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    March 12th, 2017Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2017

    Biscuit, a German Shepherd Dog/Border Collie cross owned by Joshua King from Prestatyn, Denbighshire, has won the Scruffts Family Crossbreed of the Year title at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts on Saturday 11th March.

    Two and a half year-old Biscuit was one of six crossbreed finalists in the national Scruffts competition, which saw hundreds of dogs compete in qualifying heats around the country. The six finalists had each won their class at the semi-finals at Eukanuba Discover Dogs in London last October, with Biscuit winning the Good Citizen Dog Scheme category in order to progress to the final.

    Joshua, who is a 14 year-old Young Kennel Club (YKC) member, wanted his own dog from a very young age, and campaigned to his mum for the family to get one. In 2014 she gave in and the family went to go see a litter near to their home which had one crossbreed puppy left.

    Biscuit, who was the runt of the litter, and Joshua immediately bonded and it was clear to his mother that Biscuit was the dog for him. Since taking him home, the young crossbreed has achieved his bronze, silver and gold Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme awards and regularly competes in YKC competitions with Joshua.

    Joshua is currently training to become a dog trainer at his local club, the Good Companion Dog Training Club, in Prestatyn. He helps run classes once a week with other trainers, assisting with the training of local dogs. His win comes on the same weekend that the Good Citizen Dog Scheme celebrates its 25th anniversary.

    Thrilled Joshua said: “I was not expecting to win and I’m extremely delighted about it. I think Biscuit’s potential sets him out from other dogs. He is brilliant with people and loves other dogs as well; he wants everybody to be his best mate.

    “Competitions like Scruffts give dogs like Biscuit a chance as there’s no other big competitions available for crossbreeds. This shines a light on crossbreeds which is great because they’re brilliant.

    “The atmosphere in the arena was busy and quite nerve-wracking for me, but it was brilliant and Biscuit seemed to take it all in his stride. Crufts is so special because everyone here loves dogs, speaks to each other and are really friendly.”

    Two-time Olympic gold medallist rower and family man, Alex Gregory MBE and championship Best in Show dog judge, David Guy judged the six finalists on qualities such as good character, health and temperament with people and other dogs.

    On the difficult decision of choosing the winner, Alex Gregory said: “Any one of those finalists could have won but when it came down to it Joshua and Biscuit’s story inspired both of us. He was the whole package.”

    David Guy commented further: “The winner is inspirational; he’s young, committed and an example dog owner who, at such a young age, has already given so much back to the canine world.”

    The Scruffs Family Crossbreed of the Year competition is run by the Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, and caters exclusively for crossbreed dogs: dogs whose parents are of two different breeds, or a mixture of several breeds.

    Throughout last year, heats of the popular Scruffts contest, which is supported by pet food makers James Wellbeloved, took place at events around the country in search of crossbreeds with that extra special something. More than 1,400 dogs took part in the Scruffts heats this year, raising £4,000 for both the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and each event’s chosen charity. All competitors received a James Wellbeloved goody bag which included tasty treats, toys and a blanket.

    The six finalists were:

    • Most Handsome Dog: King Tommy, owned by Monique Nerman from Totnes, Devon
    • Good Citizen Dog Scheme: Biscuit, owned by Joshua King from Prestatyn, Denbighshire
    • Golden Oldie: Vinny, shown by Sarah Atkins and owned by Susan Atkins from Bedworth, Warwickshire
    • Prettiest Bitch: Ginny, owned by Judy Rigby from Stockport, Cheshire
    • Child’s Best Friend: Bonnie, owned by Grace Mead from Connah’s Quay, Flintshire
    • Best Rescue: Fleur, owned by Wendy Morris from Ropley, Hampshire

    As well as the Scruffts Crossbreed Family Dog of the Year title, Biscuit received a year’s supply of healthy hypo-allergenic dog food from James Wellbeloved.

    James Wellbeloved marketing director Alison Sudbury said: “Congratulations to Biscuit and Joshua for winning Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year – what a well-deserved pair. They are the perfect ambassadors for the extremely well-loved crossbreed community.

