With thousands of four-legged friends from all over the world, and of all shapes and sizes, taking part, across many different activities and disciplines, there is something for everyone.
The four-day event returns to the NEC in Birmingham from 9 – 12 March and boasts a diverse programme of dog competitions in different categories and levels, including the finale of the prestigious Hero Dog Award, which recognises unsung canine heroes, and a celebration of crossbreeds with the Scruffts final.
There will also be opportunities to meet and greet more than 200 different breeds in the Discover Dogs area, shop for doggie merchandiseat the many specialist trade stands and enjoy the full arena show with allits displays and competitions – fromexciting agility to fast-paced flyball. Crufts 2022 saw Baxer, a Flat Coated Retriever owned by Patrick Oware, fromOslo, Norway (pictured right), win the titleof Best in Show, and this year will see thousands of dogs compete once again, hoping to follow in Baxer’s footsteps. One such breed in the running this year is the Bavarian Mountain Hound, who will have its own classes for the first time!
Every day will culminate in Best in Group – Gundog, Hound, Pastoral, Terrier, Toy, Utility and Working – with just seven going on to Best in Show on the final night, Sunday 12 March. This year, to mark the 150th anniversary of the organisers of Crufts,
The Kennel Club, there is also a special Kennel Club 150th Anniversary Celebration Stakes, taking place on Thursday. The one-off class will see all Best in Show winners from 2022 allbreed Championship Dog shows invited to take part.
AROUND THE SHOW
Outside of the show ring, there will be plenty of opportunities to see dogs and their owners showing off their skills and expertise in a wide-range of disciplines, including exciting agility competitions in the Resorts World arena every day, as well as impressive heelwork to music competitions and the flyball team competition.
Elsewhere, around the show, stands offer opportunities to learn more about other Kennel Club activities, including how to get involved with your fourlegged friend, and work that is done into canine health by the organisation.
There will be DNA testing for owners who want to find out more about their dog’s DNA via The Kennel Club’s DNA Testing Services, and Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations will also be showcasing their hard work and success in rehoming dogs on The Kennel Club stand, where visitors can find out about rescue dogs looking for their forever home.
The Discover Dogs area at Crufts is the perfect place for anyone interested in finding a new four-legged family member. With over 200 breed booths, this part of the event showcases the wide variety of breeds we have in the UK, with breed experts and owners on hand to give visitors the opportunity to learn all there is to know about their chosen breed.
Sadly, among the many breeds on show at Crufts, there are some whose numbers have declined in recent years. In the UK, there are currently 34 so-called ‘vulnerable native breeds’ – dogs that originate from Britain and Ireland but are at risk of disappearing from our streets and parks due to their low numbers.
In 2003, The Kennel Club created the Vulnerable Native Breeds list in order to protect these dogs. The list monitors those breeds where there are fewer than 300 puppies born each year, as well as ‘At Watch’ breeds – those with between 300 and 450 puppies born and registered with The Kennel Club annually. Some of these breeds include:
Traditionally used for herding cattle and sheep in the Borders and Highlands of Scotland, the Bearded Collie is a responsive, intelligent and hard-working breed. Bedlington Terrier: Bedlington Terriers originate from the Northumberland mining town of Bedlington and are easily recognised by their distinctive lamb-like appearance.
Gordon Setters take their name from the Duke of Gordon, who introduced the breed in the early 19th century in Scotland. They are recognisable by their black and tan shiny coat and enjoy long and active exercise, both on land and in water. Norwich Terrier: The smallest of the terrier breeds, Norwich Terriers make up for their size with a loveable personality and big energy. Though small, they are a sturdy and hardy dog and can be very active.
Originally bred in Scotland to hunt, Skye Terriers are devoted companion dogs, famously owned by Queen Victoria. They are loyal to their owners and can be distrustful of strangers. To raise more awareness of vulnerable British and Irish breeds, The Kennel Club created the Vulnerable British and Irish Breeds competition in 2015, which culminates in a grand final at Crufts, taking place this year in the Resorts World Arena on Friday 10 March.
Crufts 2023 takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 9 – 12 March and is the perfect place to meet and greet over 200 breeds, talk to a responsible breeder and find out about all the activities you can get involved in with your dog.
More information, and to purchase tickets, please visit crufts.org.uk, or you can tune in to watch Crufts on Channel 4, More4 and on demand on All4.