Like a fine wine, Takeshi has got better with age.
And now, at almost 63 years-old (in dog years at least) the pensioner pooch has reached the top of his game.
The Japanese Spitz, who has had no training and spends most of his time as a family pet, has taken first place in the Veterans Class for his breed at the world-famous Crufts competition.
Owner Anne Donkor, from Hoghton, near Preston who has had Takeshi since he was a puppy, said: “He’s won a few competitions since his breeder, Iris, started showing him four years ago but for him to win first place at his first Crufts competition is quite amazing. He’s just a pet really – our big soft teddy bear.
“He hasn’t had any training, he’s just a really bright dog who does as he’s told.”
To win the top rosette Takeshi was taken into the ring by Iris where he was walked and then to a judge who looked at him to see if he was breed standard. And he came out Top Dog. Anne said: “We can’t really go near him when he’s being shown as he goes mad when he sees us.
“There’s a lot of hard work to get him ready ahead of the show and it takes hours to get his coat in tip-top condition because, as you can imagine, he gets dirty quite easily.”
But unlike most show dogs who are pampered and preened on a daily basis, Takeshi enjoys nothing more than romping through the woods near his home in Grange Drive, where he lives with Anne, her husband Ken and their children Reanne, 15, and 10-year-old Ryan, as well as a menagerie including cats, rats, fish and a dwarf hamster.
Anne said: “It’s like Noah’s Ark at our house.
“Whenever we take Takeshi out, one of the cats comes along with us, walking along side him and playing with him – it’s quite a sight!”