Small & Mighty

We are so pleased to welcome another agility pack member on board – although this time we think we may have hit the record for the smallest agility member we will likely ever get!

Little Skye, and her mum Naomi had a massive 2016 and the 2017 will likely be even bigger. Here is a little bit about the little pooch in the words of her mum:

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“I adopted Skye from a breeder at 4 months old – my first ever dog. We did the usual 6 weeks of puppy training which was very frustrating and took 6 weeks to teach her “down” so I tried a have a go agility session which she took to like a duck to water and the rest is history! We started foundation training from 6 months of age and full training from 12 months. Our first competitions were from 16 months (independent shows and uk agility) and 20 months kennel club shows – which was May 2016.

Skye is one of the smallest dogs competing on the uk circuit at agility at just 20cm high and 2.5kg weight. Her agility name is “The Star in the Skye” and her nickname is the flying hamster.

image1 (5)To this day she has never come home from a show without a rosette, some placed and some just a clear round. She always has a good attitude to work and just loves agility. I am very lucky to have such a special dog who is always so ready to please. Against all odds (and much larger dogs!) she has recently won into grade 4 at kennel club at the kennel club international festival and has very nearly achieved her silver agility warrant, having only achieved bronze in June. I have to remember she is only just 3 years old and I have high hopes for our future agility career.”

Sam and her pack join the Akela team

As our sponsored pack continues to grow, Sam Bowman tells us a little about herself and her dogs:

Ollie_1“I am 32 years old and work in the Software Industry. I have a 4 year old daughter, and 9 dogs (plus cats, a parrot and some small pets!) I started in agility approx. 4 years ago. I am now also a KC judge for agility, and a measurer. I currently run 2 dogs, Patch, my 4 year of rescue JRT, and Ollie my 2 year old rescue. I have Oscar who will start competing later in the year and 14 week old cocker spaniel Brook who will start her foundation training shortly.
Patch
I first found out about Akela last year when Patch qualified for the Dog Agility Rescue League (DARL) finals at Grade 1/2. He went on to win the final and I was lucky enough to win a bag, from that time on I have fed it to my dogs and they all do extremely well on it, what is especially nice is my very small dogs can have the Small Paws and they do not choke which they have done previously where the kibble is too large. Patch also qualified and placed 10th at the UKA Grand Finals last year. This year we are aiming to now get his final wins to Grade 6.

Ollie is very very talented, but very hard work, he is a wild child and has had a couple of jumping wins and last week won an agility at Derbyshire Premier Show, he is very fast and is having to learn to work his brain as fast as his legs. Next year we will be focusing on Crufts qualifying classes.

Oscar

Oscar is still a pup and will be able to compete in agility at 18 months at KC shows. He was bred to be a ratter but his breeder was unable to keep him.
Brook

Finally we have Brook, a 14 week old Cocker. She loves her Fish Feast! She will be starting foundation agility very soon but before then will be doing some filming for a TV commercial, what a star!”

Darci, Bingli & Abbi Join the Pack

Our sponsored pack is expanding again – when we heard this lovely story we could not help but share it with you. Here is Abbi’s story:

“After switching my dog Darci over to Akela a year ago, I wanted to share her success story.

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Darci is a two year old cockapoo who after a precarious start with us at 8 weeks has come through and thrived. She has always been a fussy eater and had a delicate tummy after a nasty bout of colitis when she first came home. I was changing her food every couple of months after she would go off it and always seemed lacking in energy. After speaking with one of your representatives at Dogs Unleashed last year, I switched her to Akela and have not looked back. She eats it with gusto every meal and it has greatly improved her muscle tone and fitness.

Image-5She currently competes in canicross and agility and is a great advocate for the life a poodle cross should lead.


She recently “won the Kennel Club Starters Cup Semi Final at the International Agility Festival and will be going to Discover Dogs in October to compete in the final! She only starting competing at Easter and has reached grade 3 now as well as almost having gained enough points for her Agility Warrant Bronze.
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Last winter she appeared in magazine, Dogs Today for her canicross exploits and was supporting the needs of poodle cross breeds for a high activity lifestyle.

Image-9Last summer we completed the Coast2Coast trail from St Bees to Robin Hoods Bay, camping the whole way and completed the 192 miles in 13 days. We also raised over £1200 for charity during the hike.
I have recently adopted a rescue cockapoo called Bingli who was given up for resource guarding. I have been doing lots of work with him and have found that after switching him to Akela, that his possessive tendancies have subsided and he is a lot more focussed when training. He had his first canicross training session last week and I am looking forward to racing with him in the future. I have also begun foundation agility with him and have high hopes for him here also.
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Your food has worked wonders for my mini pack and I want to thank you for that.”
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New Sponsored Pack Member – Selena Bray

Selena Bray has achieved continual successes with multiple dogs, of different breeds and sizes spanning over a few decades.

