Scottish Borders Dog Show One of the Largest in Scotland and the UK: Thousands of Canines Head to Kelso

  • Almost 6,000 dogs will compete over two days
  • Over 200 breeds on display, including many well-known Scottish breeds such as the Golden Retriever, West Highland White Terrier, Rough Collie and Shetland Sheepdog
  • The opportunity to see the two breeds native to the Scottish Borders
  • Dogs competing for a spot at the world famous Crufts dog show, to be held next March in Birmingham
  • More than 50 trade stands selling all things ‘doggy’
  • ‘Spectator dogs’ welcome

Almost 6,000 dogs from over 200 breeds will be descending on Springwood Park in Kelso on 18th and 19th June for the popular Border Union Dog Show – one of the largest events of its kind in Scotland as well as in the UK.

The show 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 Scottish breeds competing, such as the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Smooth Collie, Gordon Setter and Skye Terrier.

These breeds are bred in such small numbers today that they are considered by the Kennel Club to be at risk of disappearing from Scotland’s streets and parks.  Alongside these breeds will be some of the more well-known Scottish native breeds such as the Golden Retriever, West Highland White Terrier and Rough Collie and Shetland Sheepdog.

No doubt local visitors will also take special interest in the two breeds which take their name from the Scottish Borders region – the popular Border Terrier and Border Collie.

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.

Brian Stevenson, secretary of the show, said: “Ours is one of the largest dog shows held in Scotland as well as the UK, so naturally we are very proud of that fact. Kelso is a picturesque town in the Scottish Borders, ideal for a holiday weekend, so the show 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. In fact, we have more than 200 caravanners staying on the site, so a wonderful holiday atmosphere is anticipated.

“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 more than 50 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.  Saturday 18thJune will see the Working, Pastoral, Utility and Toy breeds competing, followed by the Gundog, Hound and Terrier breeds on Sunday 19th.  Sunday also sees the climax of the competition – Best in Show – followed by Best Puppy 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.

Entry to the show is £5 for adults and £3 for senior citizens and children under 14. Car parking is free. The public can bring ‘spectator dogs’ with them to the show, free of charge, but will have to sign a declaration that their dog is free from any illness and ensure their dog is under control at all times. Spectator dogs may not compete at the show.

To find out more about the show, visit

Read more information on dog showing, and any other activity dog owners can get involved in with their dogs.