Who’s Going To Crufts?

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In this post:

Dog Showing – a good thing or not? ~~ We’re Not Going to Crufts! ~~ Focus on Fostering ~~ Recent Support of Rescues ~~ Sign up to raise money with our beds

Dog Showing – a good thing or not?
Well, it’s Crufts next week and the usual debate about the rights and wrongs of showing dogs is bound to rise to the fore. We have very mixed feelings here at BDBCo, the main one being about the boredom level of the dogs during shows. Apart from the obedience and agility dogs and those that are giving demonstrations, there is a lot of hanging about in a stressful environment.

What do you think? Do the positives out weigh the negatives? Maybe you don’t think there are any negatives, or positives for that matter. Lets us know your thoughts, either here or on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/BigDogBedCompany.

We’re Not Going to Crufts Sale!
This year the Big Dog Bed Company is not having a stand at Crufts. Its very expensive and, although we had a great time last year meeting lots of people with and without their dogs, we thought it would be a better idea to do a really great sale – much better than we could afford at the show because of how much we have to pay to be there. So we are offering 25% off all our dog beds.

That means you could save as much as £70 on one of our great beds. Have a look at our website to see what’s on offer. Sale ends on 16th March 2014

afghan in boots from telegraph  Crufts (leonbergers)  foxhounds in pens from telegraph

BDBCo Stand Crufts 2013  crufts weimaraner   Newfoundland at Crufts 2013

Focus on Fostering
This is a huge subject, but we thought we’d try to briefly spotlight it. Figures for dogs being rehomed are not very accurate. Depending on where you look the figure ranges from 150,000 to over 200,000  annually. That is an awful lot of dogs needing somewhere to stay. Fostering can be needed for a range of reasons. It might be that the dog’s owner has had to go into hospital due to illness or an accident and there is no family member who can look after their pet and they cannot afford to pay for care. Fostering in these circumstances may only last a few days, or it can be several weeks or even months depending on the reason for fostering. It’s not just cats and dogs who might need care – snakes, birds, fish, any type of animal kept as a pet may need temporary foster care. There are organisations that specialise in this type of temporary fostering such as Pet Fostering Service Scotland http://www.pfss.org.uk/   Other animal welfare organisations such as the Dogs Trust and RSPCA also provide  temporary fostering support.

A different type of fostering is provided by those people  who take in dogs (and other pets) between their rescue and them finding their ‘forever home’. This is a different type of fostering since the pet may be traumatised and need particular understanding and support. Many, if not most of the rescue charities have a pool of foster carers they rely on. Some make it a policy to never put dogs into kennels. Fosterers are involved in assessing the needs and behaviour of the dog in order to identify the most appropriate forever home. Fosterers are needed because it is better to keep the dog in a home environment, if at all possible. Kennels have their place, but they are not great environments for assessing the personality of a dog in a normal domestic environment. It is also expensive to keep a dog in kennels. This is a short piece written by a fosterer on the demands of foster caring http://www.friendsoftheanimalsrct.org.uk/fostering.html . Do you think you have what it takes to be a fosterer? Why not discuss it with a local rescue charity? They always need an extra pair of hands.

Recent Support for Rescues
We have been able to give some small raffle and auction prizes to three rescue charities this year.  Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming http://www.bulldogrescue.org.uk/  have held their auction. The EARS and Yorkshire Coast Dog Rescue http://www.yorkshire-coast-dog-rescue.com/pm_events.html  auction is in April and Malmut Matters https://www.facebook.com/MalamuteMatters  on 24th March. We’ll be highlighting these events nearer the time.

We have also provided a bed to Love Underdogs Romania https://www.facebook.com/RomanianUnderdogs who are sending it to Romania for use in kennels there. The bed was a sample we made two years ago. It is a size we did not take forward for sale as it is a bit big at 100 x 150cm and has memory foam only on one side. The fabric also has a slight fault which is why we didn’t sell it, but it still has all the key functions of waterproofness, antibacterial, urine resistant and washable. Ideal where there is a high through put of dogs. And of course, it will provide great, long lasting support.

