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Pawfect Weekend at The North East Dog Festival

The North East Dog Festival, sponsored by Vets On The Meowve, welcomed thousands of visitors and their dogs last weekend at Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Campus in Ponteland for its annual weekend festival.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes, ages and breeds enjoyed have-a-go activities in everything from agility to barrel racing, scentventure to canicross. As expected the giant dock diving pool proved a huge success with dogs flying through the air to splash into the giant 100,000 litre pool.

The weather was kind across the weekend and thousands turned out to shop, play and have fun, with plenty winning some of the many rosettes on offer. The trainers and clubs running the have-a-go activities worked non stop with some seeing over 200 dogs per day go through their individual areas. Canny Canines had over 400 dogs take part in their fastest recall, temptation alley and agility. Our Gundog area, sponsored by the Dog First Aid Co. was a firm favourite for our visitors.

Kerstin of High Five Dog Training commented “Visitors in our have a go Hoopers ring ranged from children as young as 5 to people in their seventies or older; we had deaf dogs, one-eyed dogs and tripod dogs, showing that Hoopers really is accessible to all”

The event provided space for three charity dog shows, sponsored by Spotty Dog Design. Roo’s Journey, Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter and GSP Rescue Services hosted classes in everything from most handsome dog to best fancy dress; with some classes seeing entries of more than 40 dogs. The three shows, across the two days, raised £1000s.

Rachael Kendall, General Manager at Newcastle Dog & Cat Shelter commented “We were busy which was fantastic not only for raising funds but also making the general public aware of the Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter and what we do; we were also able to promote our newly launched lottery. We had around 400 entries over the two days with the highest number in any one class being 49 which was the loveliest lady. Some of the dogs that we have rehomed in the past came to visit us with their families which was amazing”.

The display ring, sponsored by the Dog Log, welcomed Elaine Hill with a fabulously entertaining duck herding display, and returning for a second year, the brilliant Walworth Castle Birds of Prey and the very popular Kipperridge Gundogs, as well as plenty of regular crowd favourites. In the demonstration ring were new additions, Elliot Connor and Kathy Murphy with a detection dog demonstration as well as crowd favourites agility, hoopers and trick training to mention just a few.

The wellness marquee introduced new speakers and was packed across both days with visitors able to listen to topics on everything from dogs being blood donors to how best to build confidence in reactive dogs, plus chiropractic and massage therapy for dogs.

New for 2022 included the breed hang out area, an area set aside for similar breeds of dog to get together under fabulous woodmans awnings. Some of the biggest groups included Spaniels and Beagles.

Festival Directors Dawn and Rebecca commented “We knew it would be hard to top last year, but our team managed it. There were more traders, more have a go activities, more dog show classes, more displays, pretty much more of everything. Visitor numbers were up and the support and feedback has been brilliant. Walking around and seeing everyone having a go at something with their dogs, and seeing those dogs happy and learning is why we do it. It was fantastic to see visitors leaving with rosettes, prizes and bags and bags of shopping. This event is a real team effort and we are extremely grateful to those who have supported us this year. These events couldn’t run without the support of traders, activity providers and sponsors and of course the visitors through the gate. To think it was just two girls, with families and friends in support, that got this festival off the ground; to look back over 5 years and see what it has become, makes us extremely proud. The planning for 2023 starts next week after a brief few days rest”.


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