In September 2021, dog-friendly holiday cottage company, Canine Cottages, announced the start of a four-week recruitment drive to find special doggos from across the UK to join their team as ‘Canine Critics’.
As part of their prize, these four-legged brand ambassadors would be responsible for testing out and reviewing the facilities in some of Canine Cottages’ holiday properties.
The company was overwhelmed by the response, with more than 50,000 applications submitted from dogs up and down the country; each one hoping to bag one of the coveted positions and enjoy a £1,000 holiday voucher, and a selection of doggy goodies to celebrate.
Application criteria included sharing a brief ‘pup personality’ description as well as a recent photo. The company were looking for dogs with character and an obvious love of fun and adventure, along with a willing human who would be able to capture their experiences for the Canine Cottages website across 10 categories.
After an almost impossible selection process, the successful pups have now been revealed:
The 10 categories for 2020 and their winners are:
The Pack (multiple dogs) – Bailey, Ember and Bandit @the_country_pups from the South West
The Superstars (influencer dogs) – Ted @annalieandted from the Midlands
The Rarity (unusual dog) – Spyro @spyro_lupinodelgigante from Scotland
The Mini Mutt (small dog) – Queenie @queenie_the_welsh_corgi from Wales
The Rescue – Abby @abbythepodenco from Scotland
The Bear (big dog) – Rocco @roccothewolfdog from the South East
The Siblings (family dogs) – Hugo & Hershey @hugoandhershey from the North West
The Helper (therapy dog) – Koda @koda_thebearpup from the East of England
The Hero (assistance dog) – Sam, Wisp and Gus, mountain rescue search dogs from the North East
Critics Choice (chosen by last year’s winners) – Rufus @point_of_ru from London
Canine Cottages’ PR & Communications Manager, Shannon Keary, said: “We had no idea quite how many dogs are looking for employment and would have loved to have hired every dog who applied! The selection process was unbelievably tough, and the calibre of applicants was outstanding. After hours of tough judging with the help of Battersea’s Ali Taylor and our 2020 Canine Critics winners, the team are over the moon with the new recruits who will be representing our brand over the next year.”
Ali Taylor, Battersea’s Head of Canine Behaviour and star of ITV’s Paul O’Grady’s For the Love of Dogs commented: ”Picking the winner of the rescue category was a very hard decision and I changed my mind more than once, they were all such worthy contenders. My final choice though was Abby the Andalusian Hound who was abandoned at the end of her working life and in need of lots of medical attention. Luckily for Abby, a number of people helped by donating money in order for her to get the treatment that she required. Her smile says it all!”
Read all about the critics’ adventures over the next twelve months here.