It’s that time of year again! 25,000 dogs, 210 breeds, 7 groups and 1 Best in Show. As the most renowned and certainly the biggest in the world, Crufts is truly the world cup of Dog Showing.
Crufts is simply four days of celebration of man’s best friend. As well as Best in Show, there are a huge number of activities besides; the Scruffts final, flyball, heelwork to music and agility action in the main ring, Discover Dogs, a reading corner where children can read to special reading dogs, educational areas, a breed health zone, hundreds of trade stands to shop from and much more. The dog showing world is a multi million pound industry and there is no better place to see that than Crufts and many businesses such as dog food and equipment heavily depend on it as a source of income.
The atmosphere is always exhilarating but for once I wasn’t exhibiting any dogs, so this gave me a great chance to network and blog. One of the things I did get a chance to do was to interview Dog Law Specialist Trevor Cooper from Dogs Trust and Cooper & Co Solicitors here.
In the four days I spent at Crufts I saw a very high standard of dogs from a health point of view, compared to 5-10 years ago. You can really tell see how The Kennel Club are tackling these controversial health issues with vast improvements on many breeds including my breed, the Basset Hound and of course bringing vet checks for the ‘High Profile Breed’ Best of Breed winners. Personally I find the ‘newer’ type and standard of basset much healthier looking.
I was especially thrilled to see an increase in enthusiasm for non-dog showing activities such as fly-ball and agility, particularly given that so many younger people were getting involved. I think that the Kennel Club is starting to really realise the potential of the peripheral activities and it can only be a good thing for dogs and members! Just take a look at the video below with the exceptional agility performance medium dog finalist and you’ll see what I mean!
I also had a very interesting chat with a Kennel club rep about their new website myKC which is currently in its beta testing, I was pretty blown away so see the preview here, its going to change the way dog owners and breeders interact so watch this space. If you are interested and want to be involved, click here.
On a side note, I’d like to thank the West Midlands police dog display team; aside from the hilarity of seeing the police dogs sheer unadulterated joy at finding blood, narcotics or simply taking down criminals it was amazing to get to know more about the lives of these working dogs. Crufts should encourage seeing dogs from all walks of life. Have a look at the video of what police dogs do best. I must admit, I was smiling throughout the whole performance.
It was great as always to see the Kennel Club Charitable Trust making an appearance there as always. People often ask me what exactly do The Kennel Club do for homeless dogs? In my mind, they are the unsung heroes of dog welfare. Having worked with welfare organisations such as Beagle Welfare and Basset Welfare I understand the potential the Charitable Trust has and how much they benefit the world of rescue. Rescue organisations under the Kennel Club Charitable Trust re-home more dogs than Dogs Trust and Battersea combined and only a very minority of people know this. Not to mention the money the Charitable Trust puts into research into canine diseases and health problems. For more information click here.
The high point was of course, Best in show; I don’t think I have seen a dog enjoy showing and winning as much as the Labrador Retriever who got second place, IT Ch Loch Mor Romeo owned by Mr F Barberi. And of course Jilly (Ch Soletrader Peak A Boo) the winning Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen who stole the show; what a fantastic end to a great career! Congratulations to Mrs S & Mrs W Robertson & Doherty.
If you’re interested in getting involved with any of the activities you’ve seen here or at Crufts, please check out The Kennel Club Activities here for more information and take part in the most rewarding activities you can do with your four legged friend!
Did you go to Crufts? What did you think? Be sure to leave a comment!