Britain’s Largest Two-Day Dog Show Draws Thousands of Dogs to Birmingham

  • Over 10,000 dogs will compete
  • More than 200 breeds on show
  • Come and meet some of the UK’s most popular gundog and terrier breeds
  • The opportunity to see rare British and Irish native breeds
  • Exciting obedience and rally competitions on Sunday
  • Dogs competing for a spot at the world famous Crufts dog show, to be held next March in Birmingham
  • Many trade stands selling all things ‘doggy’

British and Irish native dog breeds, including some very rare ones, will be among the 10,000 plus dogs which will descend on the NEC in Birmingham from 10th - 11th December for the popular Ladies Kennel Association Championship Dog Show – the largest two-day dog show in the UK.

The show will see more than 200 breeds 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 also be held at the NEC 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 Otterhound, King Charles Spaniel, Irish Red & White Setter, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Lancashire Heeler and Mastiff.

These breeds are bred in such small numbers today that they are considered by the Kennel Club to be at risk of disappearing from Britain’s streets and parks. Alongside these breeds will be some of the more well-known breeds such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Whippet, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, Pug and Boxer.

In addition to breed judging, the show is holding Kennel Club ‘Obreedience’ and rally competitions, so visitors can watch a range of events and find out more about the different activities that dogs can get involved in.

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.

Jane Valentine, Secretary of the show, said: “Ours is the largest two-day dog show in the UK and the Association was formed in 1894, so naturally we are very proud of our great heritage. 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.

“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 many dog products on the trade stands.

“On the Sunday, visitors will have the chance to see dogs at ‘work’, as we are holding a heat of the Kennel Club’s Obreedience competition, which showcases breeds which are not necessarily associated with obedience competition. We are also excited to be holding a rally competition for the first time – this involves the handler and dog working as a team to navigate a course with numbered signs indicating different exercises to perform.

“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 10th October will see the Toy, Utility, Pastoral and Working breeds competing, followed by the Hound, Terrier and Gundog breeds on Sunday 11th. Sunday also sees the climax of the competition – Best 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.

Admission to the show costs £8 for adults and £4 for children under 15 and senior citizens. Car parking costs £6.

More information on the show can be found at the Ladies Kennel Assocation website.

To find out more about dog showing, or any other activity dog owners can get involved in with their dogs, visit the Kennel Club website.