Tails are wagging at Dogs Trust as the charity celebrates welcoming the 5,000th puppy onto its landmark ‘Generation Pup’ study of four-legged friends.
Taking the accolade is 14-week-old male crossbreed, Jack (pictured), whose owner Ruth Lewis found out about the study when she enrolled on puppy training classes with Dogs Trust Dog School Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
The Generation Pup study, which launched in 2016, tracks puppies through to adulthood, to learn how their early experiences, environment, diet and exercise affects their health and behaviour later in life. It is the first study of its kind, enabling researchers to gain ground-breaking new insights about our canine companions to improve dog welfare for future generations.
The charity is hoping to recruit 10,000 puppies onto the study so is calling on owners to sign up at www.generationpup.ac.uk.
Ruth, who lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, said:“Jack is a cross breed; he is 1/8 Springer, 3/8 Cocker, 3/8 Staffy and 1/8 Jack Russell so half terrier, half spaniel. I wanted a puppy, rather than an older dog, as I’ve never had a puppy before and wanted to know what experiences he’d had when I got him.
“I heard about Jack being available and saw lots of photos of him before we got him at 8 weeks and visited him when he was 3 weeks old. I chose him because he looked like the middle-sized puppy in the litter and had lovely black patches over his eyes. Jack is settling in really well. He loves exploring our garden and playing with footballs. He’s confident with other dogs but knows to back off when a dog is not so friendly. He played a lot with his siblings and his dad, who was very bouncy, and I think this has helped a lot.
“We started to take him outside the garden for walks on the ground a couple of weeks ago and he thinks everyone wants to make friends with him. It’s safe to say walks are a little slow! We went to our first Dog School session at the weekend, and it went really well. I think Jack is a totally normal puppy, which is exactly what I was hoping for.”
Dr Jane Murray, Research Manager for Generation Pup, at Dogs Trust, said: “It is wonderful that we’ve recruited 5,000 dogs and we’re so grateful to all the owners who give up their time to help with the study. We would love to reach 10,000 doggy recruits so, if you have a puppy, please sign up online. The more puppies we have signed up to the study, the greater potential we have to understand more about our dogs and how to help them in the future.”
Generation Pup is open to all breeds and crossbreeds of puppies from anywhere in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Puppies need to be registered onto the project before they are 16 weeks old. Puppies that have gone through quarantine can be registered up to 21 weeks of age.
For more information on Dogs Trust’s Dog School, please visit www.dogstrustdogschool.org.uk/