The winner of this year’s Westminster Dog of the Year competition is Tag, a seven year-old German Shepherd belonging to Eric Martlew, Labour MP for Carlisle.
Tag beat off stiff competition from ten other parliamentary pooches nipping at his heels to become this year’s top dog, taking over the prestigious title from Torres, an 18 month old Pug owned by Tony Baldry, Conservative MP for Banbury. Tag was described by the judges as a fantastic all-round dog, with an owner who shows incredibly responsible dog ownership.
Mr Martlew said, ‘today was a great opportunity to promote the unique relationship between dog and owner. Tag's fantastic temperament won the competition, she has made me proud once again!’.
In second place is George, a seven-year old Labrador belonging to Diana Johnson, Labour MP for Hull North, who was described by the judges as 'the perfect family dog'. In third place was Dainty, a greyhound belonging to the political correspondent of the Evening Standard newspaper, Jason Beattie. The judges chose Dainty for the difficult background she has come from, being an ex-racing greyhound.
Buster, the Staffie belonging to Andrew Rossindell, Conservative MP for Romford, was given a special commendation for the character and humour he has brought to the competition for the past three years. Andrew will help judge the competition next year.
Now in its 14th year, the Westminster Dog of the Year competition is run by Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club. The aim of this lighthearted event is to highlight the special relationship between a dog and owner and promote responsible dog ownership. Tag was judged as the winner by Clarissa Baldwin of Dogs Trust and Rosemary Smart, Chief Executive of the Kennel Club, assisted by Tony Baldry MP, owner of the current title holder, Torres.
Both Dogs Trust and Kennel Club are encouraging all of those barking mad canines and their bark-bencher owners that missed out this year to get in training now for Westminster Dog of the Year 2007!