Put An Extra Special Christmas Cracker Under The Table This Year… Down At Mutt Level

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The history of the traditional Christmas Cracker begins back in Victorian times, during the 1850s when a London confectioner named Tom Smith started adding a little motto in each parcel of his sugared almond bonbons. These were sold wrapped in twisted paper packages. 

One evening he was sitting by the fire and found inspiration from the crackling hiss & pop of the burning log – he rather liked the surprise of the random pops and bangs that emanated from the fireplace!

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He reckoned that this element would add a little extra theatre to his confections, so he began shaping his parcels into cylindrical tubes (akin to a log), and adding a novelty banger that would crack when pulled.

This took off like proverbial wildfire and Londoners went nuts for the new oddly-named “Cosaque” with its festive surprise inside. The public simply called them “crackers”.

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By the 1900s the sugared almonds had been replaced by a small gift, and a playful paper party hat was added (by Tom Smith’s son Walter who had taken over the cracker business from his father).

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By the 1930s the little poems had been replaced by jokes or limericks and the cracker had been adopted as a traditional festive custom. Nowadays, virtually ever household that celebrates Christmas has a box of crackers to pull at the Christmas meal table.

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Today there are crackers of every description available. From pretty Scandinavian woodland inspired versions, to pretty fabric ones and even these jaw-droppingly expensive luxury crackers from Fortnum & Mason, there’s a cracker style and design for all tastes. Well.. almost!

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This year we’ve created the HOUNDCRACKER Christmas Cracker For Dogs to continue the great tradition of family celebrations over the holidays. And because we believe dogs are just as much a part of the family as everyone else, we figured they should get something extra special to enjoy too.

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If you’ve got a friend or family member who’s got a hound that has been extra “nice” this year, consider the Luxury HOUNDCRACKER which includes something cool for the owner too – a polished HOUNDWORTHY Ox Horn Dog Whistle on a leather lanyard. We think it’s the perfect gender-neutral accessory for one lucky dog walker.

Click the image above to find out what’s inside our unique Christmas crackers for dogs. Or browse our Christmas Fun section for meaningful gift ideas for dog lovers. Fetch something special this Christmas! www.houndworthy.com

HOUNDWORTHY GETS MUDDY AT EROICA 2016

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Our favourite vintage cycling festival Eroica Britannia 2016 kicked off on June 17-19 at the glorious Peak District town of Bakewell, Derbyshire.

With thousands of riders converging on this popular highlight of the vintage cycling circuit (is there one?) we were very pleased to be exhibiting for the third year running. So nice to see our regular customers again, along with all the new faces who stopped by our shop.

As usual, our unique collection of uber dog bandanas was a huge hit! We hope you enjoy this photo journal of the event, shot by our resident “lens jockey” Bruce Nelson. See you next year!

http://eroicabritannia.co.uk/

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For more pics from Eroica Britannia 2016, check out our instagram or simply search #eroica #houndworthy. To browse our vintage bandana section have a look at these beauties…

www.instagram.com/houndworthy

Corgi’s on parade for the Chelsea Flower Show

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With the 2016 RHS Chelsea Flower Show coming up May 24-28, innovative retailers in London have been pulling out the stops at their flagship stores with serious wow-factor florally inspired window displays. One of our faves was this canine themed one by Ted Baker, featuring the Queen’s beloved Corgi’s out front. Very cool. Oh and the Jo Malone one also featured in this article is superb too! www.houndworthy.com

Personalise your HOUNDWORTHY collar or lead with hand-stamped embossing

Just a quick little vid to show you how we personalise our popular leather dog collars & leads. Add your dog’s name, number or both to create a truly bespoke article and do away with noisy (and regularly lost) dangling dog tags.

Your dog will appreciate it (they can get closer to squirrels without being heard upon that all important stalk approach) and you can rest assured that your dog’s contact info is always right where it needs to be.

Check out our lush new English Bridle Leather ‘Steadfast’ range… they look awesome with this highly personal custom treatment.

YOU KNOW YOU WANT ONE: HYPER REAL DOG SKELETONS FOR HALLOWEEN!

