Around 28,000 dogs are set to descend on the NEC in Birmingham on 11-14 March for the world’s greatest dog show, DFS Crufts 2010. Almost 22,000 of these will be competing in the pedigree classes which culminate in the prestigious Best in Show final on Sunday 14th March.
There will be 186 pedigree breeds competing at the show across the seven groups, with the Gundog group attracting the highest entry. Within that group the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Irish Setter and Flat Coated Retriever will see the largest number of competitors hoping to win the ultimate prize in the world of dog showing.
There is 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. The Kerry Blue Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Skye Terrier, Deerhound, Irish Water Spaniel, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Cardigan Welsh Corgi and the Irish Red and White Setter all see an increased number of dogs at the show, compared to 2009. 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.
A significant drop has been seen in the Gamekeepers classes this year, where entries have fallen by 17 percent compared to 2009, largely due to the law that even legally docked dogs may not be shown at events where the public pay an entry fee. All of the dogs in these classes are working dogs - for which tail docking is legal – but now face restrictions on entering the show ring.
Speaking about the show Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “DFS Crufts 2010 is set to be another massive show, with nearly 22,000 dogs entered in the pedigree classes under one roof, it is the perfect place to learn more about pedigree dogs.
“The recent Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding highlighted dog shows as being a powerful lever for change and there is no more powerful lever than DFS Crufts. It is only through rewarding and encouraging responsible breeders and their healthy dogs in the show ring that the bar can be set for others to follow, and that is what DFS Crufts is all about.
“It is also about giving potential puppy buyers the opportunity to learn more about dogs, in a fun and interesting way, before they buy. The show will have breed and dog health experts on hand to talk about the different breeds and which ones might suit different lifestyles. Kennel Club Accredited Breeders will be at the event, so that people can learn how to find a responsible breeder that will give their dogs the best start in life.
“Whilst the Kennel Club recognises that this year’s entry does not quite match the number achieved last year, we see this in the context of the wider picture. The decrease of around 3% in this year’s figure is almost exactly in line with the total average drop seen across all Championship dog shows during the past twelve months, namely 2.9%. This in turn has seen the number of dogs qualifying to enter DFS Crufts fall as a result.”
As in previous years, the additional money donated by exhibitors entering the event will be matched by the Crufts Committee, with the money going to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which funds research into dog diseases and supports the work of dog welfare charities.
• DFS Crufts is a unique celebration of happy, healthy dogs and of the loving relationship that they enjoy with their owners. It recognises the varied roles that dogs play in society and highlights the many different disciplines and activities in which dogs are involved.
• DFS Crufts educates visitors about how to buy the right dog for them and how to find a responsible breeder through its Discover Dogs, Accredited breeder Scheme and Breed Rescue areas.
• The Kennel Club runs seminars for DFS Crufts judges to help ensure that only those dogs that are healthy representatives of their breed will win awards in the show ring.
• Health is at the heart of DFS Crufts and veterinary and scientific experts will be on hand at DFS Crufts 2010, to talk about health testing and to explain how research has developed over the last 10 years which can help us to resolve genetic issues for the future benefit of dogs.
• The Kennel Club, organiser of DFS Crufts, is the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live happy, healthy lives with responsible owners.
• The Kennel Club invests the money that it makes from registrations and its other services into its dog training and education programmes and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which supports dog welfare charities and research into dog diseases.
• The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has raised nearly £4 million over the years for research into dog diseases. The money raised from optional donations with the DFS Crufts entry fee is matched by the Crufts Committee and this money is given to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.