It’s a truth universally acknowledged that dog is a man’s best friend. They are able to connect with humans on so many levels, whether that’s running to their owner when they are alarmed or pleased to see them, seeking eye contact or simply providing unconditional love. To celebrate dogs and their ability to provide a constant source of love and emotional support, we speak to some of our ambassadors about the unbreakable bond they have with their dogs.
Kelly, owner of ORIJEN brand ambassador, Elsa, recalls: “My first memory of Elsa is watching her nursing from her mother and, when she had finished, she rolled over onto her side with a satisfied sigh, her little belly all full and round. I counted down the days until it was time to bring her home and when that day finally came, we just looked at each other, neither of us knowing what to expect from that moment onward. Elsa and I had a lot to learn, but we were in it together. We bartered treats in exchange for everything from ‘sit’ to ‘stay’ and toilet training. We soon established a connection and a way to communicate with each other through the medium of food.”
“Anyone who has had the good fortune to have a dog in their lives will understand just how strong the bond becomes between the two of you, and this strengthens as you spend more time interacting together.”
Elsa won our brand ambassador competition at Crufts. This cheeky Lhasa Apso charmed judges with her huge personality and independent nature, beating off a number of other dogs to be crowned ORIJEN’s first UK canine ambassador. Elsa’s favourite food at home is either ORIJEN Fit and Trim or ORIJEN Six Fish, but when she’s out and about, she devours ORIJEN Original, ORIJEN Tundra or ORIJEN Regional Red Freeze-dried food.
Working dogs have a unique relationship with their handlers. Laura Hill from Stauntonvale Labradors trains and breeds working Retrievers for competition and for leisure. She is looking for the ultimate partnership with her dogs. “For gundogs, retrieving is intrinsically rewarding – it’s instinctive and what these dogs were bred to do. But for our foundation obedience skills, which underpin all of the more advanced work, we use tasty food treats to deliver the perfect reward. I have a wonderful working bond with my dogs. They are so focused and respond readily to my body language and verbal commands. And, in turn, I am reading them and working with their individual needs. We are learning from each other all the time.”
Laura Hill at Stauntonvale Gundogs owns a kennel based in the heart of the National Forest and has been competing in Field Trials since 2005 and has been feeding her award-winning team ACANA for a number of years now. She and Labrador Kitty were selected for the England Gun Dog Team last year. Laura feeds her dogs ACANA Grasslands and ACANA Wild Praire.
Agility is a highly competitive sport. Hayley Telling has competed as part of Team GB at the European Open and the FCI World Championships and told us about the bond with her dogs Barney and Teal “Barney is a 10 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who I rescued at 3 weeks of age. Barney gave me the ‘agility bug’, but sadly due to health reasons, I decided he should retire and enjoy being an active pet dog. Teal is a 6 year old Shetland sheepdog. He is a wonderful pet dog who attends work with me every day, loves his walks, trick training and is my constant shadow. Teal’s favourite thing is agility and he has had some incredible achievements in his three years competing. I believe that ORIJEN is the best quality kibble diet that I am able to feed my dogs. The freeze dried option is also fantastic for those who feed a raw diet but travel a lot to ensure their dogs continue to receive optimal nutrition. My dogs also go CRAZY for the treats! The perfect reward for Teal at the end of a good run, for trick training and on walks! I feel confident in using these treats that my dogs are only receiving wholesome, natural ingredients but are still very high value for the dogs.”