A super-friendly St Bernard from Hawke's Bay has taken out the Supreme Award this afternoon at the New Zealand Kennel Club dog nationals in Christchurch.
Six-year-old Barkley won top dog, making it to the finals by winning best of his breed.
Owner Gary Neal says it’s the first time he’s bred and trained a national Supreme winner, after 20 years of breeding and entering shows with his many St Bernards.
“Its just a dream come true” he says.
He says it’s now Barkley’s time to shine after having taken a back seat for several years to Mr Neal’s older St Bernard Chewwy, who won Best of Breed several times but has now been retired.
Barkley is one of 11 St Bernard’s he currently owns.
Another pooch to have his moment in the sun was North Auckland farm dog Luka.
He won the annual ‘Life Saving Award’ for helping alert his owner Mischael Logan to respond to two family medical events.
In one, her husband Auvea was falling into a diabetic coma before Luka barked to alert others to his plight; while he also alerted her that her son, recently injured in an accident, was starting to hemorrhage blood in his bedroom.
Mischael says its definitely Luka’s award.
“He saved our son’s life and without Luka he probably wouldn’t still be alive” she says.
Seventeen hundred dogs from 126 different breeds took part in this year’s national dog show at Agricultural park, the third time Christchurch has hosted the event.