Magic Mike from Wallingford is Britain’s top show dog so far for 2018

A dog named Magic Mike, who lives with Sara Robertson in Wallingford, Oxfordshire has won Best in Show at the prestigious Border Union championship dog show in Kelso in the Scottish Borders, securing his position as the top show dog of all breeds for 2018 at the halfway stage.

The three-year-old Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, whose official Kennel Club name is Champion Soletrader Magic Mike, beat 5,554 other dogs to claim the title at one of the UK’s largest dog shows. Mike is owned by Sara in partnership with Wendy Doherty of Ontario, Canada.

This success follows Mike’s Best in Show wins at four other large championship shows earlier this year and has helped secure his current pole position. If he can hold on to his lead until the end of the year, he will emulate his famous mother ‘Jilly’ who won the top dog of all breeds crown in 2012.

Mike was handled to both victories by Sara who has competed at dog shows since childhood. Her husband Gavin is no stranger to success either, as he handled Jilly to Best in Show at Crufts in 2013, proving the old adage that ‘breeding will out’.

The Kennel Club recognises 221 breeds of pedigree dog. The rough-coated Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen – usually referred to as the PBGV by devotees of the breed – was originally bred to trail hare in the bramble-filled terrain of the Vendée district of France. They are active, happy and independent and also willing to please.

Being a hound breed, they do need regular walks, not only to stimulate their brains but also to use their noses in different areas. However, care must be taken to exercise them only in enclosed spaces or on a lead, as otherwise, being a pack animal (which means they get on well with other PBGVs), they may run away. Their casual-looking coat requires a quick brush once a week to remove any loose and dead hair.

Sara said: “Border Union is always an enjoyable show and Mike seemed to enjoy it too. He really is a terrific show dog and it is a pleasure to show him as he likes all the attention.

“First and foremost he is our family pet and our two children absolutely adore him. A day out at a dog show is a real treat for the whole family and naturally it is very exciting when Mike performs well and catches the judge’s eye.”

Read more information on all 221 breeds of pedigree dog, and to find out which breed of dog might suit your lifestyle, visit our Breeds A to Z.