A HAMPSHIRE dog has been shortlisted for the Hardest Working Dog award in a national competition.

Bella, a five-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, from Eastleigh has been nominated for the Autarky Hardest Working Dog in the Sports and Performance Category.

Owned by 12-year-old Rebecca Chuter Smith, the pair have taken part in numerous dog agility competitions during 2019, qualifying for Crufts and also winning the Agility Club Under 12s Section for the second year running.

The pair are now appealing for people to vote for them in the competition.

Bella was born on December 8, 2014, and has been brought up and trained by Rebecca, who has also been learning about dog training and agility along the way.

Bella and Rebecca do not live together, which makes their training even harder.

The pair started off by doing obedience classes and quickly gained their bronze, silver and gold Good Citizen Awards through the Kennel Club.

They then started training at Nedlo Dog Agility on a Monday and at Wellow Agility Club on a Wednesday.

They first competed in agility in the latter part of 2017 and have gone from Grade 1 to Grade 6 in three years.

The duo qualified twice for the Starters Challenge at the Agility Club show in 2018 and 2019.

In 2019, they came third against all height dogs.

They also qualified for Crufts in Young Kennel Club (YKC) ABC Agility, YKC Graduate Agility and YKC Under 18 Jumping.

They won YKC Graduate Agility and YKC Under 18 Jumping and also managed to qualify for Crufts 2020 in YKC ABC Agility.

Rebecca’s mum, Fiona Smith, said: “Bella and Rebecca have won the Agility Club Under 12s league for two consecutive years, amassing an impressive 546 points in 2019.

“They’ve competed in Jersey where they won the Ziggy and Bracken Trophy for Best Small B Dog.

"They have also won entry into the Channel Islands Dog of the Year in 2018 and 2019."

To vote for Bella as the Autarky Hardest Working Dog, visit: www.autarkyfoods.com/hardestworkingdog/sportsandperf/.