And finally – why not check out how we like to help raise money for rescues ad dog clubs with three different schemes on offer. Have a look at the website as I know you’ve had enough ploughing through this lot :)   Sign up to raise money with our beds  http://www.bigdogbedcompany.co.uk/raise-funds-for-clubs-or-rescues-with-bdbco.shtml

Voting results

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Thank you everyone for taking the time to vote. The results are set out below. There seems to have been some anomalies with the Survey Monkey system which is very disappointing as it ended up costing a lot to use and it was meant to make the voting clear, quick and without errors. We are taking this up with Survey Monkey. Hopefully however, the results are largely accurate.

We will be offering beds again in the Spring, once we have found a bullet proof way of doing it and have recovered from this offer! Sign up for our newsletter  using the form on the right hand side of the page to make sure you are alerted to this and other future opportunities.

Joeys Legacy Boxer   Rescue, Liverpool 1,008
Hungarian Vizsla Society Rescue 622
Elpida Shelter of Hope, Greece 589
Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming Trust 522
Greyhound Rescue, West of England 522
Safe and Sound Pound Dogs 387
Beagle Welfare 271
New Goldra Animal Sanctuary, Portugal 262
UK German Shepherd Rescue 243
Little Angels Staffie Rescue 229
Hilbrae Kennels, Shropshire 182
Angels Animal Rescue 177
Huskies in Need 166
Protecting Preloved Border Collies 166
Waterfall Kennels Maxi Mates 137
Dog Action Welfare Group (DAWG), Cork 103
Dogue de Bordeaux Welfare 95
Total 5,681

How we selected those to go forward to the voting stage

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As we’ve said, the response to this offer has been completely overwhelming and we have had to devise the system for deciding who should go forward  to the voting stage based on the what we feel is representative of the nominations received. The following qualifications have been used. Some Rescues qualify in more than one category:

  • Any Rescues with 40 or more nominations.
  • Breeds that have  had a significant number of nomination spread across different individual Rescues eg no individual Greyhound Rescue achieved the 40+ threshold, but the breed as a whole received 108 nominations. By the same assessment, Dogue de Bordeaux, Collies, Bull Terriers, Huskies and other sled dogs, and Boxers qualify. For each of these breeds, the Rescue that achieved the highest number of nominations has been put forward to the voting stage.
  • Individual Breed Rescues that achieved significant number of nominations, namely Beagles, Hungarian Vizslas, German Shepherds and Bulldogs.

The data that has been used for this assessment can be downloaded as a PDF here Results of Rescue Bed Offer Nominations

We are sure that it could be argued that we could have done it a different way, but to be honest we still have a rather large number of rescues going forward to the voting stage and we should probably have applied stricter criteria. Many will be disappointed, we know, but we think we have been fair and hopefully you will think we have been too. We cannot offer any right of appeal, sorry :(

We will make another offer of beds to Rescues in the Spring, though we will need to think of a way to make it an easier and faster process than this time. Sign up to our blog newsfeed to receive notification of this and other future offers. you’ll find it on the right had side of this page.

The Rescues that are being invited to go through to the voting stage are listed below. Once we have the agreement of 80% of those listed of have not had a response after two days, we will open voting on our Facebook page. We expect voting to commence at the weekend and it will be open for three days.

  • Angels Animal Rescue
  • Beagle Welfare
  • Joeys Legacy Boxer Rescue, Liverpool
  • Bulldog Rescue and Rehoming Trust
  • Dog Action Welfare Group (DAWG), Cork
  • Dogue de Bordeaux Welfare
  • Elpida Shelter of Hope, Greece
  • German Shepherd Rescue UK
  • Greyhound Rescue, West of England
  • Hilbrae Kennels, Shropshire
  • Hungarian Vizsla Society Rescue
  • Huskies in Need
  • Little Angels Staffie Rescue
  • New Goldra Animal Sanctuary, Portugal
  • Protecting preloved Border Collies
  • Safe and Sound Pound Dogs
  • Waterfall Kennels Maxi Mates


Dog Rescue Bed Offer – reviewing the nominations

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We thought we’d update you on what is going on. At the current time we are contacting the Rescues that have been selected to go forward to the voting stage, to check that they want to take part. Once we have received responses from 80% of those contacted, we will open voting on our Facebook page. We will allow 2 days to receive replies from the nominated Rescues as we don’t want to drag this out any longer. Everyone who had nominated  a Rescue has already been very patient.

