Derbyshire dog wins popular Crufts crossbreed competition

Derbyshire dog wins popular Crufts crossbreed competition. Diesel, winner of Scruffts at Crufts 2024, with owner Claire Whitehead. Credit BeatMedia and The Kennel Club
Diesel, winner of Scruffts at Crufts 2024, with owner Claire Whitehead. Credit BeatMedia and The Kennel Club

Diesel, a 13-year-old Airedale Terrier/Labrador cross owned by Claire Whitehead from Barlborough, Derbyshire, has won the Scruffts Family Crossbreed of the Year title at the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, on Saturday 9 March.
Diesel was one of four crossbreed finalists in the national Scruffts competition, which is exclusively supported by pet food makers James Wellbeloved. Hundreds of dogs competed in qualifying heats around the country in 2023, with 23 dogs and their owners taking part in the semi-finals, which also took place at Crufts earlier on Saturday.
Claire describes Diesel as a self-taught epilepsy detection dog, having learnt to bark when Claire’s friend, who has epilepsy, has a seizure and will also bring her a blanket to protect her.
Thrilled owner Claire said: “I’m trying to keep my tears in! He’s my everything, I go nowhere without Diesel. I have a tattoo of his pawprint on my wedding finger and he is my world.”
The four finalists were judged by Crufts TV presenter Radzi Chinyanganya, alongside TV personality Faye Winter, and dog judge Paul Rawlings, who were looking for qualities such as health, good character and temperament.
On choosing the winner, Faye said: “We felt we could see the connection between Claire and Diesel but on top of that, it’s what he’s done for other people outside of Claire’s household for over a decade. It was a tight competition but in the end they were clear winners.”
Radzi added: “To find out that an untrained dog has taught itself to be a medical alert dog, that’s a superpower. It’s amazing so when we heard that we knew it was something special.”
The Scruffts Family Crossbreed of the Year competition is run by The Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, and caters exclusively for crossbreed dogs: dogs whose parents are of two different breeds, or a mixture of several breeds.
The four finalists were:
• Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog: Buck, a Lurcher/Saluki cross, owned by Eve Norton, from Battle, East Sussex.
• Good Citizen Dog Scheme: Marnie, a mixed breed, owned by Lyn Freeman, from Harlow, Essex.
• Golden Oldie Crossbreed: Diesel, an Airedale Terrier/Labrador cross, owned by Claire Whitehead, from Barlborough, Derbyshire.
• Prettiest Crossbreed Bitch: Violet, a Patterdale/Lakeland Terrier cross, owned by Catherine Dolan, from Chorley, Lancashire.
As well as the Scruffts Crossbreed Family Dog of the Year title, Diesel received a year’s supply of healthy hypo-allergenic dog food from James Wellbeloved.
James Wellbeloved PRO Business Marketing Manager, Lucy Williams said: "Huge congratulations to Diesel and Claire on their well-deserved win. James Wellbeloved is very proud to be exclusive supporters of this wonderful competition which celebrates the nation’s most fabulous crossbreed dogs.
“The bond between the pair was clear to see and we hope they enjoy every moment of being Scruffts champions.”
To enter one of the 2024 heats, please visit the Crufts website to find one near you

For more information and results from the show, visit Crufts website.