George has them barking up right tree

Good owners!: Some of the dog owners taking part in the course at Holy Rood Church hall this week. They are, from left - Hazel Coutts with Miley, George Cochrane, convener, Scottish Canine Consultative Council; Jennifer Kroesen with Charley, Flora Cairnie with Rowan and at the front Heather Fraser with GiGi.

Good owners!: Some of the dog owners taking part in the course at Holy Rood Church hall this week. They are, from left - Hazel Coutts with Miley, George Cochrane, convener, Scottish Canine Consultative Council; Jennifer Kroesen with Charley, Flora Cairnie with Rowan and at the front Heather Fraser with GiGi.

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The ORIGINATOR of an innovative system of breeding more capable and responsible dog owners was running a course in Carnoustie this week.

George Cochrane, founder of the Scottish Canine Consultative Council, was in town leading a dog ownership management course as part of his organisation’s Acorn Project.

The course was run in conjunction with Carnoustie Canine Capers who have been leading the charge in the town for more responsible dog ownership through their Green Dog Walkers Initiative.

George said: “The whole visit has been under the umbrella of the Carnoustie Canine Capers and the volunteers that have come forward were all established in the organisation.

“We’ve given them the Acorn start up course which is about providing new dog management services in the community.

“We’d rather start from scratch than not see things going forward because of a lack of experience, but the fact that the group is already established makes it that much more convincing.”

George has been running the Alexandria Experience in West Dumbartonshire for a number of years and has recruited the local authority, something he believes vital for the promulgation of good dog ownership practice.

He said: “In Scandinavia and some European countries like Germany people have to take a test and pass before they are allowed to have a dog. We are playing catch up here in Britain.

“A lot of local authorities still don’t have a good grasp of the benefits of positive dog management in the community and my goal is to get them working with dog owners in a tangible way.

“I gave a presentation to the Royal Environmental and Health Institute of Scotland a few weeks ago, representatives from housing and environment departments were there from 25 out of the 32 local authorities and Angus Council was represented.

“I think it’s quite an uphill struggle to get them to see that everybody in the community benefits from this.”

For more information on George’s work visit http://www.scottish-canine.org.uk and more information, including contacts, for Carnoustie Canine Capers is available at http://carnoustiecaninecapers.weebly.com and Facebook.

On April 6 as part of the Tartan Day celebration Canine Capers will be running a best tartan dressed dog and owner competition at the Philip Hall at 11.45 a.m. with judging at noon.

The event is sponsored by the Wallace Veterinary Centre who have also supplied a trophy.

There will also be a reprise of last year’s ‘Guess GiGi’s Weight’ competition, sponsored by Scot Printing, but this year the Newfoundland has been on a diet!

Please note a misprint in the Tartan Day Parade line-up has suggested the group will be taking part, this however is not the case.