Irish Breeds Fly the Flag in Lisburn at the Largest Dog Show in Ireland

  • Over 2,000 dogs will compete during the two days of the show
  • Over 200 breeds on show
  • Watch the exciting agility and obedience competitions
  • Come and meet some of Ireland and the UK’s most popular gundog breeds
  • The opportunity to see rare Irish breeds including the Kerry Blue Terrier
  • 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’

Irish native dog breeds, including some very rare ones, will be among the 2,000 plus dogs which will descend on the Eikon Exhibition Centre, Balmoral Park, Lisburn, County Antrim from 24th – 25th September for the popular Belfast Championship Dog Show – the largest dog show in Ireland.

The show will see more than 200 breeds and their owners from all over Ireland and Great Britain 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 the largest gathering of dogs in Ireland and will see rare native Irish breeds competing, such as the Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Red & White Setter and Glen of Imaal 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 Ireland’s streets and parks. Alongside these breeds will be some of the more well-known Irish breeds such as the Irish Setter and Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.

In addition to breed judging, the show is holding obedience and agility 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.

Jackie Stubbs, Secretary of the show, said: “Ours is the largest dog show in Ireland and naturally we are very proud of that fact. Being held a few miles from the centre of the vibrant and historic city of Belfast, the show is very popular with visitors and brings thousands of dog lovers to the area each year. 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.

“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 24th September will see the Hound, Terrier and Gundog breeds competing, followed by the Working, Pastoral, Toy and Utility breeds on Sunday 25th. 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 free and car parking is £10. Only dogs entered in the show are allowed on the showground.

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More information on dog showing, and any other activity dog owners can get involved in with their dogs, can be found at the Kennel Club website.