    “Scruffts is such a fantastic competition and a highlight in the James Wellbeloved calendar. We are proud of all the dogs and their owners who made it through to the final, as well as all the amazing crossbreeds who entered into heats across the country last year. We look forward to welcoming more loveable crossbreeds and their owners at the 2017 heats.”

    Scruffts is run in support of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which has awarded over £10 million worth of grants to benefit dogs since its inception in 1987. The Trust awards grants to welfare organisations which make a difference to dogs’ lives, and also provides financial support to canine scientific research and support charities.

    To enter one of the 2017 heats, please visit the Crufts website to find one near you http://www.crufts.org.uk/content/whats-on/scruffts/

    Catch Biscuit and Joshua, the other finalists and more lovable crossbreeds in Scruffts: Britain’s Favourite Dog which will be airing on Channel 4 on Friday 17th March at 8pm.

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    March 13th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts 2016

    Bella, a Lurcher cross owned by Helen Lewis from Stoughton, Guildford has won the Scruffts Family Crossbreed of the Year title at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, yesterday.

    Bella was one of six crossbreed finalists in the national Scruffts competition which saw hundreds of dogs compete in qualifying heats around the country, with all six finalists then winning their category at the semi-finals at Eukanuba Discover Dogs in London last October. Bella had won the Best Rescue category to progress to the final.

    Originally a stray from Govan in Glasgow, when Bella was brought into the Dogs Trust centre at Harefield, Greater London, she was covered in injuries and had been starved close to death.

    Helen came across her after tragically losing her previous dog Mandy to cancer. Two weeks later Helen took Bella home, where she underwent a lot of necessary training to combat the social and behavioural issues she suffered as a result of her terrible start in life. With a lot of dedication and tender loving care, Bella transformed in to an impeccably well-behaved and loving dog.

    Helen, who suffers with complex health issues, relies a great deal on Bella to help her get through difficult times and believes she would not be here without her. Inspired by her friendship and bond with Bella, Helen has since decided to change careers in order to train as a dog trainer.

    Proud owner Helen said: “I don’t believe it,  I’m speechless. Crufts is really something special, it’s not just a dog show, it’s so much more as proved yesterday. I can’t believe it!”

    Special guest judge, famous author and dog lover, Jilly Cooper judged the six finalists on qualities such as good character, health and temperament with people and other dogs.

    Jilly Cooper commented on Bella and Helen’s story: “It was just such a lovely story and was wonderful that they have both managed to find each other – simply amazing. It was so awful what Bella has had to go through, they were worthy winners.”

    The Scruffts Family Crossbreed of the Year competition is run by the Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, and caters exclusively for crossbreed dogs: dogs whose parents are of two different breeds, or a mixture of several breeds.

    Throughout last year, heats of the popular Scruffts contest, which is supported by pet food makers James Wellbeloved, took place at events around the country in search of crossbreeds with that extra special something. More than 1,800 dogs took part in the Scruffts heats this year, raising £1,900 for both the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and each event’s chosen charity. All competitors received James Wellbeloved treats and a copy of Your Dog magazine, the Scruffts media partner. 

    The six finalists for the 2016 final were:

    Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog – Hugo owned by Karen Kalaway from Market HarboroughPrettiest Crossbreed Bitch – Beau owned by Diane Taylor from RamsgateGolden Oldie – Icey owned by Val Philips from CroydonChild’s Best Friend – Roxy owned by Olivia Lawrence from ChesterfieldBest Crossbreed Rescue – Bella owned by Helen Lewis from GuildfordGCDS Crossbreed Dog – Fergus owned by Kathryn Hoffman from Burgh Le Marsh

    As well as the Scruffts Crossbreed Family Dog of the Year title, Bella also received a year’s supply of healthy hypo-allergenic dog food from James Wellbeloved.

    James Wellbeloved marketing director Alison Sudbury said: “Scruffts at Crufts is the pinnacle of the crossbreed showcase calendar.  With so many fantastic dogs making the finals, we are most grateful to the renowned author Jilly Cooper for judging this competition. 

    “We at James Wellbeloved are delighted that Bella and Helen were named the winners – Bella is a perfect ambassador for the very well-loved crossbreed community.”

