Alex Norris, Boomer and Corona

Owner’s Name: Alex Norris        

Constituency: Nottingham North           

Dog’s Name: Boomer and Corona

Breed: Border Collies

Sex:  Male

Age: 6 and 8

Colour: Red and White, Black and White

 

What are your favourite characteristics in your dog?

Their unconditional love, their great enthusiasm for life and that when you get home from a hard day they couldn’t care less and just want you to throw them a ball!

What makes your dog such a great animal?

Boomer – a relentless optimist, everyone’s best mate and always cheerful.

Corona – more of a worrier (generally about what his brother is up to), he is very clever and always one step ahead of his humans.

What dog welfare issues do you think need tackling? 

Strengthening the law to ensure prosecutions for animal neglect and cruelty, with stronger penalties for those who are found guilty.

Better regulation surrounding puppy breeding, including around dog smuggling.

Ensuring that post-Brexit the regulation around animal welfare keeps pace with elsewhere in Europe.

What role should training and socialisation play in a dog’s life and what is your top training tip?

Socialisation from a young age is essential for a well-rounded and adjusted dog. Our older dog, Corona, we had from a puppy allowing us to expose him to lots of sights, sounds, situations and other dogs regularly, which has meant he is used to all kinds of situations. Our younger dog, Boomer, came to us at two years old, and we know a lot less of his experiences, only that he was very reactive around other dogs. This still leads to periodic difficulties for us when out on walks.

Both of our dogs are flyball dogs, meaning we compete and train with lots of other dogs and handlers, and this has helped Boomer immensely. Participating in an organised dog sport improves the bond between dog and handler, as well as providing good physical exercise and mental stimulation for them. Boomer is never going to be perfect, and there will always be something unexpected which pops up and pushes us back a step. However, we persist! The dog sport community is a very supportive one, and every time Boomer throws up a challenge we keep working to help him overcome it. That community support and support of friends is vital for us and would be the top tip.

Why should your dog be crowned Westminster Dog of the Year 2017?

Boomer deserves it because he is a good boy at heart and the best possible demonstration of the importance of socialisation.

Corona deserves it for putting up with his brother at every turn!

 

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