Two dogs handing a helping paw to north-west police officers are heading to Crufts hoping to extend their owner’s decorated record at the event.

Karen Jones, who is based in Ashton-in-Makerfield, owns seven Shiba Inus who all work as well-being dogs and assist Merseyside Police officers with their often-challenging work.

And two of them will now be heading to the world’s biggest dog show next month, with Rosie – Jones’ newest dog – and her mum Riot appearing at the Birmingham showpiece.

Jones, 57, has twice trained her dogs to be UK champions in their class, while all seven have previously won lifetime entries to Crufts. 

But when the Manchester Arena bombing took place in 2017, Jones – who works as a rental development coordinator – began taking her dogs to Manchester Children’s Hospital to support victims, as well as helping Merseyside Police.

Ealing Times:

She said: “We used to go into the Children's Hospital and then COVID hit. 

“So, then I started working with the police and I go into all the different police stations all over Merseyside.  

“They just relax people, you can see the police officers straightaway, they relax.  

“And it's a team building thing as well, you’ll get other officers interacting with each other and different departments.  

“Obviously everybody comes away from the desk to see the dogs, so you've got everybody interacting. 

“I also go to wellbeing days where we have an occupational health team with us, and they'll do blood tests and cholesterol tests.  

“There's a therapist there in case anybody wants to speak to a therapist if they are feeling a bit down or need to speak to somebody about something, we do that about once or twice a month.

“It's just the accolade it's just going to Crufts, it's just such a special event.  

“There's nothing quite like it, the atmosphere when you get into Crufts, the ambience that goes with it. 

“It's just lovely being there, it's just a great atmosphere.”

Jones takes her dogs to several public events with the police in addition to visiting special needs school around the Merseyside region.

And while the dogs are there to help the officers, Jones explained they get just as much out of it themselves.

She added: “You can see all the videos of them interacting with people.

“And they're just being cuddled and they are kissing everybody.  

“They're on the floor with their bellies being rubbed and they absolutely love it. They love it as much as the officers do. 

“The breed is from Japan, they want them to be aloof but that doesn't make a good pet so what we're trying to do in the UK is to get the best pedigrees to get good temperament. 

“They will become more sociable and this has just proven now with the right breeding and the right upbringing, they can be a good family, sociable dog and they can be therapy dogs.” 

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 9-12 March 2023 at the NEC Birmingham. Viewers can follow all the action and highlights on Channel 4 and More4, and for further information and tickets visit