    Scruffts is run in support of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which has awarded over £9m worth of grants to benefit dogs since its inception in 1987. The Trust awards grants to welfare organisations which make a difference to dogs’ lives, and also provides financial support to canine scientific research and support charities.

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    March 7th, 2016Laura P (Editor)Crufts 2016

    Six crossbreed dogs are on their way to the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, to compete in the prestigious Scruffts grand finale on Saturday 12th March.

    Taking place in the main arena at Crufts, this year’s competition will be judged by author and dog lover, Jilly Cooper.

    The Scruffts Family Crossbreed of the Year competition, which is supported by pet food makers James Wellbeloved, caters exclusively for crossbreed dogs – dogs whose parents are of two different breeds, or a mixture of several breeds.

    James Wellbeloved marketing director Alison Sudbury said: “James Wellbeloved is very proud to sponsor this wonderful event and we look forward to providing our continued support for the Scruffts event in the future.”

    The six finalists qualified for a place in the Scruffts final after winning classes at heats around the country during 2015 and then winning at the semi-finals, which took place at the Kennel Club’s Eukanuba Discover Dogs event last November.

    The six finalists for 2016 are:

    Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog

    Karen Kalaway has kept her horses at Fishpond’s farm in Stoke Albany, Northamptonshire for six years. When she first started going down to the farm, she knew that trainer and dear friend Jane Wallace was known for breeding Terriers but little did she know that she would be getting one of her puppies two years later, which would change her life.

    Karen met Hugo two days after he was born in April 2012. As soon as she saw his face and the spot on top of his head, she fell in love. She visited the puppies every day for a week to play with him, before deciding she had to have Hugo and couldn’t possibly live without him.

    Since being introduced, Hugo and Karen have become inseparable. She helped care and train him which slowly changed her outlook on life. Hugo gave Karen a reason to be happy, and his kindness and gentleness has uplifted and enriched her life. Hugo always joins her on her business trips abroad and the pair enjoy going out for hacks together as he loves to race alongside Karen and her horses.

    Prettiest Crossbreed Bitch

    Two year old Beau, a Papillion/Collie cross, has a big heart for such a small dog. Diane Taylor from Ramsgate in Kent was told about a litter of crossbreed puppies in Nuneaton, Warwickshire by a friend of hers on the off-chance she was interested. Diane, who owns eight other dogs, wasn’t on the lookout for another dog but as soon as she visited the litter, she fell in love with the one and only white bitch, Beau. At 8 weeks old, Beau came home to join Diane’s growing family.

    Beau loves to be centre of attention, and her gentle nature and loving attitude warms the hearts of everyone she meets. She currently competes in dog agility grade 3 and has performed on stage in shows such as Beauty & the Beast at the Theatre Royal Margate with EastEnders & Strictly Come Dancing star, Ricky Groves. Beau even loves to skateboard in her spare time.

    Diane, who has been involved with dogs since the age of 16, has previously shown her Australian Shepherds at Crufts but this will be the first time she competes with her beloved crossbreed Beau.

    Diane and Beau can’t wait to enter the main arena at Crufts; the pair are extremely excited to attend the Scruffts final and Beau is looking forward to having all eyes on her.

    Golden Oldie

    Three years ago, after growing up on the streets of Romania, Icey was found nearly frozen to death in a public shelter. The Collie/Corgi cross weighed 7kg, had no teeth or tail, split ears and was on the brink of death. Val Philips, who runs a Border Collie rescue centre in Surrey, was sent his picture in December 2013 and knew she had to do something to rescue him.

    Poor Icey was too sick to make the journey to the UK so Val organised for him to be taken to the vets in Romania, where he was given a warm bath and a bed to sleep in. It wasn’t until February 2014 that he was well enough for Val to take him back to the UK for further treatment. It was touch and go for many months, and Val and her vets wondered if he’d ever eaten a good meal in his life.