Selena started using Akela for their five strong team of competitive dogs and two retirees about a year ago after struggling to find a suitable food for all her dogs.

Selena1There’s a mixture of different breeds in the Bray household, including two Border Collies, an Australian Kelpie, two miniature poodles and two working cocker spaniels, and all but one (who is currently a few months old) are highly regarded in the sport of agility

They compete at the top level in the sport, qualifying and winning a vast amount of finals over the years, including those at Crufts and Olympia, also holding ‘Agility Champion’ status too.

The health and wellbeing of dogs is very important to Selena, training and asking her dogs to perform at their best takes a lot of energy and diet is paramount to any active pet.

Selena said ”since trying Akela we’ve never looked back!”

We look forward to hearing more about Selena’s success during 2017.

Pledge for Pippa – Stop Alabama Rot

Jessica Worthington recently got in touch with this pledge, which we felt we should share with our pack. Grab a coffee and take a minute to learn a little more about Alabama Rot.

What is CRGV?
Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV or ‘Alabama rot’) is a serious disease which has only recently been recognised in dogs in the UK. It causes lesions on the skin and occasionally in the mouth, which can look like bites, sores, wounds or stings. Some dogs go on to develop life-threatening kidney failure. Any age, sex, or breed of dog can be affected. The disease has been under investigation by Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists (working closely with a number of other organisations) for as long as the disease has been in the UK. Many possible causes, such as common bacterial infections and exposure to toxins, have been ruled out.

CRGV is a disease caused by damage to blood vessels of the skin and kidney. It causes tiny blood clots to form in the blood vessels which blocks them and can ultimately lead to damage of the affected tissue. In the skin, this causes ulceration; however, in the kidney it can lead to severe organ dysfunction (kidney failure). CRGV has not been seen in animals other than dogs. Owners of dogs affected by CRGV have not been affected by this illness in these cases.

CRGV- The facts
CRGV has been known since the late 1980’s in the USA. Since 2012 there have been 94 confirmed cases across the UK including in the New Forest area where the disease first became apparent. Unfortunately the disease cannot be confirmed unless a fatality occurs. The definitive diagnosis of CRGV is made by histopathological assessment of the kidneys at post mortem.

The cause at this time remains unknown but investigations are ongoing, an environmental cause for this disease is considered possible but it has not been proven with testing to date. Recent work by the senior curator of herbology, from the Natural History Museum, suggests that plants are an unlikely trigger for CRGV. Since 2012, more CRGV cases have been seen between November and May than between June and October, suggesting a possible Winter / Spring seasonality.

Treatment Options
CRGV is treated symptomatically. Skin lesions are usually managed with antibiotics to stop secondary infection and daily blood testing is indicated to check kidney function. Patients usually undergo intravenous fluid therapy to help support the kidneys during their hospital stay. Urine output is monitored and urine is tested to check protein levels. If evidence of kidney injury becomes apparent then there are various treatment options, many of which are very invasive and high risk. Treatments include
• Plasma Exchange- A process in which the patient’s blood is removed from the body, separated and plasma removed and replaced for donor plasma.
• Plasma transfusions- In which donor plasma is infused into the circulatory system.
• Dialysis- Which uses an artificial device to clean the blood of waste products.
Unfortunately despite numerous treatment options prognosis is still very grave. If a patient with CRGV develops kidney injury there is a ninety percent fatality rate.

Pippa’s story
I lost my beautiful dog Pippa to this cruel disease on the 15th December 2015 after an innocent, fun walk in the woods with my other dog Molly. They both developed skin lesions but 4 days later Pippa started to show signs of kidney damage.

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists referred her to the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (RVC) for Plasma Exchange, plasma transfusion and Dialysis treatment. Despite intensive and aggressive treatment, the disease had taken over and she could not be saved. My dogs are my absolute world and this disease has left me truly, truly heartbroken. I am without my baby girl and Molly is without her sister.

Fundraising
A few weeks at home living without Pippa urged me to start fundraising to help develop research into this relatively unknown disease. I do not want any other dog owners to feel the heartache that I am living with.

