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Meet the dogs of London

Cats might be the kings of the internet, but dogs really are a man’s best friend. We went out on London’s streets to speak to owners about their pawsome pooches

By Hayley Spencer |
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Domino Sausage dog
Ursula Daphne Aitchison

Dogs are believed to be the UK's most popular pet, with an estimated 24 percent of us owning a pup. And for those of us who aren't lucky enough to have our own four-legged friend, London's parks, open spaces and pooch-friendly cafes and pubs are often the perfect places to do a bit of dog spotting. Hayley Spencer and dog photographer Ursula Daphne Aitchison met some of the dogs of London. 

Domino and Dimple Terry, Domino and Dimple

Terry with Domino and Dimple: Dachshunds (aged 7 and 6)

They’re so friendly. They both love it when women come to the house, particularly Dimple. She squeals like mad with happiness. She gets most excited by middle-aged women with short brown hair.’

Fin Katie and Fin

Kate with Fin: Irish setter (aged 1)

Fin likes to introduce himself by putting up his paw. It’s not a trick, he just likes to hold hands. I took him out on a pub crawl and we picked up about three cards from people who wanted to dog-sit him. Who wouldn’t? Just look at him.’ 

Nelson Kelly, Bruce and Nelson

Kelly and Bruce with (Lord Admiral) Nelson: British bulldog (aged 4)

‘He loves the pub! The Regent is his favourite – all the staff know him by name. They’ve been “fully booked” before and then I name-dropped Nelson and suddenly they had a table available for us!’

Sammy Philippe and Sammy

Philippe with Sammy: Standard poodle (aged 9)

‘We’ve travelled here on the bike to go shopping – he rides in the basket. I didn’t have to train him to get in, he just did it. I used to ride horses and Sammy would run by their side. One day we came up to a road on a ride, so I dropped the lead down and he just slipped his head straight through the loop. He’d never done it before – he just figured it out. He surprises me daily.’

Frida Janice and Frida

Janice with Frida: Hungarian puli (aged 4)

‘I run a yoga studio and Frida is the resident yogi dog. She licks people’s feet and gives them kisses during class. Of course she can do downward dog!

Tabby Karica and Tabby

Karica with Tabby: Shiba Inu (aged 6 months)

‘Tabby is really smart, but sneaky. She came toilet-trained, but she has a bad habit of weeing on my bed every time I change the sheets. I think she’s trying to mark her territory.’

GusSam and Gus

Sam with Gus: French bulldog (aged 11 weeks)

‘Gus is a complete nutjob. We’re not yet really sure if he’s a dog or a gremlin. He already loves kids and pulls towards them on walks to say hi. I think it’s either because they’re so close to his size, or because they usually have snacks!’

 

Albie Mo and Albie

Mo with Albie: Yorkshire terrier (aged 3)

‘He’s my girlfriend’s dog – a sturdy third wheel in our relationship. He has just as many allergies as I do: he has hay fever for a start. We think he looks like Haley Joel Osment in “Forrest Gump” – it’s the bowl cut. He gets a lot of compliments on his haircuts, though.’

Rocco, Cassie and MouseAnna, Rocco, Cassie and Mouse

Anna with Rocco, Cassie and Mouse: Boston terriers (aged 7 years, 5 years, 10 months)

‘I would have 100 Bostons if I could. They’re so loving. Rocco loves to roll on his belly for attention, Cassie is more of a homebody and Mouse is like Tigger – always bouncing.’

Alex, Max and Sika width=Alex, Max and Sika

Alex and Max with Sika: Cocker spaniel (aged 4)

‘Sika is our first family dog. She’s one of my mum’s dogs – she bred her. She loves to cuddle up with my children and runs around making the kids laugh.’

Aland and Andy width=Alan and Andy

Alan with Andy: Mixed breed (aged 8)

‘I love the fact he only has one eye. People always ask how it happened, so I’ve started making up stories. My favourite is that he saved my life in battle. We moved to London together from Israel where I rescued him six years ago. He’s been as important as my wife in helping me adjust to moving here.’

Adam, Plum and Mars Adam, Plum and Mars

Adam with Plum and Mars: Labrador retriever (aged 4) and labrador-collie cross (aged 2)

‘Plum is Mars’s mother. His dad is a border collie. We had so much hope he’d be smart because of the mix of breeds, but he’s just purely looks at this point. He’s a great cuddler, though. He’s always a little spoon in bed.’

Leo, Frankie and Millie Leo, Frankie and Millie

Leo with Millie and Frankie: Cavalier King Charles spaniel (aged 5) and French bulldog-pug cross, (aged 7 months)

‘Everyone always notices Frankie’s ears. He never used to have one up and one down: it happened after he had to wear a cone for a few weeks. Millie’s worst London experience was throwing up on the tube, like a drunk person. It was a Saturday night.’

Sara and Juju Sara and Juju

Sara with Juju: Chihuahua (aged 2)

'We’ve been shopping and now we’re going for coffee. Well, I am – Juju is just chilling and enjoying all the attention from everyone.’

Pawtraits by dog photographer Ursula Daphne Aitchison

Looking for somewhere to stretch your legs?

Blossom trees over a path in Greenwich Park, south-east London.
Blossom trees over a path in Greenwich Park © John Parfrey
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