    After attending rehab, Icey made a full recovery and is now a happy, healthy dog who loves life, despite what he has been through. His strength to pull through has had a huge impact on the life of Val, her friends and family. Winning the heat at Eukanuba Discover Dogs was Icey’s biggest honour and he and Val are incredibly excited to head to Crufts to hopefully continue his lucky streak.

    Child’s Best Friend

    Fourteen year old Olivia Lawrence tragically lost her mother, grandmother and best friend over the course of two years. This led to Olivia becoming depressed, anxious and withdrawn, which caused a lot of concern for her health and wellbeing.

    Olivia’s aunt Pauline introduced her to Jack Russell Terrier/Dachshund cross Roxie after she got her from a friend in Hull in February 2015. The pair were introduced when Roxy was 8 weeks old and she quickly became the lifesaver that Olivia desperately needed – Roxy’s calm character completely changed Olivia’s outlook on life. After just three months of having Roxy, Pauline noticed a real difference in Olivia; they started to train together and were always playing with each other. Pauline said of this change: “Olivia was laughing and smiling again – I had never seen her so happy.”

    Last year, Olivia became a member of the Young Kennel Club and decided to take Roxy to dog shows, which they both loved. Olivia decided to enter the Scruffts heat at Eukanuba Discover Dogs in London in November last year. This was their first proper dog show and not only did they win their heat, but also went on to win the semi-final all on the same day.

    Best Crossbreed Rescue

    Bella was originally a stray from Govan in Glasgow. When she was brought into the Dogs Trust centre at Harefield, Greater London, she had been treated extremely badly, was covered in injuries and had been starved close to death. But Bella wasn’t out of the woods yet; she had to fight through kennel cough and had to undergo a lot of treatment for her injuries before being fit for rehoming.

    Helen Lewis wasn’t looking for another dog after experiencing intense heartbreak, losing her last dog Mandy to cancer. But her mother dragged her to the centre just to see which dogs were available. When Helen came across Bella she was curled up next to another dog. After getting up and sniffing her hand Helen was in love. She took her home two weeks later.

    Bella had to undergo a lot of training with Helen as she was experiencing social and behavioural issues due to her terrible start in life. With a large amount of love, dedication and training she has become an extremely well behaved dog, and Helen’s best friend.

    Helen, who suffers with complex health issues, relies a great deal on Bella to help her get through difficult times and believes she would not be here without her. Inspired by her friendship and bond with Bella, Helen has since decided to change careers in order to train as a dog trainer.

    Bella and Helen have achieved a lot together since they first met; Bella has completed bronze, silver and gold awards in the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Dog Scheme, regularly trains in flyball and agility as well as competiting in obedience. She also works as a psychological assistance and medical assistance dog for Helen, who is deaf.

    Helen strongly believes that, although she rescued Bella, Bella in turn also rescued her.

    GCDS Crossbreed Dog

    When Kathryn Hoffman first met Labradoodle, Fergus, she knew he was special. They were introduced when he was nine weeks old, proudly carrying around his feeding dish.

    Kathryn quickly realised that Fergus was great with people which she wanted to channel to help others. At sixteen months old, Fergus achieved his Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme gold award.

    Fergus became a registered Pet as Therapy dog and began regularly visiting elderly patients in his local day centre and hospital. He has formed a strong bond with the patients and they really look forward to his visits.

    In his spare time, Fergus takes part in various canine scent work activities. He has completed two CSI courses where he learnt to detect body and explosive scents. Fergus also belongs to the Talking Dogs Scentwork Club where he has the opportunity to detect scents in different environmental situations.

    At home, six year-old Fergus is very useful around the house – he can empty the washing machine, collect the mail and close doors and drawers.

    To find out more about Scruffts, please visit www.scruffts.org.uk

    The Scruffts final is at 6.15pm on Saturday 12th March in the main arena.

     

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    March 7th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Crufts 2014

    A dog rescued by soldiers in Afghanistan is one of six special crossbreed dogs which are heading to the world’s greatest dog event next week.

    Wylie, who had his ears cut off and had also been stabbed and run over before he was rescued, will be competing against five other dogs which have beaten hundreds of competitors from around the country to make it to the Scruffts grand finale, taking place at Crufts at the NEC, Birmingham on Friday 7 th March.