Because the response to this has been overwhelming, there have been several consequences:

It has taken a very long time to go through the huge number of nominations (as you will have noticed) and in fact we have had to give up counting all of them. We have already spent 3 full days doing this and we can’t really afford any more time. We are, after all, trying to run a business. Instead, we were going to counted a random selection resulting in 3000 of the total of 6230 nominations being directly taken into account. However, we can no longer access all the comments on Facebook that contain nominations, so we have only been able to take 2373 nominations into account.

For those of you that are into statistics: 374 individual rescues have been recorded. We know there were more. Nominations have been received from 14 different countries, in addition to the UK. Most Rescues deal with all dogs and  the breed specific rescues will take in different breeds and crosses if they think they can rehome them. 37 different breeds or breed groups have been nominated. 255 Rescues who take all types of dog have been nominated. Greyhound  Rescues topped the bill at 23 different Rescues that have been nominated, but Beagle owners obviously work as a pack since the highest number of nominations for a single Rescue was for Beagle Welfare at 138.

We have prepared a summary of the nominations received for those interested in statistics which can be read here Results of Rescue Bed Offer Nominations as a PDF.

By the way, we will have made mistakes because of the quantity of nominations that we have been trying to handle and because some people did not make it easy to understand which Rescue they were taking about. Just getting three letters or an incomplete or not quite accurate name did make it difficult to know who they were trying to nominate and that is partly why it has taken so long to get to this stage. Not that we are complaining…..,but please don’t  be surprised if we haven’t get everything quite right :)

When we started this we did not anticipate the level of response we have had, so we needed to adjust the ‘rules’ of the offer to reflect what has happened. We

This has been quite a harrowing experience. In order to check that we were correctly recording  the names and provenance of the nominated Rescues, we looked at a lot of rescue website and Facebook pages. Inevitably, you get sucked in when you see the stories of individual dogs and tears have been shed several times. It is appalling what we humans do to animals, either actively or through neglect. We are sure that we have more than 400 Rescues that have been nominated, but this is definitely the tip of the iceberg. So many people doing great things for needy animals and so many animals needing  to find forever homes. It makes you wonder why there is so much need.


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NOMINATE A RESCUE to win £500 worth of kennel dog beds

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We are offering to make three large dog beds for a Dog Rescue Charity to be nominated by our Facebook followers or those subscribing to this blog.

We are creating a new range of beds specifically for kennels and dog rooms which are waterproof and antibacterial urine and stain resistant, with foam and memory foam cores. The fabric differs from our other beds in that it is a tough PU fabric rather than upholstery fabric. Think a mid-weight marquee canvas. There is no need for kennel beds to look as fabulous as our other beds, but they do need to offer the same practical benefits of easy care, low odour and superb comfort for their occupants.

We will make the beds to fit spaces requested by the winning Rescue charity.  A maximum of three beds is on offer with a total  retail value of £500.

There are two stages to the competition:

Stage One:
First nominate a Rescue on our Facebook page.  Don’t forget to Like and Share to spread the word in order to make the offer available to as wide a number of Rescues as possible. https://www.facebook.com/BigDogBedCompany  We will contact the Rescue to let them know they have been nominated and check they want to take part. Stage One will last until Thursday 23th October so get nominating quickly. We will only progress to Stage Two if we have a minimum of 10 nominated Rescues that have opted to participate in the competition.

Stage Two:
Once we have at least 10 Rescues nominated, we will provide information on each and then open the voting so that you can choose which you think should receive the beds. Voting will be open  for one week once it commences.

Competition conditions

Of course, we are doing this to gain some publicity as well as to offer our beds to a worthy cause, so we need to achieve a minimum level of coverage in order to award the prize. The minimum  thresholds we would like to achieve are:

10 Rescues to participate in the competition.
50 new likes on our Facebook page before we will go forward to voting in Stage Two.
The winning Rescue must achieve a minimum of 30 votes to win the beds.
Photographs of the awarded beds in situ must be provided for our use in publicity.
The winning Rescue must be willing to participate in a press release  produced by the Big Dog Bed Company to their local papers,  radio and TV as relevant. The content of the press release will be agreed by both parties.