All money raised will be donated to The Alabama Rot Research Fund. Research into new diseases requires a lot of funding. This pays for the development of new diagnostic tests, investigation of the causes of the disease and ultimately the development of more effective treatments which could help numerous dogs in the future.

Pippa’s charity facebook page is ‘Pledge for Pippa. Stop Alabama Rot’
For information regarding the charity and disease www.arrf.co.uk is that best place to go.

Clash of the K9s -An Intro to this Worldwide Sporting Dog Event

Recently some of our sponsored pack members entered “Clash of the K9s”, a fantastic event where borders and breed are no boundary. Keeley, one of the Sporting Dogs England team tells us about the event:

“Clash of the K9s is a large organised event spread across several countries where any breed can compete, there are 5 disciplines the dogs have to complete.

Track mill; track mill is a very basic discipline, it’s a continuous string held high from the ground attached to 2 wheels on poles and a bag tied to the string, the handler uses a peddle or remote to move the bag around in the air so the dog runs back and forth, the distance of each run is 100 ft or about 30 mtrs, they do this for 7 mins and each run counted, your score is how many runs the dog gets in 7 mins.

A-Frame
A-Frame
A-Frame and long jump are disciplines that more people are familiar with as they are common at agility events although the way we score a-Frame is how many overs in 60 seconds and the dog has to complete 3 rounds. The dogs score is all 3 A-Frames together. Long jump is how far the dog jumps in 7 mins divided by the dogs body height and then X 10,

High Jump Canine Athletics
High Jump
Then we have high jump where the dogs have to jump up and grab a toy, they get 7 mins to get the best height they can, the distance jumped is then divided by the dogs body height and then X by 10.

Lastly we do tug of war where dogs are paired with dogs of similar ability and weight, each dog gets a toy and they hold on for a max of 20 mins, points are scored for how long (up to a max of 20 mins) a dog will hold on for.

The competition isn’t generally for your average pet dog; all the dogs that compete are trained to a high standard of fitness and ability.
Sporting dogs England who are sponsored by Akela took part in the event and placed well worldwide against 168.
We are hoping this competition gets bigger every year, all breed events are rare and it is even rarer to have a competition in several countries on the same weekend with live results.”

For more info on the competition visit: http://www.clashofthek9.com

Yet More Akela Fuelled Agility Stars Join Our Sponsored Pack

After feeding Akela and seeing the benefits for her agility dogs, Blyth approached us for sponsorship for her and her dogs. With such a great record at just 19 it was hard to say no. We will let Blyth introduce herself…

“My name is Blyth Fox, I am currently 19 years old and studying at Solihull College. Studying Animal Welfare and Behaviour foundation degree through Oxford Brookes.

Akela Sponsored Member Blyth Fox
Akela Sponsored Member Blyth Fox

Akela Sponsored Member Blyth FoxI currently own two dogs. My first dog is Rosie a five-year-old Jack Russell Terrier. Rosie is my first agility dog. We started training when she was 15 months and after a year we competed at our first show. In one season, we went from grade 1 to grade 7! We have now been competing for three years. Within these three years we have made the YKC agility at Crufts three years running and in 2017 we gained second place in the senior jumping. Last season we came third in the Adams show off jumping cup final. We have also attended the UKA finals for two years.

Akela Sponsored Member Blyth FoxMy second dog is Roo who is a 20-month-old Working Cocker Spaniel. He had his first show in January and won up to grade four. He is still very young and has a lot still to come! “

We look forward to seeing Blyth’s future developments and wish her all the best for 2017.

New Sponsored Pack Member – Gilli Sayer

We are pleased to announce our latest sponsored pack member – Gilli

“I’ve had dogs for 28 years and got involved in agility, like many others as a result of having horses and running the dogs over the horses show-jumping courses. At first I only had the two dogs, a collie cross and a lurcher but soon progressed into more competitive agility and got my first full collie, Jago who was the love of my life and my soulmate. Jago adored agility and won me out of Starters in 2002 but sadly had to retire from competitive agility at 8 due to arthritis caused by hip dysplasia.

Ludo, one of my current oldies became my first grade 7 dog in 2010 and nursed me through my first few champ classes. Ludo is now largely retired but with the aid of good nutrition still enjoys his agility in Veteran classes and his beach and park runs with the other dogs.

