Milton Keynes owner to compete at Crufts with three of her very clever dogs

She’s hoping for a hat-trick
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A Milton Keynes dog owner hopes to bag a memorable hat-trick when three of her beloved Rottweilers compete at Crufts next week.

Maggie Docherty, 56, was only a child when she set her heart on training dogs after falling in love with a German Shepherd on television.

Next week, her dream will continue to be a reality when she takes a whopping three Rottweilers to the NEC Birmingham next week.

Two of Maggie Docherty's three Rottweilers  that are to compete at Crufts next weekTwo of Maggie Docherty's three Rottweilers  that are to compete at Crufts next week
Two of Maggie Docherty's three Rottweilers that are to compete at Crufts next week

The head trainer and founder of Bucks K9 Search Dogs will be accompanied on the journey from Winslow to the West Midlands by furry friends Stark, Depp, and Solo.

Docherty, who teaches dogs to mantrail in city areas, found her passion for man’s four-legged companions early in life when watching children’s tv show ‘Champion the Wonder Horse’.

And she said: “When I was a kid during the school holidays, there was a programme called Champion the Wonder Horse.

“They had a German Shepherd, and I just wanted one so badly.

“Then through reading books and things as a child, I really wanted to train a dog.”

Crufts is a unique celebration of happy, healthy dogs and the loving relationship that they enjoy with their owners.

The world's biggest dog show recognises the varied roles that dogs play in society and highlights the many different disciplines and activities for dogs and owners.

Until 20 years ago, Docherty had to make do through a friend’s pet – one that drew her attention to a breed which would change her life.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t until 20 years ago that I got my first dog,” she added.

“In the meantime, I’d fallen in love with my head instructor’s rottweiler called Ruby when I was riding horses.

“I just fell in love with the breed and I got my first Rottweiler, Zeus, about 20 years ago, so I waited a long time!”

But the wait was more than worth it.

Today, Docherty is well-regarded on the Rottweiler scene for her expertise in relation to the breed.

As much is exemplified by her previous attendance at Crufts in 2022 with Stark, five, who possesses lifetime qualification for the competition and has a day job as a search and rescue dog.

This time, however, he will be joined by ‘quick-minded’ pals Depp and Solo – who are both only 20-months-old.

Docherty refers immediately to the motivation the dogs give her when discussing their influence on her life.

She said: “When I got Zeus, I was at a very low point in my life.

“I had gone through some job changes and a divorce, and I really do hold my dogs responsible for where I am today.

“They give me the drive and the passion to get up in a morning.

“They just like being with you.”

Crufts, run by The Kennel Club, is a unique celebration of happy, healthy dogs and of the loving relationship that they enjoy with their owners. Crufts is held from 7-10 March 2024 at the NEC Birmingham. Viewers can follow all the action and highlights on Channel 4 and get further information or tickets here.

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