Crufts date for Needham dog owner

IT'S a dog's life for Kerry Abbott but it is one she would not change for the world.The 17-year-old, from Needham Market, is finally realising her dream and taking part in the top canine show Crufts.

IT'S a dog's life for Kerry Abbott but it is one she would not change for the world.

The 17-year-old, from Needham Market, is finally realising her dream and taking part in the top canine show Crufts.

It is the pinnacle of every canine lover in the country and Kerry said she is thrilled to be taking her beloved pooches to such a prestigious show.

Brandy, an eight-year-old Shetland Sheep Dog, and Chad, a four-year-old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever are Kerry's trusty companions on the journey to The NEC in Birmingham where the competition is held this year between March 7 and 10.

"I have been training quite seriously for about three years but I have always been an animal lover and I have had dogs since the age of about four. I just find it so rewarding and the dogs enjoy it. It is good fun and eventually I want to become a dog behaviourist. My parents have to ferry me all around the country to and from shows but it is worth it.

"When I found out I was going to Crufts it was great news. It is hard work but there is nothing else I want to do but work with animals."

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Kerry, who is currently studying animal care at Otley College, is entered in a number of categories.

She added: "I am entering both dogs in the agility Dog of the Year competition and also the Regional Training competition. Then Chad will be in the ABC, which is the Anything but Collies category. In this I will be competing against adults as well."

Kerry said the secret to her success is being able to read and understand her dogs.

"It is so important to have a bond with the dog and to be able to read and understand their behaviour. There is a lot of hard work and training but the rewards are great. Crufts is the place you want to be," she said.

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