- World's oldest dog show, established in 1859
- More than 10,000 dogs will compete over four days
- The opportunity to see rare breeds including the Cardigan Corgi (lesser known than its royal Pembroke cousin) and Skye Terrier (with its romantic Scottish island history)
- More than 200 breeds on display including many family favourites such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Labrador and Golden Retriever and Whippet
- Dogs competing for a spot at the world famous Crufts dog show, to be held next March in Birmingham
More than 10,000 dogs from over 200 breeds will be descending on the Staffordshire County Showground in Stafford from 5th- 8th May for the popular Birmingham Dog Show Society Championship Show - the world's oldest dog show and one of the UK's largest.
The show, established over 150 years ago, will see dogs and their owners from all over the British Isles and beyond compete in a bid to qualify for the world's biggest dog show, Crufts, which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham next March.
The pedigree dogs taking part will be judged on a number of factors in the ring, including temperament and that they are fit, healthy and happy dogs that are good examples of their breed, as they compete for the ultimate 'Best in Show' prize.
The show is one of the largest gatherings of dogs in the UK and will see rare native British and Irish breeds competing, such as the Cardigan Corgi originating from Wales (30 of this breed on show), the Skye Terrier from Scotland (18), the Lakeland Terrier from England (7) and the Glen of Imaal Terrier from Ireland (20).
These breeds are bred in such small numbers today that they are considered by the Kennel Club to be at risk of disappearing from the UK's streets and parks. Alongside these breeds will be some of the more well-known ones such as the Whippet (220 of this breed on show), Golden Retriever (202), Labrador Retriever (189) and Staffordshire Bull Terrier (152).
The show is perfect for families researching the right breed of dog for them, and visitors will be able to meet the dogs themselves as well as talk to experts in each breed about finding a good breeder, what to expect from the breed, and training and care requirements.
Jennie Griffiths, secretary of the show, said: "The show is the oldest in the world and we are naturally very proud of our rich history. It brings thousands of dog lovers to the area each year and we are expecting this year's show to be bigger and better than ever.
"The show is a huge celebration of man's best friend and visitors will get to meet lots of wonderful dogs throughout the weekend, find out more about dog showing and the various activities they can get involved in with their own dog, and browse the doggy wares on the trade stands.
"Anyone thinking about getting a pedigree dog can come along and research their favourite breeds, as well as some of the lesser known breeds they may not even have heard of, and take the opportunity to meet the dogs themselves, which is definitely a favourite with families."
Competition classes are held across the seven pedigree dog groups. Thursday 5thMay will see the Gundog breeds competing, followed by the Working and Pastoral breeds on Friday 6th, the Utility and Toy breeds on Saturday 7thand the Hound and Terrier breeds on Sunday 8th. Sunday also sees the climax of the competition - Best in Show - followed by Best Puppy in Show and Best Veteran in Show.
The show is one of 37 Group and General Championship Dog Shows licensed by the Kennel Club throughout the year, which enable dogs to qualify for next year's Crufts.
The venue is Staffordshire County Showground, Weston Road, Stafford and entry to the show is free, as is car parking. Only dogs entered into the show are permitted at the event.
To find out more, visit www.thenationaldogshow.co.uk