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Showing posts with label britain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label britain. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Everything about your Otterhound

Everything about your Otterhound
  This is a large, shaggy scenthound who nearly disappeared after hunting otters became illegal in Britain, but fans have repurposed him as a companion. He’s entertaining to live with but can be difficult to keep clean. The Otterhound is laid-back, but that doesn’t mean he’s a couch potato. Expect to exercise him thoroughly every day.

Overview
  Thought to come from French ancestors, the Otterhound is a large breed that's close to extinction. Used in packs by fishermen to help catch and retrieve otters, the dog has a good scent trail and webbed feet to help retrieve fish. With sea otters on the endangered list, we're seeing less of this breed. Extremely affectionate and devoted to his family, this breed is a large and loving animal.

Highlights
  • Otterhounds require a great deal of exercise, and not just chasing a ball in the backyard. A vigorous daily workout of jogging or swimming for several miles is needed to keep him physically and mentally healthy. However, because of the adverse effect of strenuous exercise on growing joints and bones, you should limit exercise among puppies and adolescent Otterhounds. Swimming is the best exercise for younger dogs, because the risk of joint injury is minimal.
  • Otterhounds are enthusiastic and loud barkers. But don't expect yours to be a guard dog — he's far too friendly for that.
  • Don't allow your Otterhound off-leash in unfenced areas; you never know when he might catch an enticing scent and run off.
  • Otterhounds enjoy being outdoors, but they're best suited to living daily life inside the house with their families.
  • A fenced yard is mandatory. Otterhounds have been known to jump fences as high as five feet, so be sure the fencing is at least six feet tall.
  • The Otterhound is affectionate, but he's also independent. He won't follow you around, begging for attention. He'll probably greet you when you get home, and then — if he doesn't need exercise — he'll return to his favorite snoozing spot.
  • The Otterhound loves food and can become obese if you don't monitor his diet. Also, his incredible sense of smell enables him to locate those special goodies you've hidden in the cabinets, and his size and cleverness enable him to find a way to get at them.
  • Big dog, bigger expense. Everything for a big dog costs more, from food to grooming to veterinary care.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts:
  • Otterhounds are rare - there are fewer than 1,000 throughout the world. Approximately 350 live in the U.S. and Canada. The rest are primarily in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Germany, and Switzerland.
  • The Otterhound played a role in the creation of another breed: the Airedale. He was crossed with black and tan terriers to add size and water ability.
  • Comparable Breeds: Spinone Italiano, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon


History
  Closely resembling the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, the Otterhound may have its roots in France. Being a very unusual member of the Hound Group, the Otterhound is a hardy scenthound, whose origin is unknown. The Otterhound may have its roots in breeds such as the Welsh Harrier, Bloodhound, Southern Hound, or a kind of water spaniel.
  Although there is not much to be said about the genetic makeup of the breed, it was a prized otter hunter in England as early as the 13th century. In 1212, King John kept the earliest documented Otterhound packs. This dog was used for searching for otters, which were exhausting the fish in local streams. The dog trailed the prey to its hideout and bayed after locating it. After the hunters arrived, they would take away the Otterhound and use small terriers to kill the otter.
  Although otter hunting was not a popular sport - as it lacked the formality of foxhunting and took place in wet weather conditions - the breed rose in popularity during the later part of the 19th century, when more than 20 packs hunted in England. However, this sport started losing its prominence after World War II.
  The first Otterhound was introduced to the United States at the turn of the 20th century; soon thereafter, the American Kennel Club would formally recognize the breed.
  Unfortunately, this ancient English breed is slowly becoming extinct. Otterhound fanciers are often not in favor of breeding the dog for dog shows and thus it has not been very popular as a pet or show dog.

Personality
  The Otterhound is an amiable fellow, with plenty of affection for every member of the family. He loves children, though he can play a little rough due to his large size. He is devoted to his family, but not overly so.
  He's likely to extend happy greetings when you come home at the end of the day, but don't expect him to follow you from room to room. He's too independent for that.
  The Otterhound's characteristic independence makes training challenging. You have to convince him that he wants to do what you're asking. This is entirely possible, as long as you are patient and skilled.
  The good-natured Otterhound is not a top candidate for a watchdog. He'll sound a loud warning bark to intruders, but that's about it.
  As with every dog, the Otterhound needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Otterhound puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
  Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

Health Problems
  Like most large, rapid growing breeds, Otterhounds occasionally suffer from joint problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia. They are also known to suffer from ear infections due to the long, droopy shape of their ears. Otterhounds can also sometimes suffer from epilepsy and this is considered to be a hereditary ailment.

