MEET the newshound that is making all the headlines.

Northern Echo, the Bichon Frise, saw off the competition at the worlds most prestigious dog show, Crufts, at the weekend, taking the title in the Special Puppy Bitch class.

The achievement by the one-year-old pup flies in the face of the fortunes of previous animals to bear The Northern Echo moniker, including a racing pigeon and a racehorse who did not exactly excel in their field.

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The Northern Echo:

Northern Echo's owner, Ann Marie Burns, of Tow Law, County Durham, has been showing dogs for more than two decades and was delighted when the pup scooped first place at just her third time in the ring.

Miss Burns said: "I am very happy.

"I have shown Westies for 25 years, but then about two years ago I thought I'd try with the Bichons and I'm delighted at how we've done.

"I was thrilled because it was a good class of 13 so she did really well and I'm really, really chuffed."

Miss Burns, 44, runs the Top Trimz dog grooming business in Consett and decided to name her show dog Burneze Northern Echo after advertising in the newspaper.

The Northern Echo:

She said: "The paper is where I got the name from, and with us being from the North I just thought it was particularly appropriate."

There were dozens of other winners from across the region at this year's Crufts, which featured 22,000 entrants from 45 different countries.

Burneze Northern Echo's achievement easily puts the Bichon pup at the top of a short line animals to have borne the Northern Echo name.

In the early 2000s Northern Echo the racehorse ran nearly 30 times and, although he was placed several times, he failed to win a single race.In 2002, the Northern Echo's racing pigeon took part in a 270-mile race from Wanstead Flatts, near London, and arrived home an hour after all the other birds.

That same year the Echo's second foray into horse racing ended in tragedy when the paper's horse Local Heroes, named after the popular sports supplement, sadly died after breaking her spine.

The Northern Echo: