A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl from Leigh Park will be among the youngest dog handlers at Crufts next week.
But little Charlie-Louise Quick says she’s not too daunted by the prospect of taking part in the world’s biggest dog show.
I just do it for fun because I love dogsCharlie-Louise Quick
Charlie-Louise said: ‘I just do it for fun because I love dogs. I will probably be a bit nervous in the beginning but when I get halfway through I will probably be all right.’
She added: ‘It would be really nice if I won but I wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t get a place.’
Charlie-Louise qualified for the event, which will take place next Thursday in Birmingham, after winning a dog handling show in Guildford in December.
She will compete against other dog handlers aged six to 11, the youngest age group in the competition.
Charlie-Louise, who is in Year 5 at Bosmere Junior School in Havant, said she enjoyed taking part in handling shows.
She said: ‘It’s like normal dog showing but it’s not judged on the dog, it’s judged on the handler.
‘I will have to walk the dog around, doing whatever the judge says.
‘Normally it’s a triangle, and a walk up and down. Sometimes it can be a figure-of-eight, or it could be a reverse triangle or even a reverse figure-of-eight. Other times you have to do an L-shape.’
Charlie-Louise will take 21-month-old Boston terrier Mia to take part in Crufts.
The breed is a family favourite, and they currently have three of them.
Charlie-Louise said: ‘They are fun and good to cuddle.
‘They are very calm and they are really easy to train.’
It will be Charlie-Louise’s second time at Crufts, as she came fourth in the junior dog handling event last year.
Mum Stacie said everyone in the family loved dogs and they were all delighted with Charlie-Louise’s success so far.
She said: ‘We’re very proud of her because most children in her age group have been doing it for years, but Charlie didn’t start until she was eight so she’s had a lot of catching-up to do.’
Stacie said they travelled to London every Thursday to take part in a ringcraft club. She said: ‘We learn how to show dogs and how to get the most out of your dogs.’