Sunday, 2 August 2009

The Press Pack is getting kitted out for a new investigation

We're getting our kit together for a trip across the water. Extra lead work is underway and a tent is called for. Holidays with dogs is the brief, reckon that will come easily to us.

Daisy is going to have her first run out as a member of the Press Pack, look sharp girl, got some stories to sniff out.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Terrier Racing at Dogs Unleashed, Newark, just for @goldencaesar

Well this was something we hadn't seen before and the Cesky Terrier stand was right next to it, so we got a grandstand view.

These two hadn't done it before either but they were keen to have a go. 

Now, what exactly is that human doing with the furry thing on the end of a line... 

you mean I'm allowed to chase it.......

are you sure...? 

whee heeeeee.......

 move over for the professional...

this how it's done  ..

But its great to have a cool down after, 
I think we've earned it.

I wasn't....
allowed to have a go
 as I'm learning NOT to chase things.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Dogs Unleashed Part 1: What a scorcher

We all really enjoyed our visit to Dogs Unleashed at Newark Showground, after a long trip down we managed to park in the shade so we could chill out when things got too hot. Wish we'd known about the re-launch of  Driving with DogsThey list over 400 dog walks that you can choose close to your route as well as dog-friendly pups & cafe's close  (within 5 miles) of motorway exits. As they include walks all over the country I think we will have to check them out next time we go on a trip.
We took lots of water, sun cream, a collapsible water bowl, a special toy for when Lilly got bored and a Kong (you can see later why that came in handy). Lilly's Press Pack jacket only came out occasionally  so she didn't get too hot.

As soon as we could we found the Cesky stall to meet up with our twitter pals and to give Palma her new coat. 

We also managed to meet up with our other twitterpal PaulineMM and her fourlegged crew, Mickey (13) & Mitzi (14) who were enjoying the sights. Pauline is part of the team on the #banpuppyfarming campaign trail, having been involved in dog rescue organisations including Hope Rescue and Greyhound Gap, she knows why banning puppy farming is so important.  Have a watch of this little puppy puppet telling his story and Ridley Ramblings explaining why not all pups are as lucky as Luther.

Back to the show, Lilly soon sniffed out a good deal and we bought some new dog beds from Gary at Handmade Dog Beds who gave Lilly the inside story on how they are made. They are made out of the same material as rucksacs, very hard wearing & hose down when they get muddy.

Dufec's owner Sally had a good sign in her car window that I thought we might make a version of ourselves in case we had an accident.

This is Sparky who was learning about the world by going around the show with his owners, he was taking it all in his stride as he already goes to puppy classes and knows how to show respect to other dogs, Isn't he a cuty. 

This big chap definitely had his eye on the main chance but he gave us an idea and so we put our Kong to good use...we filled Lilly's Kong with ice-cream and she woolfed it down before it melted in the heat.

We had a really busy day, too much to put into one blog, so coming soon...Lilly finds out more about some treats at Daisy's Dog Bakery, there's terrier racing, flyball and Lilly tries out a Fiat van for size. 

Remember to follow @wellbalancedpup on the campaign trail on twitter, keep adding #banpuppyfarms onto your tweets, send friends links to the videos posted by @banpuppyfarmsuk and check out the Puppy Farm Awareness Day on the 19th September being organised by @marcthevet

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Lets get Viral: Moving on the #banpuppyfarming twitter campaign

@tottielimejuice has tweeted about how best to turn a twitter hashtag into a trending topic and the answer has come back....... from @robineccles

that we need to each send a tweet to  (at least) 5 friends and ask them to send to 
5 friends & to add the #banpuppyfarming at the end, with a link to a blog about the issue. 

So I am blogging briefly and hoping that you have come to this blog to find out what 
it is all about.

To find out more about why we are running this campaign look at the 
last couple of entries in this blog and follow some of the links.

I hope to see some of your tweets when I search the hash tag #banpuppyfarming

thanks for joining in.

Rose, Archie, Lilly & Daisy

Friday, 26 June 2009

From Hawaii to Huddersfield people are tweeting and retweeting across the world about banning puppy farms.

People are really getting busy with their tweet and blogs to help to #banpuppyfarms and remember this is many dogs are spending this summer in conditions like this?

If you have a blog please research puppy farms on the web yourself and blog about it, join twitter and tweet about it too. It all helps, from Hawaii to Huddersfield there are people who care and people who can help to make a difference.

Have a listen to Ronnie from banpuppyfarmsuk interviewed by Chrissie from Dog World online.

Please always remember to use  #banpuppyfarms or #banpuppymills hash tags if you are tweeting about this campaign.

