Australian shepherd named Viking crowned best in show at Crufts

Viking, an Australian shepherd, won best in show (PA)
Viking, an Australian shepherd, won best in show (PA)

An Australian shepherd named Viking has been crowned best in show at the 2024 Crufts dog show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Three-year-old Viking, from Solihull, Birmingham, beat 24,000 dogs from around the world over the last four days to claim the show’s top honour on Sunday.

Viking, co-owned by Melanie Raymond, John Shaw and Kerry Kirtley, was the winner of the pastoral group earlier in the show.

Ms Raymond, a third generation dog breeder who lives just three miles from the showground, said: “We all dream of winning best in show at Crufts.”

Asked if he lived up to expectation, she said: “He did actually, I should never doubt him because he always gives me everything and you come in and he’s like ‘yep, come on let’s do this’.

“So he loves every minute of it.”

According to dog welfare and training body The Kennel Club, the breed was developed in America as a sheepdog to work on the ranches and is “very successful in the show ring” because of their “attractive colours and athletic movements”.

A nine-year-old Jack Russell terrier named Zen, from Japan, who earlier won the terrier group, was named reserve dog.