Barking smart? TV calls Dalston and Stokey dogs

parson jack russell Harvey in West Sussex ©

YOUR DOG is highly intelligent, right? Anyone who doesn’t know that has only to ask you, yes?

If so, TV company Princess Productions, which is associated with some big programme-makers, want to meet you.

Casting executive Mel Walden tells Loving Dalston that programme-maker Princess Productions is looking for locals in Dalston or Stoke Newington, both areas with big pet-friendly parks, who are certain their dogs are “really quite intelligent”.

A leading channel wants Princess to explore the possibility of a series, inspired by London School of Economics  and Edinburgh University research into dog intelligence and a possible pooch IQ test.

Proud owners should email (see below) “to tell us about their dog and potentially agree to be interviewed about why they think it is quite smart”.  Interviews would be by phone or Skype.

Loving Dalston has found an expert to talk about IQ. Professor Heinz von Hündchen, of Alsace — “proudly Alsatian” — predicted that the film-makers would find only what his German family, who used to work as shepherds, had known for generations: that dogs were highly intelligent.

Topdog3: 1st prize, rescue category (10 entrants), parson jack russell Harvey, with Rowena, shows off 1 of his awards at Llwyngwril fete, Gwynedd's prestige annuall pet event, Aug 2015: ©
Pet wins prize at a prestive show. In this case Harvey won it not for brains

He said: “The real issue is, are humans? Unlike the leading two-legged mammal, all hounds have sophisticated methods of communication, such as urinary identification, that are far cheaper and more universal than, say, computers.

“However, the most notable attribute of dogs is, of course, their ability to manipulate humans to pay for and provide everything necessary for a long and comfortable life.” See picture at top.

They just want an easy life because, for example, “no dog has ever worked on ways to destroy the planet”.

He added: “While I am talking to the press, may I emphasise that dogs have nothing whatsoever against cats or cat-lovers?

“Dogs believe in rigorous tolerance, even of animals that fulfil no apparent domestic purpose, kill birds and other native creatures, cannot bark let alone howl in the tuneful canine way, have never been known to obey, cannot have sex with them…”

The conversation had taken a barking turn. Your correspondent hung up.

Hamish Scott 150416

* Over-18s who think they are eligible should email or phone 020 7985 1722 to explain their dog’s’intelligence and enclose a photograph both of it and the owner. Should the proposal go to production, you may be contacted about taking part. 

Labrador Jack at Llwyngwril, Gwynedd, Snowdonia (photographed on film by Nikon FÌ 35mm SLR) ©
The late labrador Jack in Gwynedd. Top, parson jack russell Harvey on the sofa

* All pictures on this page, © DavidAltheer [at], are for sale for reproduction. Most photographs are available in bigger formats.

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. A link in no way expresses support for any site or the ideas there expressed

This site welcomes fair comments, including the critical. They may be edited for grammatical, legal or taste reasons, or for shortening. In the unlikely event that anything defamatory is posted, the sender’s details may have to be divulged. (Under UK law, this applies to any comment/discussion forum, eg, Twitter.) RSS feed link is at top right. Twitter: @lovingdalston Publicists, amateur and professional, should read Also relevant may be the note at the end of Photographs © David Altheer unless otherwise stated and apart from supplied pictures