Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs on ITV is a firm favourite among the Yours team, but for those who haven’t seen it before, it’s an award-winning documentary series that’s set at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Each series features Paul O’Grady meeting experts at Battersea, including vets and heads of welfare, and meeting dogs who have come in as strays or for rehoming. He then follows the individuals through their journey at the home.
For the Love of Dogs’ presenter Paul O’Grady
The series is presented by true animal lover Paul O’Grady. He’s a natural as he has bags of empathy, and often ends up taking dogs home to join his own family. He’s now an ambassador for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and has done wonders in raising the charity’s profile.
He’s said before: “It’s quite a tough job emotionally, because you can’t help getting involved. I come home every night and I think, ‘Oh that poor dog, I wonder if I’ve got room for one more.”
When asked why the series was such a success, he had a one-word answer: ‘puppies’. He’s got a point, although we think he’s a major ingredient too!
When did For the Love of Dogs start?
Series one ran from September to October in 2012. The most recent series, number six, finished in December 2017.
First series of For the Love of Dogs
From the very first episode, Paul’s genuine affection for all dogs, great and small, has shone through, making the programme a hit with animal lovers from the start. He was scheduled to volunteer at the centre for just six days, but ended up there for six months! In fact, he’s so enthusiastic that sometimes a pup makes it home with him! Series one saw him take tiny Jack Russell-Chihuahua cross Eddie home to join his gang of pets. He's said: "He was the runt and the head nurse had to hand rear him. She was really worried about him so I said, 'oh, give him here!' He's feisty now, a real character."
Series two of For the Love of Dogs
The first episode sees him meeting a British bulldog in need of a scan for a leg issue, and nine adorable newborn Jack Russell-Staffy cross puppies. Other highlights of the series include Paul describing a mother and daughter Staffy pair as: ‘like Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli – there’s no way they can be split up.”
Series three of For the Love of Dogs
This series saw Paul fall in love with poor Pepi – a 12-year-old shih tzu who was left alone and sad after his owner died. Blind, deaf and with heart problems, Paul was sorely tempted to take him home.
Series four of For the Love of Dogs
Season four was a Royal affair, as Paul and the staff at Battersea prepared for a visit from the Queen, who came to open the new kennels. Of course, Her Majesty is famed for her love of a particular breed, so it was only fitting that corgi Beama was chosen to keep her company.
Series five of For the Love of Dogs
Watch episode one of ITV's For the Love of Dogs series five here:
Series six of For the Love of Dogs
The most memorable moment of series six has to be the birth of 11 dalmatian puppies! Homeless Fern was found pregnant and wandering the streets before being brought in to Battersea in Old Windsor. Although Dalmatians are famed for their large litters, staff were still surprised by an 11-strong brood.They were all names with a woodland theme – River, Tulip, Forest, Puddle, Badger, Clover, Primrose, Pixie, Spring, Bark and Aspen. All 11 and their mum ended up finding forever homes.
For the Love of Dogs at Christmas
There have been several special Christmas episodes of For the Love of Dogs, all airing on Christmas Day from 2012 up to 2017. In January 2017 there was also a special Best in Show spin off episode.
Awards for the series
The programme quickly held a place in the nation’s hearts, and has won many awards including Most Popular Factual Entertainment Programme in 2013 and 2014 at the National Television Awards. It was also nominated for a BAFTA for Best Features Programme in 2013.
For the Love of Dogs new series
We’re not sure at the moment whether series seven is in the works, but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime you can look forward to this…
For the Love of Dogs – India in 2018
We’re looking forward to an Indian special episode, which will air at some point this year. Our favourite presenter has revealed he almost died while filming. Paul was rushed to hospital for life-saving treatment after falling ill in New Delhi. He's not entirely sure what happened, but thinks it may have stemmed from petting wounded puppies, which may have given him a vomiting bug. His doctor told him he was 'heading for renal failure', but thanks to antibiotics and plenty of fluids, he recovered his health. He's expressed his gratitude to hospital staff. We're so relieved he's feeling better!
Where can I watch For the Love of Dogs?
You can catch up on episodes and find out more about the hit series via the ITV website.