Crufts Dog Show Love It Or Hate It, By Rebecca Goutorbe
8th January 2019
Love it or hate it Crufts is the biggest dog show in the world which is held at the NEC Birmingham and is fast approaching, the online entries close soon for dog show exhibitors.
Retail heaven for the doggy owner, with hundreds of stalls from designer dog gear, bling collars, to dog food, all the grooming equipment you can image and anything else you haven't even thought about buying your pet dog is at Crufts. If you are showing your dog you need another day there just to do your shopping.
Over the four days which Crufts is held there is an estimated 28,000 dogs which take part that's including the agility and other events and an estimated 160,000 human visitors attend the show too. That is a lot of people although if Gundog day falls on the Sunday it does tend to feel like there is that many people if you try and venture from your bench to go and look around the stalls.
I love Crufts it is always either on or around my Birthday, the atmosphere around the breed rings is like no other show. If you are lucky enough to win a class with your dog it is just amazing and makes all the hard work and effort you have put into your dog worth while.
Photos © Nick Darley
The first time I attended Crufts was in the late 80's when Crufts was held at Earls Court London, now that day was an experience I'll never forget believe me! I travelled all the way down there with my Mum and her friend Sylvia I must of been aged about 10 or 11 we had gone to watch the Irish Setters, so excited as I was going to Crufts for the first time ever. We had to get the underground to Earls Court, I had never been on the underground before and never wanted to again after that day. A drunk old tramp fell from the top of the escalator and was moved as I got to the bottom, not a nice sight believe me. I felt Ill all day, but I'm sure the man who fell must of felt a lot worse. It's a long time ago now but I remember meeting Chris Amoo and his Afghan which had won Best In Show the previous year or maybe that was the year later but I do remember getting the Pedigree Chum goodie bag and badge as it was in those days.
When it comes to preparing dogs for Crufts or any show, it is not a case of a good bath and trim the night before. Preparing a dog for a show takes weeks, weeks of regular coat maintenance (for the coated breeds) and its not just the grooming, correct diet, correct amount of food, exercise, all these factors play a huge part in the preparation of a dog for a competition. It takes a lot of hard work and effort to get your dog right for the ring.
Travis the English Setter
Show Champion Dyrham Diversity At Redhara JW
Last year Crufts 2018 I decided to enter my dog Travis he's a Show Champion but hadn't been shown for a while he was 7 years old so he was eligible for the Veteran class. His coat was in really good condition, he had been groomed regularly but not groomed to perfection ring ready standard in my book.
I decided December 2017 that I was going to enter him and show preparation started then with Travis. General good coat maintenance throughout that time, followed by cutting him into shape, enhancing his best features watching his weight and making sure he got his exercise through the winter, the mud and rain but kept on top his coat too.
The hard work paid off I had so many nice comments at Crufts on how well Travis looked on the day a lot of people hadn't seen him in the ring for a good while and he really did look the part. Travis also won the Veteran Dog class and Best Overall Veteran in English Setters, a great result.
It was an extra special day too because Travis's Son Frankie won Best Of Breed was shortlisted in the Gundog Group, his Daughter Pebbles won the Bitch CC (Best bitch), his Granddaughter won Best Puppy, and it was my Birthday.
The dates for Crufts this year are as follows 7th March 2019 - 10th March 2019 NEC Birmingham
Thursday 7th March - Gundog
Friday 8th March - Working and Pastoral
Saturday 9th March - Terrier and Hound
Sunday 10th March - Utility and Toy