Tico at Crufts
Tico at Crufts – photo with kind permission from Yulia Titovets
About the same time, Tico arrived from Morgans Rescue in Cumbria and showed that she had already read the agility book from cover to cover and was way ahead of me. She reached Grade 7 within her first 6 months of competition and very soon proceeded to qualify me for Olympia and Crufts amongst other finals, including winning the Darleague. She took the electric atmosphere of Olympia and Crufts in her stride, quite obviously playing to her public and won the British Open at her first Crufts outing, beating the times of both the large and small dogs with such experienced handlers as Greg Derrett. She took second place to Natasha Wise and the amazing Dizzy at her first Olympia outing and thoroughly enjoyed her time on the KC stand, meeting and greeting the public. From thereon in we have had further Crufts and Olympia visits, each time coming away with at least a top three rosette. She really is a dog in a million.

My household currently consists of ten dogs with another 2 regular visitors. Of those, 3 currently do competitive agility with another 2 who love to run but are retired competitively due to age so just do veteran classes so that they don’t feel left out. The other 5 are what I call sofa surfers who have run at some point in their lives but for various reasons I don’t feel it is in their best interests to compete anymore. However each and every one of them deserve the best in nutrition to enable them to keep an active and healthy life.
My oldest Bob, who apparently has been 14 for the past few years, lost a hind leg at 18 months due to a road accident. Due to the inevitable arthritis onset caused by the wear and tear on his remaining legs I didn’t expect him to even still be with me by the age of ten but he still insists on his daily walk with the youngsters, duly taking on his puppy sitting duties with a big beaming grin when Sprout, Jana’s beardie x border collie puppy comes round to play. I believe that giving him the best nutrition possible has contributed greatly to his longevity and hope that it will continue to allow him to have a good quality of life for many more years to come. I also hope that my other dogs will have a similarly good quality of life and longevity due to good nutrition and with that in mind, my dogs are all fed on Akela.”

Morgans rescue are part of the Akela Rescues Club.

Gilli's Pack
Gilli’s Pack

Akela “Highly Commended” by Your Dog Magazine readers

It can be hard swimming against the flow, which is how it has sometimes felt here at Akela. We believe in our food, independent nutritionists believe in our food and dog owners are joining our pack by the hour. With money going into ingredients rather than an expensive marketing allowance it can be hard to get noticed.

So when our pack members rallied together and voted for us in the Your Dog Magazine Award we were absolutely over the moon. We really feel this is a sign of things to come; an award that has always been dominated by a grain-based diet finally recognising the benefits of grain-free and high meat diets.

At time of writing we are still the number 1 dog food on eDogAdvisor (based on customer reviews) and we have the 5/5 from AllAboutDogFood (based on nutritional content of the food). We have also just come back from a fantastic Crufts following the launch of more products in our range – what will the rest of 2017 hold – we cannot wait to find out!

Akela Dog Food Award

Alncroft Parson Russell Terriers & Miniature Wire-haired Dachshunds

Kate Smith, our latest sponsored member from the show world, tells us a little bit about her dogs and hopes for 2017.

Alncroft Parson Russell Terriers
“Alncroft Parson Russell Terriers are owned by myself, Kate Smith, my husband Matt and my mum Michaela Moon but also very much enjoyed by our three daughter’s Jessica, Amelie & Ava!

I started handling, showing and training dogs in the late 80’s with various breeds but started focussing on Parson Russell Terriers in the mid nineties. Our Parson Russell Terriers descend from the Alne PRT’s which achieved notable fame including successes such as crowning the first ever PRT champion in the country. We only breed very occasionally and only when we would like a new puppy to bring into the show ring, despite this, we have achieved the honour of being awarded the Our Dogs Top Breeder award (in the UK) on a number of occasions including 2015 and 2013.

Our main interest is showing but our two eldest girls are very keen on agility, obedience and flyball too, both of them training weekly at our local club. They also compete successfully in junior handling competitions with our PRT’s and Dachshunds.

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We have found Akela particularly beneficial and well suited to our dogs. One of them is intolerant of certain grains in food and they have thrived on the Suffolk Duck 80/20. One of our PRT’s fed on Akela since the beginning of 2016 is Ch Alncroft I Spy, Top PRT 2013 & 2015 and Top PRT bitch 2014 & 2016. She holds the record number of CC’s won by any PRT and broke the record in Autumn 2016 handled by our eldest, Jessica!

We rear all our puppies from the age of 6 weeks on Akela and find they thrive on it and absolutely love it! We look forward to 2017, seeing our our new puppies, reared on Akela, make their debut in the UK showring.”

Alncroft Parson Russell Terriers

If you feed Akela and have any achievements to tell us about then we would love to hear from you. Who knows, you could be the next sponsored Akela pack member!