One of the things that has shocked me is the numbers of breeding bitches and litters that are on some of these farms, I can't see how it is possible to be licensed to breed from such a large number of dogs. It surely must be straight forward to limit the numbers of litters bred a year by the total number of bitches kept and then the numbers checked by local authorities. Perhaps that sounds naiive but I dont think it is an unreasonable request.

As soon as there are large numbers of bitches kept on a single site I can't see how it is possible to give them a quality of life that is a basic legal right. How many staff would you need to be able to clean, feed & exercise this number of dogs. Surely that's a simple check that should be a reasonable one for inspectors to do. One couple can't look after thirty plus dogs and as many litters.

If a puppy farm has multiple litters at one time there is no way they are going to be handled and given the real life experiences they need to become well adjusted adult dogs. It is quite clear that the puppies being brought up in a small kennel like those shown in some of these videos will be missing out on these absolutely crucial early experiences and they will never be able to make up for these, even if they can recover from the health issues that come hand in hand with puppy farming.

We will all be celebrating Puppy Mill Awareness Day on the 19th September 2009 joining in with the American puppy mill campaigners. 

Marc Abrahams is inviting everyone to The Worlds Largest Puppy Party to take place at Brighton racecourse on 19th Sept in aid of Puppy Farm Awareness Day.

More news on this as we hear more details. Please come along, it would be great to see you there.

If you need to understand what we are up against, have a look at the Puppy Love website run by @banpuppyfarmsuk or watch one of the videos they have on their site.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Ghandi

Rose, Archie, Lilly & Daisy

Follow us at @wellbalancedpup on twitter

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

More suggestions coming in about how to #banpuppyfarms & #banpuppymills

Right, moving on from this morning...

within 30 minutes of sending the first #woofwednesday tweet asking @petplan if they will help us #banpuppyfarms , I got a tweet saying we were in the top three rt'd tweets at the moment, globally, great. 

So, take heart friends, this is a good way of working, through our own individual networks and linking in to #woofwednesday and #followfriday. 

So lets wing this, with as many different suggestions as possible, lets do them all, pass them around by tweet and blog MAKE SURE YOU HASH TAG YOUR TWEETS by adding #banpuppyfarms or #banpuppymills . Maybe we can agree on a single one so we can consolidate the numbers of people hashtagging. 

This is a global issue and dog owners are supposed to be a steady market in these difficult times, but we also want to buy from ethical companies, we want companies to make sure that they are not promoting or supporting the puppy farming business by insuring, vetting, feeding, whatever? The Cooperative in the UK has shown there is a strong and growing ethical market and they have won awards for their corporate responsibility, they dont hide behind mealy words they make sure their policies work. 

 So what shall we do...
  • tweet celebs and anipals and ask for support, include lots of mentions of friends in each tweet, and remember to hashtag with #banpuppymills and #banpuppyfarms 
This is a marathon not a sprint, so keep coming back and encouraging each other and lets make it happen.

From Archie, Lilly, Daisy and Rose
(Reporting for the Press Pack)

If you need to understand what we are up against, have a look at the Puppy Love website run by @banpuppyfarmsuk or watch one of the videos they have on their site.

How can we use twitter to ban puppy farms for once and for all

The Twitterverse and Bloggerverse helped to score a hit in the campaign to Ban puppy farms/mills yesterday when the Interpups site that was selling puppies online was taken down to remove the petplan logo from their site. 

But where do we go from here....

I'm sure between us we have lots of ideas, that we can circulate using twitter and our blogs, to explain to companies like Petplan that if they committed to support the campaign we can all work together to make it happen..and they will be the "Good Guys" and we will love them and recommend them and all the rest. 

But if people don't come out with solid ways in which they make sure they as companies don't make money out of the trade in puppies, then we know that they must be the bad guys and we can make bad press for them.

So I am starting a twitter campaign today to see if we can communicate to some of the big companies in the dog world that  they can help us BAN puppy farms/ mills FOR GOOD, starting with Petplan. 

In the summer it is a slow time for news generally, particularly in August, so there is more chance for us to make the news worldwide with a twitter campaign. The press is really interested in it at the moment after the #iranelection .

So what do you think people, if we all ask all of our followers  to tweet @petplan & email them and ask them to confirm they don't support puppy farms/mills and how are they going to make sure that they dont get caught supporting them again... and how are they going to help us with the UK and US September,19th Puppy Farm Awareness Day...?

What do you reckon, got to rush got to be somewhere else see you soon. 

Bark you later!
Sorry no photo in a rush

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Lets work together to BAN PUPPY FARMING - using Twitter!

