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Dog breeding experts, animal behaviourists and researchers join PuppyFat’s new advisory panel

We’re putting together a panel of experienced advisors, each with their own unique insight into dogs, breeding, welfare, and behaviour. 

The first to join the panel are breeder, championship judge and exhibitor Lee Cox, behavioural biologist Dr Gareth Arnott and PhD researchers Tori McEvoy and Uri Baqueiro-Espinosa. 

Why are we setting up an advisory panel? 

Like with everything we do, the panel is there to support our growing dog breeding community.  

By pooling the expertise of our advisors, we can give you the most rounded and thorough help and advice.  

We want to make sure our technology and content reach the highest possible standards for our users – the panel helps shape our product and gives critical feedback to make sure we continuously improve. 

Soon, we’ll be rolling out features in the app to allow you to get help and advice at every stage of your dogs’ lifecycles. 

And, when you ask a question, you’ll know you’re not just getting an opinion, but a well-considered and thoughtful answer from a specialist in their field. 

Keep on reading to learn about each panel member’s work and how they’re getting involved with PuppyFat. 

Dr Gareth Arnott – Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast

Dr Gareth Arnott is a behavioural biologist addressing animal welfare issues in companion and farm animals. 

Inspired to follow this career after training his first dog as a teenager, Gareth is passionate about the promotion of evidence-based animal welfare research and is the lead academic for the Animal Welfare Research Network. 

Gareth is currently researching the behavioural development and socialisation period of puppies and the welfare of breeding dogs. 

“I’m passionate about sharing my findings to a wider audience, so I’m excited to be part of the PuppyFat advisory panel as it provides an excellent opportunity to engage with breeders and support them with challenges they may be facing.” 

Speak to Gareth about:  

  • Anything related to animal behaviour and welfare. 

Uri Baqueiro-Espinosa, PhD researcher at Queens University Belfast

Uri Baqueiro-Espinosa is currently studying for a PhD, investigating the effects of intensive commercial breeding on the behaviour and welfare of breeding dogs.   

Previously, he has completed a degree in Veterinary Medicine and a Masters degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare. He is now focusing on the maternal behaviour of dams.   

“Being a part of the panel will give me a chance to learn from breeders’ experiences. And, it’s opportunity to share breakthrough research about dogs and hopefully help a broad variety of breeders, who are passionate about what they do.” 

Speak to Uri about:  

  • Behaviour during the dog’s reproductive cycle.  
  • Dog behaviour in general.  
  • Dog-human communication. 

Tori McEvoy, PhD researcher at Queens University Belfast 

Tori McEvoy is a PhD student at the Queens University Belfast, investigating the factors affecting the socialisation of puppies raised in a commercial breeding establishment. 

She has carried out multiple experiments looking at how different amounts of socialisation affect the behaviour of puppies at eight weeks. 

These tests include an open field test where puppies are exposed to an unfamiliar person or object – like a ringing mobile phone or a fake dog. 

“I’m looking forward to speaking with the dog breeding community about the best ways to socialise their puppies and working with breeders to improve the welfare for all different breeds of dog.”  

Speak to Tori about:   

  • Ways to socialise puppies. 

Lee Cox, Breed Manager at Nestlé Purina PetCare

Lee Cox is a second-generation dog breeder and has been breeding dogs for over 40 years.   

His kennel has owned and bred 95 UK champions to date, winning over 600 challenge certificates in the UK, including #1 Dog of all breeds in 2010 and #2 of all breeds in 2012.   

He is also a licenced multi-breed championship show judge.  

On top of breeding, exhibiting and judging, Lee works in Nestlé Purina PetCare’s Breeder Team.    

“I enjoy talking dogs with fellow enthusiasts, whether this is breeding, exhibiting, health or regulation. You never stop learning, so I’m keen to hear other people’s experiences and bring a little help to others.”   

Speak to Lee about:   

  • Anything about breeding dogs. 
  • Puppy nutrition. 
  • Rearing healthy, trouble-free puppies.

Discover more about our advisory panel here.

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