Clare Balding has made a startling confession that she believed that she was a dog when she was growing up.

The TV presenter, who hosts Crufts on Channel 4, is well-known to people as a proud dog lover. On several occasions, Clare admitted that her love for our furry friends started as a child.

Balding said she spent a lot of her childhood with the family canines and used to write letters to them. But while the broadcaster was a keen fan of canines, she admitted that as a child she believed she was a dog herself.

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Speaking on her connection to dogs growing up, Clare revealed how dogs had shaped who she was a child. She added that at one point, her own dog was her own mum.

Clare Balding
Clare confessed she had believed she was a dog when she was a child

Clare, 52, said: “I did think I was a dog (as a child) really because I was left with the dogs quite a lot I think. I may even have genuinely believed that Candy, who was my mother’s boxer, was my mother.”

Balding, who grew up in Berkshire with mum Emma and dad Ian, added: “There’s a really sweet picture of me as a baby lying next to Candy and my mother always said, ‘If you think a boxer has a beautiful face, the world will always be a beautiful place’. "I used to write letters that were ostensibly to my parents but really were for my dogs.”

Clare Balding
Balding admitted she also had written her pooches letters

The broadcaster, best known for presenting sport on the BBC, recently fronted Live: Lost Dogs on Channel 5. The three-part series saw her rally public support to help reunite stray dogs which had come into the care of Dogs Trust.

And Balding believes the world would be a happier place if more dogs were involved. She told the Wine Times podcast: “I genuinely think offices would be much happier if they were dog-friendly and I think schools really benefit from having, quite often, a reading dog."

Clare Balding
Clare is fresh off hosting a new series of Lost Dogs for Channel 5

"The dog doesn’t read but they’ll listen to children reading and just lay down.”

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