Almost 22,000 dogs will be heading to the NEC in Birmingham from 10th - 13th March, to compete at Crufts 2016, the 125th anniversary of the show.
The Kennel Club figures show that 21,919 dogs will be taking part in breed judging, Gamekeepers' classes and the Obedience and Agility Championships. The 2016 figure exceeds the 2015 figure by 2 per cent and is the highest number of dogs competing at Crufts since 2010.
As ever, the event has a truly international flavour with 3,396 dogs competing from overseas compared with 2,987 in 2015, an increase of 14 per cent. Dogs from a total of 47 overseas countries will take part in the show, including, for the first time, Venezuela, Peru and the Philippines.
The number of breeds competing at Crufts continues to grow, adding to the diversity of the event, with the inclusion of two new breeds, the Lagotto Ramagnolo and the Cirneco Dell'Etna, which will have their own breed classes at Crufts for the first time. Both breeds will be judged by Mrs Carla Molinari from Portugal.
This year has seen an increase of 40 per cent or more in the entries for the following breeds compared with 2015: Pointer, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Samoyed and Basset Hound.
The highest entry in each group is as follows:
- Toy: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel - 322
- Utility: Bulldog - 245
- Gundog: Retriever (Labrador) - 588
- Working: Boxer - 236
- Pastoral: Border Collie - 359
- Terrier: Staffordshire Bull Terrier - 410
- Hound: Whippet - 397
Gerald King, Crufts Chairman said: "We are delighted that entries to Crufts' 125th anniversary show remain strong and steady. We feel honoured to welcome dogs from such a wide variety of breeds, representing all corners of the globe. The fact that people travel far and wide to enter this prestigious event is testament to the place it continues to hold in people's hearts and we intend to keep going from strength to strength.
"We thank everybody who has entered the show and look forward to welcoming all the dogs and their owners who make Crufts such a wonderful event, whether it is those who have been loyally returning year after year or those who are experiencing the show for the first time."