Crufts will welcome around 26,000 dogs this year, taking part in a wide variety of competitions and displays over the four days of the world’s most famous dog show, which takes place at the NEC Birmingham from 5th - 8th March. Last year, a record attendance of over 166,500 visitors joined in the annual celebration of man’s best friend, the third year in succession that the attendance record had been broken.
The show is also set to be another exciting event, with over 200 pedigree dog breeds in contention for the famous Best in Show trophy, which will be awarded live on Channel 4 on the evening of Sunday 8th March.
The number of breeds competing at Crufts continues to grow, adding to the diversity of the event, with the inclusion of a new breed – the Barbet – which will compete in the Imported Breed Register classes at the show for the first time with an entry of 14 dogs.
Leading the field with the largest individual breed entry is the great family favourite, the Labrador Retriever, with an entry of 543 dogs. This is just ahead of the Golden Retriever (519) which held the crown last year.
In total, almost 20,000 dogs will be competing for just seven places in the show’s finale, representing each of the individual groups. The highest number of dogs in a single breed set to compete in each group is as follows:
- Toy: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – 286
- Utility: Bulldog – 235
- Gundog: Labrador Retriever – 543
- Working: Siberian Husky – 184
- Pastoral: Border Collie – 303
- Terrier: Staffordshire Bull Terrier – 341
- Hound: Whippet – 388
This year has seen an increase of 50 per cent or more in the entries for the Laekenois Belgian Shepherd Dog, Maremma Sheepdog, Glen of Imaal Terrier and Portuguese Podengo compared with 2019.
In contrast, the Basset Bleu de Gascogne and the Foxhound have drawn just four entries apiece, which highlights the fact that the show is a true celebration of all dogs, from the well-known to the highly unusual.
As well as the breed class judging which leads to Best in Show, visitors will be able to watch some of the world’s finest dogs and handlers in action across a range of disciplines including agility, obedience, heelwork to music and flyball.
The Obedience Championship for Bitches will take place on Saturday 7th March, with the Obedience Championship for Dogs on the Sunday. The Agility Championships will also take place on the Sunday.
Other highlights of a busy programme taking place in the Resorts World Arena are the Kennel Club Friends For Life competition, which celebrates those dogs in our lives that provide lifetime service, support, love and devotion, and the final of the nation’s favourite crossbreed competition, Scruffts.
Tom Mather, Crufts Chairman, said: “Crufts offers something for everyone and this year looks like being no exception. Visitors to the show will be able to see dogs and their handlers taking part in a variety of activities and displays and we would urge anyone looking to buy a puppy to visit the ever-popular Discover Dogs area where they will be able to meet the breeds up close.
“We feel honoured to welcome dogs from a wider variety of breeds than ever before, representing all corners of the globe. The fact that people travel far and wide to enter this prestigious event proves that it really is the world’s greatest dog show.
“We thank everybody who has entered the show and look forward to welcoming all the dogs and their owners, who make Crufts such a wonderful event, whether it is those who have been loyally returning year after year or those who are experiencing the show for the first time.”
A full list of entries in each breed can be found at www.crufts.org.uk/dog-exhibitors/dog-showing/crufts-entries.
For daily and Best in Show tickets visit www.crufts.org.uk/tickets.
For details of TV coverage and live streaming from the show visit www.crufts.org.uk/show-information/how-to-watch-crufts.