Taking place between 10th - 13th March, the most famous dog show in the world is back at the NEC this year from 10th to the 13th March!
“Crufts Greatest Dog Show” officially began in 1891, founded by Charles Cruft, a dog biscuit seller from England and but originated in 1886 under the name ‘First Great Terrier Show”.
In 1891, Queen Victoria’s collie Darnley II and two of her Pomeranians won prizes at Crufts. The following year, more dogs were entered by European royals including the Princess of Wales, Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia and Prince Henry of Battenburg!
The competition was officially recognised as the world’s largest dog show by the Guinness Book of Record in 1992 - that year 27,000 dogs took part in the event.
At the very first show there were 2437 entries. In 2019 there were 21,000 entries from 44 different countries, showing just how Crufts has grown in popularity.
Many people wonder which breed of dog is the most successful at Crufts. In the popularity stakes, the highest number of entries goes to Retrievers. However the breed that has won the most Best in Show Awards is the English Cocker Spaniel with an amazing seven wins over the history of the competition. What’s even more incredible is that of those seven wins, six of those dogs came from the same breeder, a Mr Herbert Summer Lloyd.
As well as their impeccable grooming, obedience and agility, many of the dogs are infamous for their exotic names. The winner in 1966 was a Poodle called ‘Oakington Puckshill Amber Sunblush’ and in in 2019 a Papillon dog going by the name of ‘Planet Waves Forever Young Daydream Believers’ took the first prize!
Not a lot of people know that Crufts isn’t just for pedigree dogs. In fact a great many number of crossbreed dogs are highly successful in obedience, agility and heel-work sections of the competition. The popularity of Crufts and the the interest of dog owners who do not own pure-bred animals convinced the Kennel Club (the event organisers) to hold “Scruffs”, a show similar to Crufts but solely for crossbreed dogs.
While you’re enjoying the show, spare a thought for the staff who clean up after the event. It’s said that about 350kg of dog fur will be removed from the NEC after the dogs have left!