Crufts - Best Paw Forward
Golden Retrievers entertain Crufts' visitors. Photo by Rob Tysall
Crufts at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, 9 – 12 March 2023.
Preview by Rob Tysall
The world’s greatest dog show will be back at the NEC from the 9 – 12 March. Crufts – organised by the Kennel Club will see over 19,000 pedigree pooches competing to try and win the coveted Best in Show accolade. Over 15,000 dogs are from the UK, the remainder will have travelled from countries all around the world in the hope of taking the Best in Show trophy.
But Crufts is not all about finding the top dog, this fabulous celebration of man’s best friend is four full days of demonstrations, displays, competitions and fun. Amongst the highlights are: The Kennel Club Hero Dog award; The Joe Cartledge Memorial International Junior Handling competition; Vulnerable Breed Competition; Scruffts, agility, flyball, the ever-popular heelwork to music and so much more.
Allen Parton, Hounds for Heroes. Photo Rob Tysall
A new feature for this year is The Kennel Club 150th Anniversary Celebration Stakes. This will be a one-off competition in order to mark The Kennel Club’s 150th anniversary and will take place on Thursday 9 March.
As well as the what's happening in the show rings there will be hundreds of stands selling everything you and your canine companion could possibly need. Not forgetting the Discover Dogs area, where visitors can get up close to dozens of different breeds, meet their owners and learn all about the dog. Particularly useful if you're thinking about buying a particular breed.
National Military Working Dog Memorial charity. Photo Rob Tysall.
Importantly there are dozens of animal charity stands to discover at Crufts. They are given the opportunity to talk about their work, raise funds and recruit volunteers. There will also be exciting demonstrations from the police and armed forces who work with amazing dogs. Also those working with dogs in medical fields – given the chance at Crufts to show the work they are doing to help mankind.
Just chilling. Photo Rob Tysall.
The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award
One very special feature is the annual Kennel Club Hero Dog Award, supported by The Kennel Club Charitable Trust. This celebrates the unique relationships people have with their dogs and the important role man’s best friend plays throughout our lives and in society. Read the inspiring stories of the five finalists on the Crufts website and vote for your favourite.
Briefly, they are:
A Springer Spaniel who has spent hundreds of nights camping out with his teenage owner to raise money for rescue dogs and an organisation helping Ukrainian dogs and owners.
A Staffordshire Bull Terrier police dog who has protected the nation from criminals and changed perceptions of the breed.
A special assistance dog who is helping his young owner to overcome chronic, debilitating pain – and the isolation which comes with an invisible illness – to become a high-flying lawyer.
A rescue Cocker Spaniel who has overcome the odds – having been passed through multiple owners and deemed ‘naughty’ – to become a life-saving Bio Medical Detection Dog.
And a pet Labrador Retriever who has seen her owners through hard times, including the youngest family member who has leukaemia.
Read their stories and vote: https://crufts.org.uk/whats-on/the-kennel-club-hero-dog-award?
Discover unusual breeds. Photo Rob Tysall
There’s new activities, competitions and demonstrations every day – check out the detailed events on Crufts website. Briefly, the four categories the many breeds are placed in will be in attendance on the following days:
Thursday, 9 March 2023 — Gundog
Friday, 10 March 2023 — Working and Pastoral
Saturday, 11 March 2023 — Terrier and Hound
Sunday, 12 March 2023 — Utility and Toy
For more information about Crufts and to book tickets go to: https://crufts.org.uk/