A PRIMARY teacher from Darlington has won the Best in Breed award with his beagle, Jacob, at Crufts.

David Craig and Jacob won the title at Crufts in March 2020 and this is his 20th certificate.

There was no competition in 2021 due to the Covid pandemic but Jacob is now back competing regularly.

David has been showing dogs since he was 13 years old. Now 54, his “obsession and hobby” is stronger than ever.

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David started showing Labradors, then moved on to Beagles. Jacob was just three and a half years old and just 14 months old when he won the Best in Breed award at Crufts in 2020 in the junior class.

“Last year, Jacob was the nation’s winningest beagle and the second-best dog of any breed last year.

“You need three challenge certificates to be a champion and he’s got twenty now. He was raised here and his mother and his mother and so on.

“He is also the result of artificial insemination. His father died a month before we wanted him and the mother to mate, and therefore Jacob is the result of artificial insemination. Thanks to this technology, we were able to obtain a litter of puppies.

“Beagles are real dogs, they are happy dogs. It is a very healthy breed. They are not fussy dogs, so before a show just give them a bath and put them under a heat lamp and they are good to go. No stories. Plus, their friendly temperament means they make great pets, very carefree dogs.

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“Jacob is a very calm dog. Beagles are a sensitive breed because they are pack dogs so when you take one out of the pack they can sometimes be less confident and to walk into that group ring at Crufts with a fanfare when you walk in they must be pretty bombproof and he is also a total gentleman and very relaxed and calm. When he hears the fanfare, he tends to perk up, he loves it.

“Last year he went to 19 shows and he won the Beagle Championship 17 out of 19 times.

“Next year he (Jacob) can’t go because I’m judging the breed at Crufts. I love the atmosphere and it’s a hobby but it’s also been an obsession since I was a kid.

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