Britain's Largest Two-Day Dog Show Draws Thousands Of Dogs To The NEC

  • More than 10,000 dogs will compete over two days
  • Come and meet some of the UK’s most popular breeds of dog
  • Exciting obedience and rally competitions on Sunday
  • The opportunity to see rare native British and Irish breeds
  • See dogs taking their Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme obedience test
  • Children will compete in their own dog handling classes
  • Many trade stands selling all things ‘doggy’
  • Dogs welcome!

British and Irish native dog breeds, including some very rare ones, will be among the more than 10,000 dogs which will descend on the NEC in Birmingham from 9th – 10th 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 UK and beyond compete in a bid to qualify for the world’s greatest 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 Irish Red & White Setter, Miniature Bull Terrier, Bearded Collie, Skye Terrier, Curly Coated Retriever, Kerry Blue Terrier, Otterhound, English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan), Lancashire Heeler, Mastiff and Sussex 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 Miniature Schnauzer, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Border Collie, Irish Setter, Whippet, Labrador Retriever, Boxer, Poodle, Dachshund, English Springer Spaniel and Pug.

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 holding Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme bronze obedience testing, as well as junior handling classes for children.

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 again – 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.”

Pedigree dog classes are held across the seven dog groups.  Saturday 9th December will see Working, Pastoral, Toy and Utility breeds competing, followed by the Gundog, Hound and Terrier breeds on Sunday 10th. 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 £10 for adults and £5 for children under 15 and senior citizens. Car parking costs £6. The public can bring their own dogs with them to the show, for a fee of £5, but will have to sign a declaration that their dog is free from any illness and ensure their dog is under control at all times. Spectator dogs may not compete at the show and must be at least four months of age.

More information on the show can be found at

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