Paw-fect canine candidate, Alex Norris, is crowned Westminster Dog of the Year

There were worthy winners in Westminster, as Border Collies Boomer and Corona aged seven and nine years old respectively and belonging to Alex Norris MP for Nottingham North, were crowned 2018 Westminster Dogs of the Year.

The 26th annual Westminster Dog of the Year competition, organised by Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club, took place on Thursday 6th September, in Victoria Tower Gardens, Westminster. Boomer and Corona both showed dogged determination as they battled it out to defeat a staggering 11 ‘paw-litical’ opponents to win the coveted title of Westminster Dog of the Year. 

The MPs entering the competition campaigned hard, canvassing for votes from the public before meeting the expert judges to discuss their dog’s heroic deeds and acts of devotion. This year, the event focused on the effect fireworks can have on dogs, how owners can minimise the stress felt by their pets, and what the government can do to better regulate the use of fireworks.

Winning MP, Alex Norris, said of his beloved dogs; “I am delighted to have won Westminster Dog of the Year with my terrific double act of Boomer and Corona. They’ve had such a fantastic day, meeting all the other ‘paw-litical’ candidates and I was never in any doubt that they would wag their way to victory. I am very proud that they’ve has been part of an event that promotes responsible dog ownership.”

The judging panel – Bill Lambert; Senior Health and Welfare Manager at the Kennel Club, Graeme Robertson; Dogs Trust Chairman and Tracy Brabin MP; 2017 winner – spent the morning with dogs from different political persuasions and ambitions.

Commenting on the reasons Boomer and Corona were selected as the 2018 Westminster Dog of the Year, Graeme Robertson, Chairman of Dogs Trust said: “We are thrilled with the number of MPs and commendable canines who competed for the title of Westminster Dog of the Year 2018. It’s always wonderful to see the bond between dogs and their owners and Boomer, Corona and Alex really stood out for this very reason, not to mention their ‘paw-litical’ prowess. I would like to thank the MPs and their devoted dogs for taking part.”

Bill Lambert from the Kennel Club continued: “It was wonderful to meet Boomer, Corona and Alex in Victoria Tower Gardens, and having deliberated over so many fantastic dogs, we decided that both Boomer and Corona truly deserve the title of Westminster Dog of the Year 2018. It was a difficult decision but their bond was undeniable. Huge congratulations to the pair for winning such a prestigious title.”

To further echo this year’s theme on the effect fireworks can have on dogs, Dogs Trust behaviour representatives were on hand to offer advice and tips on how to help your pooches through firework season.

Leading the opposition in second place was Scarlet a six year old Welsh Springer Spaniel owned by Andrew Mitchell MP for Sutton Coldfield. A place in the (trophy) cabinet was also awarded to Dogs Trust rescue dog Gooseberry, an 11 month old Dachshund and Cheryl Gillan, MP for Chesham and Amersham who came in third.

In addition to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards, the competition also had a winner decided solely from the public vote which was Corbyn, a seven month old Cockerpoo owned by the MP for Weaver Dale, Mike Amesbury.