Kennel Club entry figures for the world’s greatest dog show, dfs Crufts, reveal that 21,422 dogs will be competing at the NEC, Birmingham from 10th – 13th March 2011.
The Golden Retriever has reclaimed its position as the most well represented breed at the show with 491 dogs and bitches entered, beating the Labrador Retriever into the top spot after its entry dropped from 507 to 481.
Overall, the biggest increases in the number of dogs entered are amongst Tibetan Terriers (up 59 from 138 to 197 dogs), Rhodesian Ridgebacks (up 47 from 160 to 207 dogs), Whippets (up 47 from 390 to 437 dogs), and French Bulldogs (up 40 from 126 to 166 dogs).
Proportionally, the breeds with the largest year-on-year increases for their breed include the German Pinscher (up 162.5 percent, from 8 to 21 dogs), the Chesapeake Bay Retriever (up 123 percent from 26 to 58 dogs) and the Coton de Tulear (up 78.9 percent from 19 to 34 dogs).
Overall, the number of dogs competing has fallen by 2.4 percent compared to last year, but the greatest proportion of the fall has come from amongst those breeds that were traditionally docked and that are no longer allowed to be shown. Docking legislation under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 ruled that even legally docked working dogs may not be shown at events where the public pay an entry fee. The only exemption was if dogs were docked before the legislation was brought in which is increasingly applying to fewer and fewer dogs.
Amongst the dogs with the biggest numerical drops are traditionally docked breeds including Boxers (down by 67 from 254 to 187), Cocker Spaniels (down by 48 from 394 to 346), Yorkshire Terriers (down 45 from 128 to 83), German Shorthaired Pointers (down 44 from 179 to 135), Rottweilers (down 43 from 315 to 272) and Dobermanns (down 42 from 220 to 178). In total, 75 percent of the overall fall of dog numbers between 2010 and 2011 came from the traditionally docked breeds.
Speaking about the show Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “The entry figures for this year’s event shows that dfs Crufts continues to be an essential part of the canine calendar for dog lovers.
“The slight dip in numbers is largely down to the impact of the docking legislation which means that even legitimately docked working dogs cannot be shown where there is a paying gate. The decrease is however less than the average drop seen across all Championship dog shows during the past twelve months which fills us with a lot of confidence.
"This year is the 120th anniversary of dfs Crufts and we would like to thank everybody for their continued loyal support and we look forward to welcoming them to the show. Once again, those who cannot make it to the NEC can watch the coverage live on More4 and we encourage people to join the Kennel Club on twitter and dfs Crufts on Facebook, so that they can share their memories with us and keep up to date with the latest news.
The number of entries to classes for dfs Crufts 2011 is 24,108, which is down 1.7 percent on 2010’s figure. The 2.4 percent drop in dog numbers for dfs Crufts 2011 compares favourably to the average 3.5 percent drop in dogs entered at General Championship shows during 2010.
There is also good news for many of the native vulnerable breeds, which the Kennel Club has deemed at risk of extinction because their registration numbers are so low. Overall the number of dogs from these breeds has increased by 12.3 percent, in line with a 5.2 percent increase in the number of puppies registered with the Kennel Club between 2009 and 2010. The Deerhound, Irish Terrier and Manchester Terrier are amongst those breeds that will see an increased number of dogs at the show in 2011. Dog shows such as dfs Crufts provide a perfect opportunity for potential puppy buyers to find out about these breeds, which otherwise risk being forgotten about despite the fact that they make excellent pets.
For those who would like to visit dfs Crufts, tickets for the four days and Best in Show are on sale now from the dfs Crufts website, www.dfscrufts.org.uk, or by phone from The Ticket Factory on 0844 444 9944.