Care
  The Otterhound is not a breed that can brag of its tidiness, as food often gets trapped in its mouth a face, or mud in its hairy feet. Therefore, the dog should be brushed and combed at least once a week.
  More over, the Otterhound requires a daily exercise regimen. It can sleep outdoors in cool and temperate climates if given proper shelter.

Living Conditions
  The Otterhound is not recommended for apartment life. They are relatively inactive indoors if they have sufficient exercise. They do best with at least a large, well-fenced yard. It can sleep outdoors in temperate or cool climates if given a good shelter.

Training
  Otterhounds were never bred to be kept as companions and are therefore not the easiest of dogs to train. Training them requires a firm hand and a great deal of patience. They are also a good-natured breed and do not respond well to harsh training methods. A firm but gentle approach always works best with this breed. It is also important that an Otterhound’s owner display consistent leadership as this dog can turn willful and stubborn if faced with a meek or passive owner.

Exercise Requirements
  Otterhounds have a great deal of stamina and require strenuous and daily exercise. They make excellent jogging and hiking partners and can keep up a steady trot for the better part of the day. When not exercised sufficiently they can sometimes turn destructive.

Grooming
  The Otterhound has a rough double coat that sheds water and has a crisp texture. It’s easy to care for with weekly brushing. The coat can be two to six inches long, and some coats are oilier than others. An Otterhound who has a longer, oilier coat gets dirty more quickly than one with a shorter, less oily coat, so the need for bathing varies. Some Otterhounds need a bath monthly, while others can get by with a bath only once a year. However frequently you bathe him, plan to clean the Otterhound’s beard after every meal to prevent odor. You will also spend a lot of time cleaning his feet, which have a tendency to attract mud and debris.
  With some Otterhounds, you may need to strip the coat once or twice a year to maintain its crisp texture. Stripping is the process of pulling out dead hair by hand. Ask your dog’s breeder if it is necessary and how to do it. Clipping the coat will make it soft, which is okay as long as you don’t show your dog and don’t mind the loss of the traditional texture. The Otterhound Club of America offers good grooming tips on its website.
  Anytime the Otterhound gets wet, whether from a bath, a swim, or a face wash, be sure you dry him completely to avoid a mildew-like effect, especially under the chin or any other place he has skin folds. In addition, if the Otterhound doesn’t get dry right down to the skin, he can develop painful, itchy, tender spots.
  The rest is basic care. Trim his nails every week or two and keep his ears clean and dry. Good dental hygiene is also important. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

Children And Other Pets
  Otterhounds are boisterous, fun-loving dogs, but because of their size and tendency toward clumsiness, you should supervise them when they are with small children. They love children and wouldn't hurt them intentionally, but their size and exuberance might cause them to knock a small child to the ground. The Otterhound is probably better suited to a family with older children, ages 10 and up.
  If properly trained and socialized, the Otterhound gets along well with other dogs. Use caution when introducing him to small pets, however. The Otterhound's hunting instinct is strong, and he's likely to chase animals he perceives as prey.

Is this breed right for you?
  A loving and devoted companion, the Otterhound is good with children of all ages. Affectionate and smart, this breed gets along well with all members of the family, including cats. Known to have a knack for hunting, he may chase small animals and fish if given the opportunity. A terrific companion and great for outdoor life and camping, he'll enjoy any type of activity that involves swimming. Although inactive indoors, this breed is not recommended for apartment living due to his large size and need for regular exercise.

Did You Know?
  The water-loving Otterhound has large webbed feet to facilitate his ability to swim. Combined with his rough coat, they give him a look all his own.

A dream day in the life of an Otterhound
Waking up to hang out with the family around the breakfast table, the Otterhound will be ready for his morning walk. Once back inside, he'll snooze before the gang leaves. When alone, he'll ensure the home turf stays protected. Frequenting the backyard, he may swim a few laps in the pool. Once home, he'll greet you with a furry smile. After a rubdown and another walk, he'll be ready to relax with the entire family.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Top 5 Pet-friendly hotels that ensure your dog won't be left out of travel in Britain

Top 5 Pet-friendly hotels that ensure your dog won't be left out of travel in Britain
  Gone are the days of sneaking your dog into your hotel room in the dead of night. With over half of U.S. households claiming a furry family member, the hospitality industry is rolling out the red carpet for dogs, with a wide range of amenities and services from plush beds to canine room service and even spa treatments. 
 The good news is that in many cases, pet-friendly hotels are becoming easier to find as more vacationers include their fur-babies in their travel plans. 

