~ The search is on to find NI’s most playful pup to become The Junction’s official Christmas dog toy tester 2023 ~

NI’s leading retail and leisure destination, The Junction, is on the lookout for NI’s most playful pup as it looks to appoint an official doggie toy tester in the run up to Christmas.

With dogs a hugely important part of the family, data shows that a quarter of pet owners say they’ll spend the same, or more, on pets than their children or partner this Christmas.

The search, in partnership with new store Dobbies, will see the successful four-legged candidate visit the garden centre retailer, to explore the pet department, putting their paws to good use, and sniffing out the best toys to keep Santa from barking up the wrong tree when it comes to gifts.

Essential criteria listed on the job application includes that the paw-fect employee must be a good boy or good girl, know their chew toy from their fetch toy and never turn down a game of tug-o-war. The successful canine-didate will be paid in treats, toys to the value of £100 and of course, belly rubs.

To submit an application for the role of Christmas Dog Toy Tester, shoppers are asked to send a video of their pups having fun to The Junction’s Facebook profile @TheJunctionAntrim (via private message), or by email via

Applications will close on Wednesday 6th December at 5pm and the winner will be announced on Thursday 7th December.

Candidates must be available for a VIP experience at the store on Sunday 10th December before opening (between 10am-12noon).

Commenting on the hunt to find a suitable candidate, Chris Flynn, Centre Director of The Junction said:

“Due to the overwhelming success of 2020’s toy tester recruitment campaign, we are back with a twist, and are now on the lookout to find The Junction’s first ever Dog Toy Tester. As a dog-friendly scheme, we are very excited to hire our first furry employee.

“Dobbies has a great pet range in store and since it opened in October, we have seen a rise in dogs visiting. More and more people are buying presents and clothing for their dogs at Christmas but it can sometimes be difficult to know which toys to go for. Our expert Dog Toy Tester will be able to try and test the latest and greatest on the shelves and hopefully make that decision a little easier for our customers.”

Ken Ferguson, General Manager at Dobbies Antrim said:

“Pets are important to our customers and we believe they should be treated just like one of the family.

“We love seeing them in the store with us and we’re excited to see all the playful pups from around Antrim apply to be our official Dog Toy Tester 2023.”

To find out more, visit: or connect with The Junction on Facebook at; The Junction Retail and Leisure Park or on Instagram @thejunctionantrim.