A dog groomer is hoping her pets will look picture ‘pawfect’ when she takes them to the ultimate dog contest.
Kirsty Young, of Hardie Drive, West Boldon, claimed first prize at the North East Grooming Network contest with her prize poodle Zante, at the weekend.
The four-year-old pooch saw off competition to win the latest in a long list of prizes for his owner.
Now Kirsty, who runs Pawfect Style groomers from her home, is taking the handsome hound to Crufts.
The prestigious contest is being held in Birmingham in March, next year, and Zante will be joined by Kirsty’s other black standard poodles, Grace, six, and Kenya, six-months.
Kirsty, 29, said: “Zante won first prize which means that he’s now classed as a champion so any other contest I enter him in from now on, he’ll go in the champion class.
I’m really excited to get to Crufts next year with my three dogs and hopefully I’ll bring back some prizes.Kirsty Young
“Grace is nearly seven so she’ll be in the veterans class and Kenya will be in the puppy class, so I’m hoping to bring back some prizes.
“I go to Crufts nearly every year. There is a lot of pressure but it’s so much fun as well and the dogs really enjoy it.
“It’s a great experience so you go along for that, and any prizes you pick up are just a bonus really. It’s really busy and there are usually around 20,000 dogs there over the four days.”
Kirsty, who trains her pets three nights a week, has been a dog-lover her whole life and was born into the grooming business.
She said: “My mam, Margaret, was a dog groomer for 30 years – she was based in High Barnes, in Sunderland.
“She had miniature poodles and she let me enter a contest with one of them one year and I won two first prizes.
“I wanted my own dog and she said as soon as I could groom it myself I could have one. I got my first standard poodle when I was 12 and I’ve had seven since.
“The contest is about grooming and tricks and obedience too, it’s a bit of both and it’s a lot of fun.
“I’m really excited to get to Crufts next year with my three dogs and hopefully I’ll bring back some prizes.”