the company namesake was born on a puppy farm). For each calendar sold a donation is made to the UK dog rescue of choice of the purchaser and also to a fund that helps pay for veterinary costs of dogs rescued from puppy farms. What a truly pawsome idea!
The advent calendar has 10 different yummy brands in it – we’ve pre-ordered ours and can’t wait!
Barney’s Biscuit Boxes also do a on-demand treat box that comes in a range of sizes and caters for different doggy diets, even vegan! There is also a service where you can let Barney’s know if your pooch has any allergies and receive a tailor-made treat box. What more could a dog ask for?!
6 – Doggie-Danas & Bow-ties
Everybody loves a well-dressed dog about town and I’m a sucker for a funky matching collar and lead, a dashing doggie-dana or a dapper bow-tie. Fortunately, there were plenty of handmade and individual designs on offer to keep a dog looking good whatever the occasion…
Funky handmade matching collars and leads were available from new dawg on the block Urban Hound
We picked up some very colourful bandanas from Wiff Waff Designs who had a great selection (they also do collars and leads).
Mabel & Mu are all about colour coordinated canines…collars, leads, bow ties and bandanas for dogs (and cats)!
7 – Tonics for Dogs (& Bottom Sniffer Dog Beer)
We’ve been meaning to try the herbal dog tonics from Woof & Brew for some time now but I just wasn’t sure if brewing tea for the dogs each day was a habit I could keep up. It seems I wasn’t the only one. Based on feedback from customers Woof & Brew have now launched ready-made tonics in bottles. You just pour some (the amount depends on your dog’s size) on their food each day.
We’re going to be trying out the Anxiety Tonic, perfect for this time of year. We also couldn’t resist a sneaky bottle of Bottom Sniffer Dog Beer (who could resist a name like that) whilst we were there.
8 – Doggie Displays
Discover dogs wouldn’t be the same without the pawsome doggie displays. We watched some of the agility at the show and some of these dogs are so fast it’s incredible. It’s a great activity to increase the bond between dog and owner as well as really work your dog both physically and mentally. Our other favourite display was the East Anglian Staffordshire Bull Terrier Display Team who even managed to turn their paws to a magic act.
9 – One For The Humans
Anything that makes my life easier as a dog owner, especially in Winter get’s a thumbs up. So when I stumbled across the Storm Chase stand selling their recently launched hand and wrist warmers, I was intrigued. The wrist and hand warmers are designed to keep your hands and wrists warm but your fingers free (essential for opening fiddly poo bags in winter). Could this be the answer to many lost gloves on late night walks in the park? We’ll let you know once we’ve had a chance to put ours to the test.
10 – Celeb-pawties
Back for a second year at Discover Dogs were the Insta-famous dogs, this time as ‘Roving Repawters’. We caught up with the fabulous Dolly Pawton who was taking her Repawter role very seriously and even managed to work a few outfit changes into the day. Dolly you are a true style icon and do London Dogs proud.
11 – Famous Faces
Another highlight of the day (and a nice surprise) was to see our Belinha’s face on one of the stands. Talented London artist Claire Thorogood was at the show live painting which was a unique attraction for Discover Dogs. Keeping our Belinha company on the stand were our famous pals Lucy The Rescue Cavalier and Alfie Bear (who was painted live at the show).
Crufts winner Devon the West Highland White Terrier was in for a treat at the show when she was presented with a special surprise portrait painted by Claire. We think Devon may have been more impressed with her portrait than the cup!
And that’s a wrap…until next year!