Crufts 2023 - Entries bounce back

Crufts will welcome well over 24,000 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 on 9 - 12 March, celebrating man’s best friend. The overall entry is almost 3,000 dogs more than at last year’s show.

Crufts is 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 12 March.

The number of breeds competing continues to grow, adding to the diversity of the event. This year, Bavarian Mountain Hounds will be shown in their own classes for the first time, where six dogs are entered.

The great favourite with British families, the Labrador Retriever, has drawn the largest entry for an individual breed, with 537 dogs. This is just ahead of the Golden Retriever (491) which held that distinction at Crufts last year.

The show continues to maintain its international flavour and this year has attracted an entry of 3,457 dogs from overseas, with France leading the way with 398 dogs, just ahead of last year’s frontrunner Italy (387). Other countries to attract entries of 150 dogs or more are: Republic of Ireland (333), Germany (332), the Netherlands (307), Belgium (211), Poland (210), Sweden (196), Czech Republic (160) and Spain (151).

In total, more than 19,000 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:

• Gundog: Labrador Retriever – 537
• Working: Newfoundland – 174
• Pastoral: Border Collie – 291
• Terrier: Staffordshire Bull Terrier – 349
• Hound: Whippet – 400
• Utility: Dalmatian – 237
• Toy: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – 260

The following breeds, in addition to those mentioned above with 200 or more entries, have also exceeded that number: Cocker Spaniel (362), Flat Coated Retriever (335), Irish Setter (290), Border Terrier (251), Rhodesian Ridgeback (251), Bearded Collie (235), Shetland Sheepdog (230), Beagle (224), Bulldog (223), French Bulldog (213), Pug (207) and Pointer (205).

In contrast, the Komondor and the Swedish Lapphund have drawn just one entry 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 Championships for bitches are on Saturday, with dogs on Sunday. In Agility, the Intermediate and Large Championships are on the Thursday, with the Small and Medium Championships on the Sunday.

Other highlights of a busy programme taking place in the Resorts World Arena are The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award, 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 are delighted that the show has attracted an entry of almost 3,000 dogs more than last year, when the dog world was slowly getting back in the frame after a hiatus caused by the pandemic and other factors which presented exhibitors with fewer opportunities to qualify their dogs. Let us all hope that entries continue to gain even more momentum in the coming months so that we can all face the future with increasing optimism, not just for Crufts but for all canine events.

“Of course, Crufts would not be Crufts without our exhibitors. 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.”

Click here to view a full list of entries in each breed.

For daily and Best in Show tickets visit the Crufts website.

For details of TV coverage and live streaming from the show visit the how to watch Crufts page.