Show Season Over

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Well, we finished with shows for this year. Our local show at Henley-on-Thames went very well despite the dismal start to the day – soggy and grey.

We’ve decided to focus on smaller shows next year as it is easier to be seen by visitors. Our sales at the small shows were just as good as the large ones which are really expensive to attend. Maybe it is because only so many people can walk past your stand in a day. Or because we can only talk to a certain number in a day. We’ve met some lovely folk – both our neighbouring stand holders and prospective customers. We have also met a lot of delightful dogs and chatted about the foibles and idiosyncrasies of many others.

We have also had some lovely feedback from people who have bought beds. Why not have a look at our website to see what they have said. http://www.bigdogbedcompany.co.uk/your-opinion.shtml

Henley 2013 (3)

The Cotswold Show, Cirencester 6-7 July

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This weekend we are off to Cirencester for the Cotswold Show

We are located next to the Apsley Arena which will host sheep racing, dressage displays, gundog training, working horses, and a rare breed parade, amongst other things. We will be offering 15% off all our beds and 25% off spare covers if ordered at the same time as a bed during the show. We will also have good offers on fish skin treats.  If you are going to the show, look out for our stand .

windsor show stand

Off to Windsor Championship Dog Show

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Well, here we are all packed up to go to Windsor. We have a bigger van than when we went to Crufts because we have to take a marquee and all the trimmings, but we have still pretty much managed to fill it. Come and see us for some great show bargains



Winsdor Championship Dog Show

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Why not go along to Windsor Championship Dog Show this weekend at the Home Park. The show starts on Thursday and continues through to Sunday afternoon. Entry is free. Gundogs are on Thursday, Hounds and Toy breed groups on Friday, Terriers and Utility on Saturday and Working and Pastoral Groups on Sunday. We have a stand and you will be able to get a great show discount of 15% on all bed styles and sizes. We are also selling microfibre dog towels and have a good range of fish jerky treats. Hope you see you there

Opening words – how we got here….

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Well, here we go into the mad world of blogging. I’m not sure I have enough to say, or at least enough that is worth saying, but we’ll see.

It is amazing where things take you. This whole dog bed business (or is it madness?) and hence this blog is because we couldn’t get a decent dog bed for Ludvic. A decent bed being one that the contents didn’t wander about, ending up in a doughnut round the edge of the bed with the dog lying on nothing more than the cover fabric in the middle. So many dog beds are just not fit for purpose.

The second criteria for a decent bed was size – how come there were no big beds around? Anything larger than a Labrador and tough – no bed suitable for you. Then we went to Crufts and at the recommendation of a friend with deerhounds, found Wilma Beds. They weren’t cheap, but the quality was obvious and at the time their extra large was quite the biggest bed on the market.

Ludvic loved his Wilma Bed and it was absolutely great –  well filled, channelled to stop that filling moving about, and huge.

 Ludvic enjoying his Wilma bed

However, being a  shaggy mutt, or more politely, a mid to long haired  German Shepherd, if he got wet, he was wet for hours even after having been thoroughly dried with a towel.  There is only so long you can insist your furry friend lies on a piece of vet bed while he dries and the pained look on his face often led to him being allowed onto his proper bed far too soon. The result was the bed got soaked, so bed and dog took even longer to dry. Net result, smelly bed and smelly dog.

If we  were having problems finding decent beds then others must also be having similar difficulties, so what did we do? Started making them ourselves! Obvious isn’t it? Not!

It took a while to get good materials and manufacturing  in place, and get the beds and cover fabrics thoroughly tested, so it hasn’t been a fast process. But that is how we got here. All we need to do now is spread the word and get decent dog beds to be the norm, rather than the exception. You need a good nights sleep to function properly, so doesn’t your pooch deserve to have a decent bed too?

Ok, so that is how we got here. Have you found yourself doing something out of the ordinary for rather bizarre reasons? if so, why not tell us about it?