Dog owner 'honoured' as poodle Watson shines on Crufts debut

Victoria and Watson at Crufts 2022

Victoria Harwin said she was "honoured" after she and dog Watson impressed at this year's Crufts event. - Credit: Victoria Harwin

A woman whose dog impressed in her first appearance at one of the world’s most recognised pet shows said she felt “honoured to be there”. 

Victoria Harwin, who runs dog grooming firm The Dog Bathing Company in Queen Adelaide, qualified for this year’s Crufts with 14-month-old poodle Watson. 

“I first showed him when he was six-months-old,” said Victoria. 

“I’ve never been to Crufts before or a dog showing before I got Watson, so it has been a bit of a journey."

Victoria and Watson at Crufts 2022

Victoria and Watson in action at this year's Crufts event. - Credit: Victoria Harwin

The pair achieved three first-place finishes, a second and third-place at five qualifying championship shows in the run-up to this year’s Crufts event in Birmingham. 

Watson, who adopts the show name ‘Alisiane wish upon a star’, competed in the standard poodle junior dog class in an eight-strong field. 

“You go in the ring with the other poodles in your class and stand your dog, which is a perfect position to show off confirmation,” Victoria said. 

Victoria Harwin and dog Watson at Crufts 2022

Victoria and Watson placed fifth and were highly commended in the standard poodle junior dog class at this year's Crufts event. - Credit: Victoria Harwin

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“All dogs have to have the perfect head, bone structure, feet etc.  

“You then have to move in the ring and the judge looks at us to check how they are moving.” 

The judges were impressed with Victoria and Watson, that they were awarded a highly commended fifth place on March 12. 

“Watson is a pro; he turned it on in the showroom and likes to show off,” said Victoria. 

“I felt under pressure before as you are also representing his breeder and I wanted to make sure we did well.” 

Victoria and Watson at Crufts 2022

Victoria and Watson with their highly commended award at this year's Crufts show. - Credit: Victoria Harwin

Victoria, who shone in the virtual UK Mastergroom competition last year, admitted she felt nervous heading into Crufts. 

But having been able to manage her nerves, she now hopes her successful debut can be a springboard for further triumph in show events and her dog grooming business. 

“Because all the dogs and handlers are so strong, I didn’t know if we would place; we just felt honoured to be there,” she added. 

Watson the dog took part at Crufts 2022

14-month-old Watson shone on his and owner Victoria Harwin's debut at this year's Crufts. - Credit: Victoria Harwin

“I’d like to do more shows with Watson and we hope to go to Crufts next year, that is our big aim.  

“I’ve got grooming competitions in April and May and I will aim to concentrate on the business and try to grow that, so hopefully it will be an exciting year.”