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Local pedigree dogs compete for Crufts best in show title

15:34 19 March 2012

Crufts champion Boysie, a Griffon Bruxellois who won best puppy in show, with owner George Hodson. Pictures: Polly Hancock

Crufts champion Boysie, a Griffon Bruxellois who won best puppy in show, with owner George Hodson. Pictures: Polly Hancock

Archant

A host of pedigree dogs from across north London have reigned victorious at this year’s world famous dog show Crufts.

Eight dogs from Hampstead, Golders Green, Maida Vale and Kentish Town competed alongside 21,000 dogs from all over the UK at one of the toughest dog competitions on the planet last week.

Breeds entered included Chinese Crested, Sloughi, Great Dane, Miniature and Wire-haired Daschund, Hungarian Vizsla and French Bulldog, from across Camden, Barnet and Westminster.

One dog owner from Maida Vale, whose 11-month-old Griffon Bruxellois won best puppy in show, said he had an advantage because of regular training trips to experience the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street.

George Hodson, 63, a retired copywriter who has been breeding Griffon Bruxellois champions for 10 years, said: “Once you’ve experienced Oxford Street you can cope with anything. There’s no danger of stage fright.”

But he explained the puppy, called Boysie, was not a pampered pooch and enjoys squirrel-chasing in Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath when he is not out socialising in the West End.

“He has the perfect character,” said Mr Hodson. “They’ve got to be a a bit precocious and a bit egotistical, a bit vain.”

With seven “best puppy” titles to his name in six months, he said Boysie is destined to be a star.

Charles Lee, 32, of Warwick Avenue in Maida Vale, initially bought his French Bulldog, Jacob, as a family pet but soon realised his potential for showing.

The three-year-old has gone on to achieve success in many national competitions and came fourth in class for his breed at Crufts.

But he did not quite meet his owner’s high hopes.

“I expected more,” said Mr Lee, a full-time chef. “But it depends on the other dogs and the judge.

“In the past he has been ranked first to fourth in most competitions, but obviously Crufts is another level.”

The duo worked hard to qualify for this year’s competition and are already planning an intensified campaign for next year.

Laura Sexton’s young Hungarian Vizsla named Bow came sixth in the class for her breed and is expected to become a champion gun dog in the future.

Her owner, who lives in Golders Green and has 35 years of experience in showing, said: “It was a brilliant show and a great atmosphere.”

A St John’s Wood dog-lead designer, Elaine Jones who lives in St John’s Wood Terrace and made the lead worn at the Oscars by Uggie the Jack Russell from film The Artist, was also selling her bespoke collars and leads.

Crufts was held at the NEC in Birmingham from Thursday, March 8 to Sunday, March 11 and is organised by the Kennel Club.

This year’s winner of the prestigious best dog in show title was Elizabeth the Lhasa Apso from Coventry.

Caroline Kisko, communications director at the Kennel Club, said: “Crufts is a celebration of the relationship between dogs and their owners, and is full of events that showcase the diverse role that dogs play in society.”

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