Pet-friendly hotels in Britain

1. Goodwood Hotel, West Sussex
  Dogs gain access to their very own private members' club, The Kennels, at this sporting estate in West Sussex. There are tasty treats available on request, which may include organic pig's ear, and walking maps outlining the estate's most dog-friendly routes. Your four-legged friend will also be granted access to the hotel's dining room and be permitted to sleep in your room. Regular guests may want to consider The Kennels' Dog Membership package, which at £50 per year - 70 per cent of the fee is donated to The Kennels' chosen charity, Canine Partner - ensures that a personalised dog bowl will kept at The Kennels for the personal use of your pampered pooch.
  • On the Goodwood estate, next to the pay and play Park golf course and the Waterbeach health club and spa, both available to hotel guests. The estate’s key elements (motor racing, horse racing, flying, golf, health club) each have their own private membership and hotel guests effectively become members for the duration of their stay, also of The Kennels, a sophisticated, beautifully decorated private members club where the Dukes of Richmond’s fox hounds used to be housed (in great luxury), with show-stopping views across green fields to Goodwood House. There’s also a strange Sculpture Park lost in the woods, and a superbly stocked farm shop, including the estate’s own meat. At the historic ex-RAF wartime aerodrome, two people, for a little over £100, can take a half hour flight in a Cessna.
  • Five of the 93 bedrooms, some of which are in anodyne 1970s annexes, have also been redesigned and are classy, luxurious and full of personal touches. The rest of the serviceable, if dreary Marriottesque bedrooms are to be revamped in waves.
  • Formerly a Marriott hotel, it is now run by the estate. Public rooms and restaurant are already in good, stylish order.
2. Trigony House, Dumfries & Galloway
  Dogs receive a warm welcome at this pet-friendly hotel in Scotland. Fido will receive a welcome pack on arrival, which includes gourmet doggy treats and a welcome note from Kit and Roxy, a miniature dachshund and golden retriever respectively, who live at Trigony House. There's lots of countryside to explore from the hotel's doorstep and in the evening dogs are invited to chow down on dinner with their owners in the bar.
  • The Trigony House Hotel is located just north of Closeburn before the village of Thornhill, in the beautiful Nith Valley, surrounded by the rolling hills & woodland of Dumfriesshire in south west Scotland. The Hotel is situated about 200 yards from the Main Road. Some traffic noise is audible though it is not obtrusive.
  • Because of the age of the house the 9 hotel rooms are all very different from each other in size and layout but all are en-suite with their own bathroom & enjoy their own character, and all have hand sprung mattresses with fine Egyptian linen and are individually furnished providing you with an excellent choice for accommodation in Dumfries.
  • The larger of the hotel rooms have a small comfortable seating area and the Garden suite has it’s own conservatory.  With comfort and relaxation in mind, a butlers tray is supplied with homemade shortbread and real coffee, and the toiletries are made specially for the hotel by the Caurnie Soaperie at the Organic Herb Garden in Kirkintilloch.
  • Most of the rooms have views over the gardens and the Lowther hills to the east while others look over the Kier hills to the West. One of the rooms is at the back of the hotel and looks over the woodland which now covers an old Roman Fort.
3. The Milestone Hotel, London
This Kensington hotel has a dedicated Pet Concierge and on arrival your cute canine will be presented with a hamper of treats, including toys and a Milestone collar tag. Dogs also receive a special welcome letter, with tips for travelling around London and details of places to visit. After a day's sight-seeing, your pooch can bed down on custom-made cushions, duvets or a floor mat and there's a 'Do Not Disturb: Pet Sleeping' sign. There's also a special pet menu and the hotel can arrange a special turndown-treat for your animal.
  • The hotel, opened in the 1920s, takes its name from the old cast iron milestone that stands outside and comprises three tall Victorian townhouses, the first of which, No 1 Kensington Court, has fine original features, including carved window frames and a black-and-white tiled floor. It stands on busy Kensington Road, near where it becomes Kensington High Street, with views of Kensington Park opposite.
  • There are 57 rooms, plus six apartments. Some are dazzling in their lavishness, but only one made me long to stay the night in it, style wise: the striking red and grey Art Deco Mistinguitt suite. Generally, ornate gilt mirrors and old-fashioned carved wooden bedheads predominate an everything is beautifully cared for. In terms of amenities, nothing has been forgotten and there are generous extras.