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Halloween has always been a big deal in North America… you can be sure that in every self-respecting neighbourhood at least one over-enthusiastic household is gonna go to town with their haunted house decorations. Carved pumpkins have always provided a canvas for ghoulish creativity but nowadays, even a superbly executed Jack Skellington jack-o-lantern isn’t going to cut it in the wow-factor stakes.

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Candle lit skulls have always been popular but in recent years, full sized human skeletons have started to appear in increasingly bizarre (and fun) front yard displays. It was only a matter of time before our trusty canine companions made an appearance…

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…and just how friggin’ cool are these!?!?!? Now a visit to your local CostCo (or Amazon online) means one of these freakishly realistic little critters can be yours, forever (and ever and ever).

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The opportunities for smile-inducing scene setting is endless. Here are a few of the best ones we could find with a quick hunt around the ‘net.

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Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Or even a dead dog for that matter…

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Happy Halloween everybody. And if you feel the need to get some treats for your canine pals this year, we’ve got loads in our shop.

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ELLE DECORATION – BEST ONLINE PET SHOPS FOR STYLISH ANIMAL LOVERS

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We’re rather chuffed to have been rated (again!) one of The Best Online Pet Shops for Stylish Animal Lovers by the style Bible Elle Decoration. Particular favourites were the Rubber Anchor Floating Dog Toy which are awesome for water loving hounds. The Doghouse Bedtime Biscuits are good sized baked treats in a beautiful tin you won’t want to hide at the back of your cupboard (which will obviously please the four-legged wagster in your life!). Our own HOUNDBOX luxury treat box got top marks for its great selection of British gourmet treats and was declared “the canine equivalent of a Fortnum & Mason hamper”. We like. We like a LOT. Oh and just in time for the holidays, a special edition Festive HOUNDBOX is now ready for Christmas delivery.

WE’VE GOT NEW A NEW NEIGHBOUR AND HIS NAME IS BANKSY

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The concept of “trending on Twitter” and the sleepy seaside town of “Weston Super Mare” are not typically used in conjunction with one another… but that’s all changed since the world’s favourite anonymous street artist, Banksy, decided to unveil his latest experience on the unsuspecting public. Be warned… if you are planning on attending, the rest of this post is a spoiler. Go away now.

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Dismaland is Banksy’s disturbing dystopian nightmare brought to life on the muddy sands of Weston’s beach promenade, opening a week ago in the dilapidated Tropicana Lido, which has sat vacant for the past decade and a half.

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If you have no idea what we are talking about, you can watch the rather frightening advert for it here.

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Come and enjoy installations by the likes of Damien HirstDavid Shrigley and Jimmy Cauty who have joined around fifty artists in total to create this immersive fairground of societal decay.

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The Guardian’s analysis of the world’s least family oriented theme park gives a bit more of a British perspective on the whole dreary affair. Dreary but awesome we mean!

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The happiest place on Earth is a mere 400 yards from our front door and the dogs have been entertaining the queue outside waiting for tickets (in the rain, obviously).

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You know it’s worth the visit though when Hollywood A-listers including Jack Black and Brad Pitt (featured on the HOUNDWORTHY Instagram feed) have put it in their diaries.

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Dismaland is open for business (weather permitting… ha, as if!) until September 27th. You can order your tickets here. Maybe. www.houndworthy.com

HOUNDWORTHY TOY GETS BEST BUY OVERALL IN THE INDEPENDENT

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Always nice to see one of our faves make it into a top ten list… and in this case, the top of the top ten! The Independent recently published this review of their top choices for tough dog toys and our ever-popular Bumi tug toy (pictured) won Best Buy overall. Not too shabby. For those unaware of the Bumi, it’s made by a company in the US called West Paw Design, who not only create wickedly fun toss toys for dogs, but they also offer a unique one time replacement deal if your mutt happens to decimate the thing within hours of receiving it. Of course we’re not suggesting this as a challenge, as the point of these toys is not as a chew toy, but an interactive fetch toy to be played WITH (that means with your dog – not just chucked into a room with them and then forgotten about!), but we are impressed at the company’s belief in their own product. In two years of selling the Bumi, we’ve not yet actually had one come back. Order one here… and then decide for yourself.