Lifestyle 

Field of seven dogs to vie for Westminster Kennel Club grand prize

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Seven of the finest specimens in the pedigree dog world will face off on Tuesday evening, as the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual pageant in New York comes to a dramatic close with the awarding of the coveted title of “Best in Show.” I am Humphrey Bogart, a French Mastiff from New Jersey stands in the benching area ahead of judging in the Working group at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City, New York, U.S., February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar The grand…

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Science 

Dogs’ becoming major threat’ to wildlife

Image copyright Pitam Chattopadhyay Image caption Protected species like blackbuck are attacked by feral and free-ranging dogs They may be our “best friends” but dogs have also emerged as a major threat to wildlife. Scientists say they have contributed to the extinction of nearly one dozen wild bird and animal species. As such, they have become the third worst human-introduced predators after cats and rats. Now dogs are said to threaten nearly 200 species worldwide, some of which are critically endangered, studies suggest. And yet, feral and free-ranging dogs have…

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Lifestyle 

Thousands of dogs vie for Best in Show at New York’s Westminster contest

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opens in New York on Monday, with nearly 3,000 competitors vying for an array of trophies, including Best in Show, the most prestigious title in the rarefied world of pedigree dog breeding. Pip, a YorkshireTerrier breed, sits during the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, U.S., February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton This year’s two-day event draws challengers from all 50 U.S. states and 14 other countries, including Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Canada and Japan, the club said…

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Science 

Climate change: Will insect-eating dogs help?

Image copyright Yora Do you fret that your pet pooch is blamed by environmentalists for turning rainforests into poo in the park? Have no fear – you can now fatten Fido on black soldier flies instead of Brazilian beef. A pet food manufacturer now claims that 40% of its new product is made from soldier flies. It’s one of many firms hoping to cash in on the backlash against beef by people concerned that the cattle are fed on soya. These soya plantations are responsible for the release of greenhouse…

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Top stories 

The dogs without a home for Christmas

Image caption All looking for homes after multiple Christmases in rescue centres: (L-R) Buster, Lilly, Freddie, Lara, Bess and Monty. Each year scores of rescued dogs spend Christmas in care after failing to find a new home and each year rescue centres receive a new influx of unwanted canine gifts. Here are some of the animals that have spent the longest time waiting for a new home. Bess the collie cross: 8th Christmas in care Image copyright Last Chance Animal Rescue Image caption Bess the Collie cross at Last Chance…

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Top stories 

Guide dogs: Where do they really come from?

Guide dogs are like politicians or Santa Claus: it’s a bit hard to imagine them as babies. But while I’ve never had a playpen of MPs crawling around my living room (promise…), I can’t say the same about guide dog puppies. This is the story of where guide dogs for blind and partially-sighted people really come from. It includes: why they wear nail-varnish as soon as they’re born, why they’re never scared of fireworks, and why you really must play them Guns N’ Roses. Settle in, team. The pups and…

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Lifestyle 

Fetch! Canines play role of ‘ball dogs’ at London tennis event

LONDON (Reuters) – Hattie, Tina and Melvin played a different kind of game of fetch on Thursday when the canines took to a London court for the opening of the Champions Tennis tournament – working alongside ball boys and girls. Arriving on court to the sound of the song “Who Let the Dogs Out”, the canines drew cheers and applause from the audience as they helped retrieve stray balls in a doubles match between players Mansour Bahrami, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Henri Leconte and Mikael Pernfors. Hattie, Tina and Melvin were…

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Top stories 

Hospital recruits eight dogs to brighten up patients’ stay

Patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham can request a visit from a dog as part of a scheme designed to enhance their recovery. Funded by the QEHB Charity, the scheme has recruited eight specially-trained dogs ranging from a chihuahua to a mountain dog. The Pets in Hospital initiative has been launched across elderly care wards but any patient is eligible for a visit unless they are isolated for infection reasons. The dogs all had to get a clean bill of health before being used as part of the…

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Top stories 

Has a new racing ban in Florida doomed these dogs?

Image copyright Greyhound Welfare, Inc Image caption Organisations that re-home greyhounds warn a racing ban will have unintended consequences Sometimes trying to making things better actually makes them worse. When an amendment passed on 6 November to ban dog-racing in Florida, animal-lovers and rights activists celebrated. But greyhound adoption groups have told the BBC they now fear the ban could lead to thousands of dogs being killed as it comes into force. Animal rights groups fiercely contest the claim, calling it “fear-mongering” by groups close to the racing industry. Carol…

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Top stories 

Nepalese festival celebrates ‘day of the dogs’

Image copyright @pappu_the_pug_nepal Image caption The Nepalese festival Kukur Tihar celebrates dogs by blessing them with a red mark on their forehead Every dog has its day, and for canines in Nepal that phrase could not be more literal. The five-day Nepalese Hindu festival of Tihar started this week and the second day is known as Kukur Tihar or “day of the dogs”. Dogs are celebrated and blessed with a Tika – a red mark applied to their forehead. The animals are also given flowers garlands and offered food as…

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