Dog owner Madeleine Fear has her work cut out as she prepares her adventurous, mud-loving bearded collie dog for Crufts.
Arran’s pampered and preened appearance is a far cry from the dishevelled state he was found in after he went missing in January.
The long-haired mutt’s disappearance led to an army of fellow bearded collies to descend on the location and help search for ‘one of their own.’
Arran the bearded collie is groomed by his owner Madeleine Fear in preparation for Crufts
Intrepid Arran turned up safe and sound but caked in mud two days later.
Madeleine hasn’t been able to stop Arran from rolling around in puddles and dirt while out for his walks.
So she is having to wash, blow-dry, brush and clip him on a daily basis as she gets him ready for his appearance at Crufts later this week.
Arran usually prefers to play and roll around in wet and muddy puddles
Arran, whose show name is Ceilmear Royal Marine, competes in dog shows throughout the year and qualified for Crufts in the postgraduate class at a championship show for bearded collies.
Despite all her hard work Madeleine is not expecting her now famous dog to take the top title.
Arran’s owner faces a daily battle to stop her beloved pooch getting matted fur
Intrepid Arran is happiest when running and playing in muddy puddles
A bearded collie has only won Best In Show once in Crufts’ history, in 1989
Bearded collies were originally bred as herding dogs in Scotland
A bearded collie has only won Best In Show once in Crufts’ history, in 1989 when Brenda White and her dog Potterdale Classic of Moonhill took the title.
She said: ‘Whenever we go to a show, it’s just an opportunity to see all our friends. The dogs really enjoy it too.
‘I loved Crufts ever since I was 12 years old and I remember watching it, desperate to go.
Arran and his owner Madeleine Fear as she dries him off another wet run
Arran is a descendant of the only bearded collie to have ever won Crufts
‘That was the year Brenda White won Best in Show with a bearded collie, the only person to win overall with one.
‘I knew then I wanted a bearded collie and I got my first one, Ceilidh, the next year.
‘Brenda’s dog was Arran’s great-great-grandmother and I bred his mother and grandmother. Brenda was out looking for Arran with me when he went missing.
‘It’s such a strong community, one of the nicest breeds as you make life-long friends.
Arran’s owner makes sure the bearded collie gets a daily blow-dry
Arran’s fur needs to be trimmed and brushed everyday or his coat soon becomes unruly
‘Winning big at Crufts would be a lifetime ambition but I don’t think I’m there yet – I’m just enjoying the ride.’
Madeleine, 43, said: ‘Arran is a normal dog, showing only takes up about two per cent of his life.
‘Being a dog comes before any show. We don’t keep his coat too long because he likes running through hedgerows and he gets covered in horse poo.
In January, Arran went missing for two days and fellow collie owners joined the dog-hunt
Local collie owners all came together to find their beloved friend Arran when he was lost
‘We clip his feet and beard and keep his coat matte-free, but that’s just general grooming.
‘My dogs love it though, they fight to get up on the grooming table.’
When Arran ran off from a dog walker, Madeleine called on the tight-knit community of ‘beardie’ owners to help find him.
More than 40 beardie owners dropped what they were doing and travelled for miles to join the hunt.
Crufts runs from March 5 to 8, with the overall Best In Show category announced on Sunday.