Hey we've just been nominated for the Twitterwall Hall of Fame for the top UK Animal twitterer. Don't know who nominated us but that's a really great thing to do. Its given me the idea that if we can get in the top 20 who are permanently on the Wall of Fame it means that new Twitterers coming along will maybe follow us and if we keep tweeting ourselves and retweeting other peoples posts about positive animal welfare issues & how people can make a difference, maybe we all can make a difference together. 

Maybe I'm mad, naiive, foolish...I don't know but its worth a try. So help us to promote positive ways ahead, lets BAN PUPPY FARMS, lets sort out compulsory microchipping for Dogs in the UK, what's next when we have them sorted... 

We'll talk about that when we know we are on the wall of fame for good. So please vote here , wait until the +signs come up on the puppy icon and then click to vote. 

 I have just signed the petition on the Number 10 website to ask GB to do his utmost to ban puppy farms.  Have a look yourself it runs out very soon and there aren't any way near enough names yet. When it has finished we should start another one and keep pushing the issue.

And remember in the UK you can mail your MP direct to ask him/her to sign the Early Day Motion on Compulsory Microchipping of dogs that the SOFA girls started off. 

It has been tabled by MP Martin Horwood  (Cheltenham) please ask your MP to support the  campaign by signing EDM 1487 as soon as possible.

To contact your MP, please follow this link: to support compulsory microchipping of dogs.

If you are not on twitter yet simply google twitter, and create a name and password and you are up and running, don't think you have to be on twitter to vote but why not do both and you can find out what all the fuss is all about.

Off for a walk in the rain. Bark soon.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Meeting the Two Montys on a scorching hot day out at Holker Garden Festival

Last weekend we took a trip out to the Holker Garden Festival in the beautiful gardens at Holker Hall  near Kendal. Lilly was acting as Chief Reporter and she had a great time talking to visitors and people running the trade stands with all their interesting goodies. She had a good chat to Lord Cavendish who organises the event and who explained that he was wearing a sunflower to raise money for the local hospice so we had to get one too.

It was a scorching day so she only wore her Press Pack jacket from time to time and took lots of breaks in the shade with her drink. She is very relaxed about everything, even when this monster was huffing and puffing behind her. 

We met lots of other dogs there and invited these two into the shade of the press tent for a drink as they looked like they needed a break.

This lovely person came to say hello to Lilly while her Granny was waiting to see the VIP  (we've got a photo later). We explained that if puppies have lots of interesting experiences when they are little, like Lilly did, it gives them lots of confidence and they can enjoy meeting new people and exploring new places. There are lots of dogs without good manners so Lilly acts sometimes as a bit of an ambassador at these events. We suggested she had a look at Pegs Pups on YouTube to show how a pup learns from its mum in the first few weeks.

We decided we should get out and about and take a look at some of the stalls...

This man had really interesting smelling armpits but we decided to look at some flowery smelling things instead.....

This lady sells special Hubble Bubble, organic soaps that she makes herself. She told us that many soaps are made from Palm Oil and that the Rain Forest is still being torn down to plant Palm Oil trees that are the natural habitat of the Orang Utang. Her Hubble Bubble soaps only use Rain Forest friendly oils which made us feel happier about it all, so we bought some as a present for Grannie who is in hospital at the moment. All her soaps look really beautiful and smell amazing.

So finally we met the VIP, Monty the sniffer dog who works at Haverigg prison. He is such a good worker that he is used to smell out mobile phones, which are not allowed if you get "banged up", so he told us. Monty has even sniffed out a single SIM card in a large mens toilet block. Lilly was not so keen to think about this in too much detail, she's a bit too much of a pretty girl. But she was very impressed with Monty, they thought they might try and meet up again some time if he gets any time off for good behaviour. Monty was also modelling the latest in kennels and hen houses made by the prisoners, there's quite a waiting list as they are really well made.

Oh yes and there was another VIP there on Saturday, bit of a soft spot for this one, we do admit. Monty Don was judging the Made in Cumbria stalls, ran an auction in aid of the hospice and talked to lots of people who just wanted to know he was feeling better after his stroke.

We had a quick chat with him ourselves as he gave Lil a fuss and told us that he has two dogs at home, he has a Jack Russell and  his daughter has a dachshund. We talked about growing your own and local food as well. He's the President of the Soil Association and they are running a special Organic Fortnight in September with the theme "Organic  values on a budget" . They are suggesting people organise an organic credit crunching meal for their friends with ideas on their Dinner4Good website . Sounds good to us. 

All being well, Rose will have an article in August edition of Smallholder with more on what Monty Don had to say about the importance of growing your own vege, (Lilly lost interest at this point). Hopefully we will be able to meet the two Monty's again at next year at Holker Garden Festival.

