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 10th – 13th 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 Kerry Blue Terrier, Otterhound and Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Alongside these breeds will be some of the more well-known breeds such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Labrador Retriever and Cocker Spaniel.
In addition to breed judging, the show is holding dog handling classes for both adults and children, as well as 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 2pm which is intended to give information on showing to new exhibitors or those who have never shown a dog before but are curious. The seminars are free of charge and further information is available from the show secretary Jennie Griffiths on 01694 751258 or send an email.
Jennie said: “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.
“We are hopeful that visitors will find the seminars for newcomers useful. These are also designed for people who have never shown a dog before but want to find out more about dog shows. They will receive a warm welcome at the show.”
Competition classes are held across the seven pedigree dog groups. Thursday 10th May will see the Toy and Utility breeds competing, followed by the Hound and Terrier breeds on Friday 11th, the Gundog breeds on Saturday 12th and the Working and Pastoral breeds on Sunday 13th. 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. 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.
To find out more, visit www.highampress.co.uk/bnat.pdf.
More information on dog showing, and any other activity dog owners can get involved in with their dogs, can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk.