Woofing Around with Dr Chris Brown

With the premiere of The Dog House Australia well and truly in our sights, it was the pawfect op-paw-tunity to speak to our favourite vet and narrator of the series, Dr Chris Brown.

Does he get hounded by the pup-arazzi? Does he read Vanity Fur? Is there a single dog pun he hasn’t heard?

First of all, how great are dogs?

Seriously, can you name a situation that dogs DON’T make better? They’re like our own personal hype-girls and hype-boys that lift our spirits and add energy, fun and feeling to any situation. I really think they’ve been the (ultra) hairy heroes of the last 18 months giving us that companionship and comfort we needed. So I reckon it’s time we said thank you…

Second, what should people consider most when choosing a rescue pup?

It sounds like a line from the Bachelor but seriously, don’t be guided by looks. Their personality, lifestyle and time expectations must match yours. And also don’t necessarily have your heart set on a pup. A more mature dog (or cat) can sometimes be the more suitable choice for your life…

On The Dog House, we see some dogs bond instantly with their paw-tential new owners and some that just know the owners aren’t the right fit. Why is this?

Last time I checked, dogs didn’t speak one of the 40 different languages spoken in Australia. Although some give it a go. So they’re totally reliant on our body language and without getting too spiritual, the energy, that we give off. They read us based on that. So sometimes it’s a match and other times it’s a miss. But I love the fact that ultimately they’re in control for the first time in their lives…

Is there a certain breed of dog that seems to get a bad rap but actually make great companions?

It’s probably the Bull Arab. They’re big, muscular and have a history of being used as pig hunting dogs. Bull Arabs and Bull Arab crosses also make up a huge number of surrendered dogs at animal shelters. But the truth is most are big softies that with a bit of love and affection, are just big softies. That last sentence also often applies to staffy’s, rottweilers, ridgebacks and so many other breeds. Labels and pre-conceived ideas don’t get us very far in the dog world.

Did you come close to adopting your own dog from the show or do you have enough furry friends at home?

It’s the hardest part of working on a show like this and also working in a vet clinic. You form these unexpected bonds and find yourself connecting with these little personalities that, if you’re not careful, become part of the family. I’ve already adopted two such characters from the vet hospital so I knew this was always going to be a challenge. My rescue cat Cricket is still pushing for The Cat House in 2022.

What’s the best dog name you’ve come across?

Working in Bondi, I experience the whole range of what I call ‘wholefood pets’ like Goji, Cacao, Stevia and Spirulina as well as the just plain strange (Queen Beatrice III and Queen Beatrice IV) but I feel that I’ll call my next dog Houston. That way, when puppy training goes wrong, you can at least say ‘Houston we have a problem’.

The Dog House Australia.

7.30 Tuesdays on 10 and 10 Play on demand.
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