- Show first held in 1859
- Over 10,000 dogs will compete during the four days of the show
- Come and meet some of the UK’s most popular breeds of dog
- The opportunity to see rare native British and Irish breeds
- See dogs taking their Good Citizen Training Scheme obedience test
- 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 Staffordshire County Showground in Stafford from 4th – 7th May for the popular Birmingham National Championship Dog Show.
The show will see more than 200 breeds and their owners from all over the UK 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 British and Irish breeds competing, such as the Lancashire Heeler, Bloodhound, Smooth Collie, Mastiff, Irish Water Spaniel and Norwich 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 Britain’s streets and parks. Alongside these breeds will be some of the more well-known breeds such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Border Collie, Irish Setter, Whippet, Labrador Retriever, Boxer, Poodle, Dachshund and Pug.
In addition to breed judging, the show is holding Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme bronze award obedience testing, so visitors can watch a range of events and find out more about the different activities that dogs can get involved in.
A short seminar ‘An introduction to dog showing’ will be held each day at 9.30am which is intended to give information on showing to new exhibitors or those who may be interested in showing their dog. The seminars are free of charge and further information is available from the show secretary Jennie Griffiths on 01694 751258 or via email.
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.
Jennie Griffiths, Secretary of the show, said: “Ours is the longest-running dog show in the world and naturally we are very proud of that fact. Our first show was held in 1859. Being centrally located in Staffordshire, 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 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 4th May will see the Hound and Terrier breeds competing, followed by the Gundog breeds on Friday 5th, the Working and Pastoral breeds on Saturday 6th and the Utility and Toy breeds on Sunday 7th. Sunday also sees the climax of the competition – Best in Show – followed by Best Puppy in Show and Best Veteran 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, as is car parking. Only dogs entered in the show are allowed into the venue.
More information on dog showing, and any other activity dog owners can get involved in with their dogs, can be found on the Kennel Club website.