Dogs: Their Secret Lives
It isn’t easy being a modern dog. Many struggle to cope with the frantic, noisy, challenging 21st Century lifestyles we expect them to lead.
Over the years, I have worked on hundreds of dog-related TV programmes including Channel 4’s very long running obdoc series, Pet Rescue, and BBC1’s Barking Mad. On Pedigree Dogs Exposed, I dared to say what desperately needed to be said about irresponsible dog breeding. I couldn’t believe the level of support from dog lovers and scientists all over the world. I felt it was really important to stand up for dogs and to give them a voice.
My latest dog project, Dogs: Their Secret Lives isn’t just about dogs. It’s also about the people who love them, look after them and live with them. The show’s aim is simple – to help dogs and the people they hang out with to enjoy happier, healthier lives. My good friend and colleague, Dr Emily Blackwell from Bristol University is the brains behind what we do.
It all began back in 2013 when I helped convince Channel 4 to commission a one-off documentary that explored, through surveillance filming and science, what dogs get up to when they’re home alone. The film revealed the shocking finding that 85% of dogs may suffer some degree of anxiety when they are on their tod.
It generated a huge response – over three million watched the film and almost 20,000 of you lovely dog mad people took part in a detailed online survey. The results of the study are now being submitted for scientific publication. That wouldn’t have happened without your help. So, a huge thank you.
We made five more episodes and a live show last year and three new programmes will air on Channel 4 in June, 2015.