We are a family run garden centre that is well known nationally as a specialist for bare rooted hedging plants and young trees. The Garden Centre always has a good selection of shrubs and plants which are not commonly found elsewhere, together with a wide range of the more commonly sought after plants. Established for over 50 years, the Garden Centre has recently been redeveloped to a high standard. Our shop contains the largest selection of seeds and bulbs for miles around, together with garden chemicals, tools, garden furniture and many other goods. Outside we stock peat-based and peat-free composts, paving, fencing, timber decking, garden buildings and greenhouses, and a large range of pots, statues and garden ornaments. Our aquatics centre has a good reputation for their excellent quality tropical, marine and cold water fish. The Gardeners' Retreat, our coffee shop/restaurant, serves fresh home cooked food and is an excellent way to round off any visit to the Garden Centre.
Do you use specific breeds of dogs for cancer detection? All dogs and breeds have the capability to detect cancer and crisis situations in humans. However because our dogs screen samples on a carousel we select working breeds with a high hunt drive. Our dogs are a mixture of breeds including Labradors and working spaniels and are chosen according to their ability. It is important that they have good noses and love searching and hunting for toys.
How often do the Cancer Detection Dogs work? They work 2 to 4 times a week for short periods of about 20 minutes in our training centre at Great Horwood with lots of opportunity for rest and playtime. The dogs view their work as a great game that they love playing.
Where do they live? They all live in homes as part of a caring family and lead normal happy lives as pet dogs.
Do you offer a screening service? We do not currently offer a cancer screening service. The dogs work on samples in the bio-detection room at the training centre and are not trained to detect the odour on a person.
What are the dogs detecting? With their incredible sense of smell dogs can detect the minute odours now understood to be associated with many cancers. Cancer Detection Dogs are trained to detect the odour of volatiles associated with cancer cells present in urine or breath samples.
What type of training do you use? Our fundamental training method is reward based and we use clicker training for all our bio-detection work. Dogs are rewarded with a food treat or tennis ball play when they make an accurate assessment of the samples they are working on.
What is your aim? he dogs have the capacity to provide second line diagnostic support for cancers that are currently difficult to diagnose reliably, such as prostate cancer. Our research will also enable the development of more electronic systems using the information that the dogs have told us.