Dogs Love Bath Time: Thousands of Canines Flock to Spa City for Largest Dog Show in Somerset

  • Somerset's largest dog show and one of the biggest in the UK
  • Almost 8,000 dogs will compete over four days
  • The opportunity to see rare breeds including the Irish Red and White Setter (lesser known than its solid-red cousin, the Irish Setter) and Sealyham Terrier (named after Sealyham House in Wales)
  • More than 200 breeds on display including many family favourites such as the Whippet, Golden Retriever, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Irish Setter
  • Dogs competing for a spot at the world famous Crufts dog show, to be held next March in Birmingham
  • Public can bring their own 'spectator dogs' on the day (these cannot compete in the show)

Almost 8,000 dogs from over 200 breeds will be descending on Three Shires Field in Bannerdown, Bath from 27th- 30th May for the popular Bath Canine Society Championship Show - the largest dog show in Somerset and among the largest events of its kind in the UK.

The show, established over 130 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 Sealyham Terrier originating from Wales (10 of this breed on show), the Deerhound from Scotland (46), the Norwich Terrier from England (12) and the Irish Red and White Setter from Ireland (16). 

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 (235 of this breed on show), Irish Setter (196), Golden Retriever (182) and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (170).

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.

Ben Ford, secretary of the show, said: "We are very proud that our event is the largest dog show in Somerset and among the largest in the UK.  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.  Friday 27thMay will see the Toy and Terrier breeds competing, followed by the Gundog breeds on Saturday 28th, the Working and Pastoral breeds on Sunday 29th and the Utility and Hound breeds on Monday 30th. Monday 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 free and car parking costs £5. Visitors to the show can bring 'spectator dogs' for a fee of £5, but they must fill out a Kennel Club form on arrival and agree to keep their dog under control at all times.

To find out more, visit Bath Canine Society.

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