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The Kennel Club UK - 

Dog Club Directory - 

Association of Pet Dog Trainers -

If you would prefer to have 1-to-1 advice on behavioural problems or training, then you cannot do better than to seek the advice of one of the local members of the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers.)  The APDT “is a voluntary organisation established to improve the welfare of dogs and the competence of dog owners through the promotion of training skills and techniques based on up to date, researched, methods that apply the principles of kindness fairness and effectiveness and are in keeping with modern learning theory.” 

You can find Local Dog Trainers through the menu on the left side of their home page.

Dogs Trust -

Founded in 1891, Dogs Trust, formerly known as the National Canine Defence League, has always campaigned on dog-welfare issues to ensure a safe and happy future for our four-legged friends.
It has rehoming centres throughout the UK. You can search their website to see what dogs they have available for rehoming from your local centre.

Our local centre (open 12 noon - 4 pm) is in Ballymena:
  • Fairview, 60 Teeshan Road, Ballymena, BT43 5PN  ( Tel 028 2565 2977 )
Join as a member (£25, or £12.50 for over 60s) and get 3rd party insurance for your dog – up to £1,000,000 per claim if your dog causes damage or injury to another person, their property or pets. (An excess applies.)

Dog Walking/Sitting

Are you unable to walk your dog or do you just want to give it stimulation during your absence? 

The-Dog-Walker service operates in South and East Belfast, and North Down. Call Liz on 077 9462 4340.

Also in South and East Belfast, FurryPals offers a dog walking, dog minding and pet taxi service. Call Janice on 077 6318 0896
Happy Tailz offer dog walking and pet sitting services in North Belfast & Newtownabbey.
Call Lisa or Pauline on 074 4540 7587 or 077 7578 6417 or email

Sirius Dog Training

Named after the Dog Star, Sirius, this is Dr Ian Dunbar's excellent website. Visit it for training and behaviour advice. Useful articles are available from the drop-down menus at the top of the screen. 

Veterinary Surgeries

A full list of veterinary surgeries in Northern Ireland by County ,

The nearest practices to the club:
  • Ashwood Vets, 71 Comber Road, Dundonald. 028 9041 9374;
  • Gortlands, 162 Gilnahirk Road. 028 9079 6005;
  • Commons Brae, 188 Saintfield Road. 028 9079 9500;
  • Cedar Grove, 132 Upper Knockbreda Rd. 028 9079 8457;
  • Earlswood, 193 Belmont Road. 028 9047 1361;
  • City Vets, Ravenhill Business Park. 028 9073 1958;
Of these, City Vets appears to give the best value (when I checked - do your own checking for updated prices) charging just £20 for routine annual vaccination and just £10 for micro-chipping. They also publish their prices up-front on their site; not many do that!

Pets at Home have a store at the Sprucefield Shopping Park, Lisburn. It is right beside Boots and M&S at Sprucefield, and also houses a grooming shop and a vets that is open 7 days a week with no weekend surcharges.

Other Local Training Clubs

Our club meets on Wednesday evenings. If this doesn’t suit or the venue is too distant, there are other dog training clubs that you can contact in the Greater Belfast area. (Google them!)

  • Castlereagh and District Dog Training Club 
  • Venue: Band Hall at junction of the Ballycoan/Upper Mealough Roads, Wednesday nights 7pm. 
  • Down District Dog Training Club 
  • Venue: Hillsborough, Monday and Thursday evenings.
  • Glandore Dog Training Club of Ulster 
  • Venue 1: The Orange Hall, Mallusk, Monday nights, 7pm.
  • Venue 2: The Redburn Community Centre, Jackson's Road, Holywood, Friday nights 7pm
  • Glencraig Canine Training (Lisburn & District DTC)
  • Moneybroom Road, Lisburn 
  • Belfast Dog Show Society 
  • Not an "obedience" training club. Ring-craft classes for showing your dog at breed shows.

Animal Training at Seaworld -
At Seaworld all training is based on reinforcing desired behaviors. When an animal performs a particular behavior and the consequences of that behavior are in some ways reinforcing (rewarding) to that animal, the animal is likely to repeat that behavior. You can do this with your dog! Reward the good, ignore the bad.

Clicker Training Basics -

Dog Owners Guide,

An American site with many free articles organised alphabetically (index) or by topic (topic.) Well worth a look!

How long is my dog likely to live, and what is it likely to die of?
A Report from the Kennel Club, British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Scientific Committee
Summary results of the Purebred Dog Health Survey

Where can I get advice about my dog’s health, behaviour, care, ... ?

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) can answer many questions about your dog (and other pets) at 

Dog Origins 

For an excellent summary of the current thoughts within academia about dog origins:

This cites a paper The Origin of the Dog Revisited by Janice Koler-Matznick that you can read at:  
It concludes ... 
“The hypothesis that (best) fits the available evidence is that the first domestic dogs descended from a species of medium-sized generalist canid, ... that voluntarily adopted the pariah niche and remained commensal for an extensive period before some populations became truly domesticated."

For a good introduction to science and evolution generally, see the National Academies site:   Why not download a free copy of their ebook?

Why over-breeding may have given your dog a headache
"Once a breed is acknowledged as a breed, the gene pool effectively closes."
Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Chihuahuas, Griffon Bruxellois and other small dogs are prized for their tall foreheads and compact doll-like skulls, reported “The Times”.
However, scientists led by Dr Clare Rusbridge of the University of Surrey have used MRI imaging techniques to analyse their over-bred skulls and found that in some cases their brains are so squashed that the part that is meant to be at the bottom (the cerebellum and brain stem) has been pushed down under the forebrain and into an opening in the base of the skull.

In humans this condition is known as Chiari Malformation (CM) and is associated with neck pain, balance problems, muscle weakness, limb numbness and cripplingly intense headaches. It is hoped that the research will enable breeders to select only healthy dogs and encourage the public to buy only from those breeders.

(... and how would we distinguish these breeders from the others?)
(“The Week”, 1st March 2014. )