CHAMPION POOCH WILL LEAD PACK

SUPREME Crufts champion Danny the Pekinese will be parading his trophy at the Great North Dog Walk this weekend.

He beat more than 22,000 top pedigree dogs competing for Best in Show at this year's event, which was officially crowned by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest dog show in the world and attracted 543 overseas entries.

So organisers are hoping he will bring the show's good luck to the walk on The Leas in South Shields this Sunday, as the Great North Dog Walk bids to officially become the largest dog walk in the world.

Owner Philip Martin, from Glasgow, agreed to start the walk with Danny after he and organiser Tony Carlisle met at the Scottish Dog Walk launched in Edinburgh last month.

He said: "I am looking forward to it and it should be good fun.

"Danny loves being the centre of attention and having his picture taken so this event will suit him down to the ground!"

Mr Martin has been showing at Crufts for 30 years and said winning was a lifetime ambition and a special accolade for Danny, whose Kennel Club name is Yakee A Dangerous Liaison, as the show was his last before retiring.

Danny will be involved in charity work and help raise plenty of cash for the animal charities that will benefit from the Great North Dog Walk - the National Canine Defence League, Guide Dogs for the Blind and Pets as Therapy.

Mr Carlisle said: "I am over the moon because everything has really come together and I have got a real feeling we are going to beat the record and raise a lot of money for charity."

Don't forget you can register up to and on the day with registration closing at 9am and entry is free.

For more information, contact Mr Carlisle on (0795) 724 9799 or visit www.cooksondogwalk.co.uk

He would also love to hear from any businesses that would like to sponsor the event after a major backer pulled out.