  • The hotel is small scale: with minimal outside space, cosy public rooms, including a very pretty Victorian style sitting room, and bedrooms on five floors. The decoration, in the style of Red Carnation’s owner and chief designer, Beatrice Tollman, is expansive, generous and elaborate, spilling over into fussiness, especially in such a small space, with flowing fabrics, cushions, patterned carpets, collections of pictures on patterned walls, reproduction Stubbs paintings and a life-size jockey in the Stables Bar. For a hotel that markets itself as one of London’s greats, it feels, to me, overwrought, over the top, not very real and extremely cloying.
4. Cholmondeley Arms, Cheshire
  This former Victorian schoolhouse-turned-inn is as stylish as Beau Brummell inside. The glorious carved oak bar dominates the main hall and apart from the malted charms of Cholmondeley Best Bitter and Merlin’s Gold, there are a staggering 200 varieties of ruinously good gin to discover. Your faithful friend will not go thirsty either, as dog beer (made from meat stock) is readily available. Food is hearty and delicious and rooms in the old headmaster’s house behind the inn are calm, civilised and comfortable. Three of them are dog-friendly, and dog beds are supplied too.
  • Cholmondeley Estate is a sits on the busy A49, surrounded by rolling farmland and prosperous Cheshire villages. Cholmondeley Castle itself has beautiful gardens; there are fabulous views from nearby Beeston Castle; and pootling around the local countryside you’ll find plenty of diversions, from reclamation yards and farm shops to nature trails, fisheries and falconries. Chester is 30 minutes west; Crewe 20 minutes east.
  • The shabby-chic charm continues in the six bedrooms, next door in the old headmaster’s house. This cute Victorian cottage has listed casement windows, steep pitched roofs and a vintage vibe to the rooms, with antique furnishings, Farrow & Ball paints, retro-style fabrics and deep beds topped with Egyptian cotton linens and a hot water bottle. The finishes are a little worn in places, but it just seems in keeping with the homely feel.
  • Anyone who went to a Victorian school will feel instantly nostalgic when they walk into the pub, with its lofty ceilings, huge windows and chunky iron radiators. This, though, is school gone shabby chic, all big log fires, oriental rugs on stripped wooden floors, and giant mirrors reflecting the flames from countless candles.
5. Russell's of Clapton, London
  Be in the thick of edgy, vibrant, multicultural London in this pink Victorian b & b, bang on the high street. Owner Annette gives you imaginative breakfasts, there is a funky guest sitting room with vintage furniture and a resident whippet called Reggie, happy to share his treats. Annette is on hand for advice on dog walks, pubs and places to eat with your dog. The attractive, uncluttered bedrooms have good art on the walls including great Sixties and Seventies pieces. Two of the rooms are suitable for pets. There are very good cafés on the doorstep and nearby Hackney Marshes for walks.
  •   Russell's of Clapton is on Chatsworth Road, a 10-minute walk from Homerton Overground station. The street is definitely more "traditional east London" than "gentrified for tourists": I walked past council estates, kebab shops and a "sauna and massage" shop on my way from the station. But I did not feel unsafe and sensed that visitors wishing to stay here would get a better sense of living like a local than those opting for a more central, tourist-focused area.
  • Russell's has six rooms: two twin/superking rooms, one medium double, and three smaller rooms; four have en-suite shower and the others share facilities. All have covetable vintage furniture and quirky touches: the fireplace in my room held a miniature piano and a spider plant, and I loved the retro plastic-and-leather spherical chair. The essentials were spot-on: a full-throttle power shower, a supremely comfortable Sealy bed, Egyptian cotton towels, and high-thread count linen. There are no toiletries in the bathroom but a hamper on the landing is full of the necessaries, including shower gel, shampoo, shaving gel and earplugs. On the downside, the bathroom was minuscule and there was some traffic noise from the street outside.
  • G-Plan side boards, a red leather sofa, and piles of books on art and travel in the guest living room help create a cool and cosy artist's studio vibe. Thought had also been put into the smaller details, such as the tulips in a jug in the entrance hall, and the b&b immediately felt like somewhere guests would wish to return after a day pounding the streets of central London. Given that the bed was more comfortable, the decor more stylish, and the breakfast better cooked than in my own flat, it felt like more than a home from home.
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