Keep in touch with wellbalancedpup on Twitter, or email We're always keen to hear from anyone getting out and about with their dogs and meeting new people. We're off to the Fell Gather at Cockermouth on the 14th June which looks fun, we'll have a stall too selling the DVD, so come and meet us if you can. 

If you have any suggestions of good events where we can talk to people about puppy socialising and why not to buy your puppy from a puppy farm we'd be interested to find out more.

Saturday, 2 May 2009


Having spent much of April recharging our batteries and getting to grips with our new gear, we are back on the road and looking for new Press Pack members. 

So if you've got a busy summer ahead, as a family dog, an assistance dog, working or playing hard at agility, obedience or field trials and you are interested in joining the crew reporting for the Press Pack then drop us a line. 

If you live outside of the UK you could bring in a seasoning of special interest stories for us. 

We're also interested in dogs whose companions are trainers and who work as a team in the hardest job in the world, dog owner training! Or if you have some great holiday plans we'd be interested to hear them. 

Press Pack members can get the chance to review some products along the way, as a thank you to you for joining in, so email us and lets get working together.

We are starting our Summer Tour with the Ultimate Pet Show at the NEC so keep an eye out for us if you are going too. We will be out and about promoting positive news about responsible breeding, health and welfare of all our canine friends and passing on tips and techniques from breeders and trainers from around the country. We'll also be promoting our Well Balanced Pup DVD to help people understand the importance of health and temperament of a pup's parents and early socialisation on the rest of a dog's life.

Lilly will be Lead Reporter for the Show to prove that she is growing up into a great newshound, keen to sniff out the stories. 

We have a new version of the bark recognition software in beta testing so we will have to see how it performs before the cut and thrust of the summer shows are upon us.

Anyone with a story or some photos to pass on just email us at . 

You can preview our dvd by watching the quicktime version of the intro by Vet Sheila Crispin and follow us on twitter as @wellbalancedpup  

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Palma the Cesky Terrier earns her stripes as a member of the Press Pack

Well you can't be a member of the Press Pack without your own jacket,
so Palma went to the Togs for Dogs stand .......
to be measured up for one to fit her perfectly.
Although everyone loves her...........
and can't get enough of her cuddles....

.....she had a serious job to be done.

Starting with the briefing at 10 am in the Press Office...

following up some research with a colleague....

and then getting down to the hard task of a Roving Reporter

........meeting and greeting the VIPs

.....taking to the real dog lovers at Crufts

and not forgetting getting a dogs point of view of life and work.

So although she does "cute" very well, don't underestimate
this little grey dog from the Czech Republic, 'cos she has a big heart
and never fails to sniff out the real story behind the news.

Remember to go to Scout's Blog on the Crufts site to get the full story

on the Press Pack at Crufts.

Search Dogs, Corrie and Drift, from the Southern Scotland Search and Rescue team at the Eukanuba stand

Search Dogs Corrie and Drift from the Southern Scotland Search and Rescue team having some down time. The team is sponsored by Eukanuba who provide food for all ten dogs in the team and also those in training. It works well for both the team and Eukanuba, the team is run entirely on donations with volunteer members giving up their time to train and go on call outs to search for people lost in their area, so free dog food is a definate boon. The Eukanuba nutritionist assesses each dog annually and decides which of their foods suits each dog. As a dog food company they are pleased to support the work of the Search and Rescue team by helping to keep the dogs in top condition.

Einich and Mirk decided a break's a good idea too, they both know that Drift and Corrie can teach them a thing or too. Einich is training to be a Search and Rescue Dog and Mirks father Search Dog Beinn has recently made some important finds while working with the SARDA Lakes team. Check out Dotties Blog on the Sarda Lakes site.

After meeting Caesar, Mirk decides he wants to play with every Golden he meets!

Caesar has joined the Press Pack now with his companion Wendy and they sent us more photos of Crufts from Caesars point of view. Have a look on Scouts Blog on the Crufts website for more on the Press Pack at Crufts and the Diabetic Hypo Alert Dogs.

Mirk gives some eye to a VIP at the Dogs for the Disabled 21 years party.

Mirk had a good chat about puppy socialising with the experts who involved right at the start of Dogs for the Disabled who understand how important it is for puppies to learn about the world early on. Going to the pub with your pup was this mans tip, sounds good to me.
remember to find out about the Press Pack at Crufts go to scouts blog on the crufts site

Some of our Crufts photos - dogs on security

These guys did a great job, there were loads of people at Crufts but nothing phased them.