A small “shi-chi” dog who befriended the stars of EastEnders has been crowned Britain’s most beautiful crossbreed.
Teddy, a two-year-old Chihuahua-Shih Tzu cross, repelled over 1,000 much larger dogs to claim the title of Most Beautiful Dog in Scruffts.
He is just 10 inches tall and weighs three pounds, but he will now face five other mixed dogs to be crowned Britain’s Best at the world’s largest dog show, Crufts.
The stars of EastEnders may well want him to win after the pup charmed them while they were filming at the workplace of his owners Tara Ellison and Andy Chandley last year.
Teddy, the two-year-old chihuahua-shih tzu crossbreed (pictured with EastEnders star Danny Dyer, left) fended off more than 1,000 much larger dogs to claim the title of the most beautiful dog in Scruffts
Tara, 44, mother of six, who works at the Cardrome Learner Center in Hornchurch, east London, said: âWe ran EastEnders here last year for a few weeks.
âHe has quite a few pictures of Danny Dyer and each of the EastEnders cases when they were filming.
âEveryone loved Teddy, but Scott Maslen, who plays Jack Branning on the soap opera, was a dog lover and sat and played with Teddy on the grass almost every day of the two weeks.
âHe called her at every opportunity. He has a dog himself and loved showing us his doggy photos.
Pedigree vs crossbreeding: what’s the difference?
A dog that has purebred parents of the same breed is known as a pedigree.
These dogs typically cost hundreds of pounds and are professionally bred.
A cross is a dog born of two dogs of different breed, while a mongrel is a dog whose mother and father are crossed.
The main advantage of a pedigree is that it is easier to predict the dog’s personality and traits.
However, there is plenty of research to suggest that purebred dogs are at a much higher risk for developing health problems from inbreeding.
For example, a German Shepherd is likely to suffer from hip problems, and Labradors struggle with obesity.
âHe has a great personality, he is a very affectionate dog. He loves nothing more than a hug and he comes to my job every day.
âHe’s running around and he just wants to see people. He is like a puppy forever because he is so small that he will still look like a puppy even if he is two years old.
“Then they invited me and Teddy for a private studio tour because they loved him so much.”
Scruffts judges were impressed with Teddy’s poise and grooming in the semifinals of the annual competition last month.
But Tara insists he’s ‘low maintenance’ and she only spent Â£ 15 grooming him before winning her ‘Most Beautiful Dog’ category.
Teddy will now face the winners of Child’s Best Friend, Good Citizen Dog Scheme, Prettiest Bitch, Golden Oldie and Best Rescue, at Crufts at the NEC in Birmingham in March.
Tara, who is engaged to Andy, said: âWhen I heard he won, I couldn’t stand the smile on my face.
âI never imagined something like this would happen. It is such a great thing. It requires little maintenance; he gets his hair cut once a month for Â£ 15-20 and that’s it.
Teddy is just 10 inches tall and weighs three pounds, but will now face off against five other mixed dogs to be crowned Britain’s Best at the world’s largest dog show, Crufts
âThe reason he won is because he’s so good looking, I guess. I’m probably biased but we can’t walk down the street without everyone coming over to pet it.
âSome people like big dogs and some people like small dogs and I guess it would be just lucky the day Teddy got it right. But he is so beautiful.
Teddy, who trained at a Dogs Trust school, has won smaller dog shows before.
But Tara has said she could start Teddy’s modeling career if he wins Scruffts next year.
She and Andy are emergency foster families for the Scruffy Angels Rescue Group and let their six adult daughters âspoilâ Teddy.
Tara added: “He gets along very well with other dogs. He has a lot of company but gets us on his own.
“It’s that kind of dog that everyone as soon as they see him says, ‘oh he’s so cute’. ‘
Mother-of-six Tara Ellison (left), who works at the Cardrome Learner Center in Hornchurch, east London, introduced Teddy to several EastEnders stars after the soap opera’s visit to film