    Kerrang! Radio DJ and former Big Brother winner, Kate Lawler will choose the winner in the Main Arena at the show. Kate, whose afternoon show on the station draws over a million listeners each week, will be judging the six finalists on qualities like good character, health and temperament with people and other dogs.

    The Scruffts Family Crossbreed of the Year competition is run by the Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, and caters exclusively for crossbreed dogs: dogs whose parents are of two different breeds, or a mixture of several breeds.

    The six finalists qualified for a place in the Scruffts final after winning classes at heats around the country during 2013 and then winning at the semi-finals, which took place at the Kennel Club’s Discover Dogs event last November.

    The six finalists for the 2014 final are as follows:

    · Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog (6 months – 7 years)

    Bailey, owned by Nigel McManus from Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute. Bailey was adopted from an SSPCA Shelter after he was found wandering the streets of Glasgow, but Nigel says he is now “a real star” who does obedience classes and agility training, and really loves long walks in the hills.

    · Prettiest Crossbreed Bitch (6 months – 7 years)

    Sylvy, owned by Danni Holder from Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham. Sylvy was born at Dogs Trust and had kennel cough from when she was only a few days old, before developing parvo along with her seven brothers and sisters – sadly only three survived. Since then Sylvy has gone on to be qualified as a Pets at Therapy dog and Danni describes her as a “very friendly” dog and “wants to be best friends with everyone”.

    · Child’s Best Friend – handled by a young person between 6 and 16 years of age inclusively (6 months – 12 years)

    Lola, owned by fifteen year old Amy Graham from Randalstown, Co Antrim. Lola was found wandering the streets eating out of bins in January last year. Amy says “We all fell in love with her little face immediately. She is an amazing dog, she wakes me up for school by jumping on my bed. If I am ever sick or upset she comes up to me and looks after me.”

    · Golden Oldie Crossbreed (8 years or over)

    Willow, owned by Sheli Brown from Crewe, Cheshire. Willow works as a therapy dog, spending time with young people and children. She is the oldest dog competing and loves balls and sticks. Proud owner Sheli says she is “absolutely thrilled” to be competing in the final.

    · Best Crossbreed Rescue

    Wylie, owned by Sarah Singleton from Yeovil, Somerset. Wylie was forced into a dog fight and was near death before he was rescued by soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan, back in 2011. They took him to an army base where he was treated for some horrific injuries. His ears were cut off (a long standing tradition for Afghan dogs used for fighting), and he was stabbed and run over by a car. Despite all of this he has recovered and is described by Sarah as a “gentle, trusting and loving dog”.

    · Good Citizen Dog Scheme Crossbreed (for entrants that have a GCDS certificate at any level)

    Barney, owned by Mike Murray from Kenley, Greater London. Barney was rescued from a pet shop where he was kept in appalling conditions but is now described by Mike as “a fantastic member of our family” and “a very loving dog” who enjoys nothing more than a walk in the woods.

    Throughout last year, heats of the popular Scruffts contest, which is supported by pet food makers James Wellbeloved, took place at events around the country in search of crossbreeds with that extra special something. Nearly 1,200 dogs took part in the Scruffts heats last year, raising over £6,000 for the Kennel Club Charitable Trust and each event’s chosen charity. All competitors received James Wellbeloved treats and a copy of Your Dog magazine, the Scruffts media partner.

    Apart from the sought-after title, the winner at this year’s Scruffts will win a year’s supply of healthy hypo-allergenic dog food from James Wellbeloved.

    James Wellbeloved marketing manager, Anne-Laure Jaouën said: “The Scruffts final is the highlight of my year. All of last year’s finalists were brilliant and I can’t wait to meet the finalists for this year. It’s amazing to hear the incredible stories that these crossbreeds have and I wish them all the very best of luck.”

    Scruffts is run in support of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which has awarded over £8m worth of grants to benefit the canine world since its inception in 1987. The Trust awards grants to welfare organisations which make a difference to dogs’ lives, and also provides financial support to canine scientific research and support charities.

    To find out more about Scruffts, please visit www.scruffts.org.uk.

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