February 22, 2024

Meet Kilkenny’s top dog who’s going to represent Ireland at Crufts

KILKENNY is famous for its connection with cats, but our canines are also top dogs when it comes to competing in leading international competitions.

Dawn Greer, an agility trainer from Bennettsbridge, and her four-legged companion Whisper are getting ready to compete at Crufts in the International Invitational Agility Event.

Next month the best trainers and dogs from all over the world gather to compete in the UK. And Ireland is in for a great chance with Dawn, who has a wealth of knowledge in dog training and has had huge success in previous competitions.

Dawn has been competing in dog agility competitions for 13 years. She currently competes at Green Star level with Whisper and her other dog Piper. They represented Ireland in 2017 at the World Agility Championships. Dawn competes at Championship Level in the UK and she has previously competed at Crufts in the Teams Agility Event.

Dawn uses positive training methods with her dogs, and she teaches them through reward-based training. Dawn must be extremely conscious of her dogs getting the correct nutrition and sufficient amount of exercise. She is keen for dog owners to get involved in the Petmania Operation TransPAWmation initiative, a free programme available nationwide which educates pet parents on how they can look after their pet’s health and wellbeing.

Dawn said: “The Petmania Operation TransPAWmation initiative is fantastic. It is hugely important that people are aware of the signs of an overweight dog, obesity is a huge health problem for dogs. Many people think a dog at its proper weight is underweight.”

Dawn is anxious to highlight the danger of obesity in dogs.

She warned: “The main reason for obesity in dogs is that they are fed too much and fed their owners food. Dogs food should always be measured. This doesn’t always mean following the manufacturers guide as every dog is individual. In the same way as humans, being overweight can cause diabetes, heart problems and be can be difficult for dogs with arthritis. Obesity in dogs can cause long term problems and even decrease their life expectancy.”

The programme can be availed of in all of Petmania’s 12 stores nationwide. All participants receive food diaries, exercise guides and discounts to help their pets on the road towards a happier and healthier lifestyle.

PICTURE: Dawn with Whisper, who will represent Ireland at Crufts.

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