The Essex Dog Display Team was formed by Display Team Director, Roy Dyer in 1983. He selected the more experienced handlers and dogs from The Essex Dog Training Centre, a voluntary organisation that Roy formed in 1979, that teaches many aspects of dog training. These include family pet training, obedience and agility, puppy socialisation and special classes for children with or without a dog. The centre is also believed to be the only dog training centre in the British Isles that deals with Cynophobia (a morbid fear of the dog) in children.
The team is generally accepted as the premier dog team in Great Britain and Europe. A position it retains to this day. The team are proud to be sponsored by DRONTAL – “Britain’s No 1 pet wormer"
As well as appearing at numerous major events each year, internationally respected organisations that include The Kennel Club, the Ministry of Defence, County Police Forces, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA, the Blue Cross and Wood Green Animal Shelters have all recommended the team and have asked them to appear at their own events. Clearly demonstrating that the content of the display and the dogs welfare is very acceptable.
The team appeared at Crufts for a record breaking eleven years and were invited to display at the Five Nations Rugby Tournament at Twickenham for the Calcutta Cup, England - Scotland match.
The team are the only civilian dog display team ever to be selected to appear at the world’s greatest military tattoo, The Royal Tournament. The team carried out over 28 displays over the 14 days of the event at Earls Court and appeared in front of a live audience of over 200,000 people, a vast television audience and Her Majesty The Queen, Prince Phillip and most members of the Royal Family. Display Team Director, Roy Dyer was introduced to most members of the Royal Family, including Her Majesty the Queen, after each performance and in recognition of their achievements within the canine world was invited to Buckingham Palace.
Although many requests for television appearances are received each year, the team are very selective to ensure that dogs and dog training are shown in the correct light by the media. Their television appearances include Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Take Away, The Paul O’Grady Show, 6 times on Blue Peter, 9 times on the Generation Game, BBC Television Cruft’s for several years, Pets Win Prizes with Dale Winton, BBC World Service Television, Pebble Mill at One, About Anglia, The Animals’ Roadshow, What’s Up Doc, It’s A Dog’s Life, Clive Anderson Show, Jasper Carrot Show, London Plus, Moment of Truth with Cilla Black, Animal Planet Television, Pet Project on Channel 5, The Gaby Roslin Show and numerous regional programmes. International television includes documentaries for Japan twice, Holland, Australia and New Zealand, America, South Korea, Turkey, the Disney Channel and Animal Planet. This year the team celebrated their 125 TV appearance.
Major international organisations such a Samsung (South Korea) Nestle and Bayer have all sought advice from the team with regards to responsible dog ownership.
Working with many different breeds of dogs the majority of which have been rescued, the team produce a professional, highly entertaining, action packed and informative display, coupled with a professional, enjoyable and educational commentary.
The central feature of the display is a 100ft long by 8ft high ramp, which the dogs negotiate at high speed through hoops of fire, also on the ramp a unique demonstration of dogs negotiating human obstacles.
Controlled attack dogs apprehend fleeing ‘criminals’ whilst under gunfire. Searching and retrieving and agility races, are just a few of the exercises included. The team do not teach ‘tricks’ to the dogs, each exercise is related to the working element of dogs. We do not teach tricks that are generally frowned on by the public, such as teaching dogs to walk along parallel bars or asking them to climb ladders. The training methods employed are based on dog psychology and are reward based – no harsh training methods are employed.
The team attend up to 30 major events each year throughout the British and Channel Isles.
During the course of their display season, many thousands of miles are travelled and to ensure the comfort of both handlers and dogs alike, they travel in a specially equipped coach with air-conditioned kennels.
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