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Delight as Swedish Vallhund Loki from Cannock wows Crufts judges

A shocked dog owner has struck beginners luck as her four-legged fiend took home one of the top prizes at Crufts 2018.

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Lynn Pallatina from Cannock with Loki

Lynn Pallatina's Swedish Vallhund named Loki secured the prestigious Best of Breed award for the world's biggest dog show despite him being her first show dog.

The odds were against inexperienced two-year-old Loki but he put his best paw forward at Birmingham’s NEC, impressing judges and taking home the prize.

The 33-year-old Cannock dog-owner was one of thousands who joined other canine lovers who descended on Birmingham for the 127th edition of the shop which attracts visitors from across the globe.

A record of 3,623 dogs from 49 countries were there to win the coveted Best in Show while an estimated 22,000 pooches visited the NEC for the four-day event.

She said: "I am on cloud nine right now. I did not expect to be getting this. It is my first time with him at Crufts. Loki is my first show dog.

"He has now got his first challenge certificate. He has made my day. I did not expect to win, so to get to this, it is just amazing."

Visitors learnt about 200 different breeds at the Discover Dogs zone, crossbreeds competed for the Scruffts crown and the Friends for Life event reminded people about the truly inspiring and unique stories that show dogs at their absolute best.

Stafford coach driver, Ian Wakeling, aged 54, took home his fist prize after his ten-year-old Siberian Husky was also awarded best of breed.

He said: "I am ecstatic and I am over the moon.

"This is the first time I have had a challenge certificate in all the years I have been competing. So I am delighted to have won."

Lynn has owned Loki for around two years. She bought him originally with the intention of competing in dog shows but in obedience and agility categories.

However she switched to the breed category and now says she has found a new passion.

She has been following Crufts since 2001 but last year she entered the competition as a dog trainer for the first time.

She entered Lynn into the breed category in the junior age range but did not win.

Asked about her secret to to success, she said: "It is just about having a real good bond with your dog. If your dog doesn't enjoy it in the arena they are not going to perform good.

"You have got to make it a massive game for them."