Bill Bowman and Dogs Trust Rescue Dog

MSP: Bill Bowman 

Region/ Constituency: North East of Scotland           

Why have you chosen to enter with a Dogs Trust rescue dog?

I don’t own a dog of my own and am a firm supporter of all the work the Dogs Trust does.  I have always enjoyed a dog’s company, and I want to give something back by spending time with rescue dogs without a home. I also entered with a Dogs Trust dog last year which I really enjoyed and even managed to come second!

What are your favourite characteristics in a dog?

My favourite characteristic that I see in dogs is their ability to make people happy. Dogs are fun, friendly, upbeat creatures, and their attitude often seems to radiate around the room and extend positively to anyone in it. There are a lot of positive qualities that dogs exhibit that people could really learn and benefit from.

 Why are dogs the best companion animals?

They are extremely loyal to their owners and are very affectionate creatures.

What dog welfare issues do you think need tackling?

The illegal puppy trade is a big issue still while there is still a lot of work to be done on animal cruelty in general. In addition, the 2006 Animal Health and Welfare Act has seen some positive steps taken to raise awareness and find solutions to curb disease and maltreatment of animals. There also is a serious lack of trained veterinarians in Scotland’s rural areas, and with a lack of qualified vets comes an increase in animal disease and an increases in stray dogs neglected by owners. We should incentivise veterinary education and practices in Scotland’s rural areas and find a way for farmers, vets, and potentially experts such as those who work at the Dog Trust to come together and work on implementing solutions.

What role does training and socialisation play in a dog’s life?

It can show that education is to the advantage of everyone. Interaction with others is important and character building. It is good to start training dogs from a young age so that they are comfortable with new experiences and encountering new things, animals and people. This is important because the most common cause of unprovoked dog aggression is lack of proper socialisation.

Of course, the dog can still learn when it is older, but it is harder, mostly due to the need to help the pup unlearn unproductive and inappropriate responses. Prevention is far better than rehabilitation, so if you can work within a puppy's critical learning window, you and the pup have an immense advantage.

Why should you and your Dogs Trust rescue dog be crowned Holyrood Dog of the Year 2018?

It would raise awareness of the Dogs trust and the good work they do. It shows that those from a disadvantaged background can still succeed through their efforts on the day.

 

Click here to vote for Bill Bowman and Dogs Trust Rescue Dog

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