Rare Breeds Among Thousands of Dogs Heading to Wetherby for One of Britain’s Largest Dog Shows

  • Over 6,000 dogs will compete during the four days of the show
  • More than 200 breeds on show
  • Come and meet some of the UK’s most popular working and toy breeds
  • The opportunity to see rare British breeds including the Curly Coated Retriever
  • 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 6,000 plus dogs which will descend on Wetherby Racecourse in West Yorkshire from 29th September – 2nd October for the popular Driffield Championship Dog Show – one of the largest events of its kind 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 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 Curly Coated Retriever, Lancashire Heeler, Otterhound, Gordon Setter and Field Spaniel.

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 Whippet, Labrador Retriever, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pug, Irish Setter and Boxer.

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.

Martin Freeman, Secretary of the show, said: “Ours is one of the biggest dog shows in the UK, so naturally we are very proud of that fact. Being held at the historical Wetherby Racecourse, 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.  Thursday 29th September will see the Working and Pastoral breeds competing, followed by the Gundog breeds on Friday 30th, the Hound and Terrier breeds on Saturday 1st October and the Toy and Utilty breeds on Sunday 2nd. 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 is free and car parking costs £5. Only dogs entered in the show are permitted on the showground.

More information on the show can be found here.

Find out more about dog showing, or any other activity dog owners can get involved in with their dogs.