March, was a big month in the dog showing world, with Crufts – the world’s largest dog show taking place. Between March 9th and March 12, 2017, over 20,000 dogs and many more times that number of humans attended the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, United Kingdom for the Greatest [Dog] Show on earth.
The History Of Crufts
The history of Crufts dates back over 125 years. It was founded by a British business man, Charles Crufts who at the time was working for a dog biscuit manufacturers. In 1876, his job took him to France and he was invited to run a dog show at the Word’s Fair where his company was exhibiting. Further offers to run dog shows followed and in 1886 he ran a dog show for terries in London.
Five years later, in 1891 the dog show that still bears his name today was run. It was billed as ‘Cruft’s Greatest Dog show’ and was held at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, London.
Over the years, the show has gained in popularity and prestige. Since it began back in 1891, the show has run annually with the exception of the two World Wars and a couple of other occasions as this time line shows. Since 1950 the event has been televised (on the BBC until 2004, and from then, byChannel 4 and More 4).
Crufts in 2017
Today Crufts is big business and it is far more than a dog show. Visitors come from all over the world and range in age from young to old.
There is a huge exhibition providing visitors with the chance to shop for every kind of dog product you can think of, from food and training devices, to clothing and doggy fashion.
Over 200 breeds of dogs are represented and knowledgeable owners and breeders are on hand to provide advice on all aspects of dog care.
Children are encouraged, and there is a Junior Handling Competition. Also, the Young Kennel Club is represented allowing Children to join up and become more involved in Dog Showing.
Each of the four days of Crufts features different breeds of dogs
- Day 1: Terrier & Hound breeds
- Day 2: Toy & Utility breeds
- Day 3: Gundog breeds
- Day 4: Working & Pastoral breeds as well as Best Of Show in the evening programme.
And the Winner Is…..
This year, saw a two year old American Cooker Spaniel named Afterglow Miami Ink. This was not without controversy with some people branding the decision a joke!
It’s not just pedigrees – introducing Scuffts!
For years Crufts was only for Pedigree breeds. However, your crossbreeds can get in on the action too! The Kennel club introduced Scruffts back in 2000 and at Crufts you can find out more about how your non-pedigree can compete in various classes such as:
- Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog (6 months – 8 years)
- Prettiest Crossbreed Bitch (6 months – 8 years)
- Childs Best Friend (Handler aged 6 – 16 years)
- Golden Oldie Crossbreed (8 years +)
- Best Crossbreed Rescue
- GCDS Crossbreed Class (for entrants that have a GCDS certificate at any level)
The Future of Crufts
The future of Crufts looks good.With strong corporate sponsorship and a huge public interest – their Facebook page has 260,592 followers and their Twitter page over 55,000 the show looks to set to continue for many more years.
As Dogworld stated “Crufts is more than a dog show; it is an event celebrating all that is good in the world of dogs from dog events on the one hand – through the excellent dogs being shown in the breed competitions to improved canine health and welfare on the other.