Devizes schoolboy Elliot Haywood is likely to be among the youngest handlers at Crufts dog show in Birmingham, which opens today.

Elliot, 12, from Le Marchant Close, Devizes, is already a seasoned veteran at dog shows, and takes charge of his grandmother’s two wire-haired dachshunds, Cleo and Razzy.

Elliot’s gran, Rosie Clifford, from Roundway village, said: “Elliot has been learning dog handling over the past two years and took Cleo into the ring at Richmond last year. Cleo won a reserve challenge certificate, so Elliot can’t have done such a bad job.”

Cleo, two, and nine-month-old Razzy are the great-grandchildren of Monty, Mrs Clifford’s class-winning champion at Crufts.

Mrs Clifford said: “Elliot is not in the least nervous about competing against adults. In fact, I think he prefers that to being in competition with people his own age.”

Another local dog with hopes for a good result at Crufts is golden retriever Tenfield Sea Patrol, whose owner Carolyn Rycroft from Worton calls him by a much shorter pet name.

Mrs Rycroft said: “I call him George from the famous nursery school sketch by Joyce Grenfell. I quite often find myself saying to him, George, don’t do that.”

Three-year-old George is not just a primped denizen of the showring. He is a working dog and frequently helps out as a gundog at Royal Artillery shoots on Salisbury Plain.

Mrs Rycroft said: “As a junior warrant winner George is a permanent qualifier for Crufts. He is a very accomplished boy with many best of breed and best in show wins to his credit. He came third in his breed class at Crufts last year.”

Sue Boyes-Korkis from Old Park, Devizes, is hoping for great things from her Hungarian wire-haired vizsla Otis, who won top puppy of the year at Crufts in 2008.

Mrs Boyes-Korkis, a founder of the Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital and Wiltshire Badger Group, said: “I have had him from eight weeks old. I already had smooth-haired vizlas and I found the wire-haired ones very attractive.”

Tracey Parker from Wootton Bassett is showing Bailey, a chocolate labrador which she bred herself.

She said: “It is our first time at Crufts. The shows are a hobby as he has had some gun dog training as well.”

Bailey is to be entered into the undergraduate dog class and the Good Citizen Dog Scheme class.

Ms Parker said: “I am excited and nervous.

“There are 50-odd dogs in his class so we don’t really have an expectation to win, but it is a chance for him to experience it.

“He has done quite a few shows now.”