After a gap of a year, the greatest dog show on earth is back!

From pugs to Great Danes, retrievers to shih tzus, hundreds of dogs, dog owners and lovers will take part in the world’s largest dog show this week and even more will grace the NEC in Birmingham or tune in to watch televised highlights. Now in its 131st year, Crufts will see in the region of 20,000 dogs over its four days and ticket turnstiles are reported to top those of Glastonbury Festival!

From his rise as a travelling salesman of dog biscuits to the organiser of the world’s largest dog show, Charles Cruft’s story is a fascinating one. After a good

deal of success as Secretary of the Toy Spaniel Club, Charles also became Secretary of the Pug Dog Club and became involved in the dog show scene. From organising a Terrier show in London at the suggestion of the Duchess of Newcastle, Charles went on to expand on this winning formula by deciding to include all breeds for his seventh show. So it was, that the first

Crufts’ dog show was held at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington in 1891 with a whopping 2437 entries in total. The show even attracted the attention of one of the nation’s most famous dog enthusiasts, Queen Victoria.

So what’s the secret to Crufts’ enduring success? Perhaps the event’s biggest draw is to see which top dog will get their paws on the most prestigious title of ‘Best in Show’. Did you know that the first ‘Best in Show’ competition was held in 1928? A very smart looking greyhound named Primley Sceptre was crowned champion. An impressive 78 winners from 43 different breeds since, the only break in the title’s reign was during World War II.

With Heelwork to Music, Agility and Flyball all firm favourites during this four day event as well as Scruffts: The Nation's Favourite Crossbreed competition and the popular Discover Dogs at Crufts where would-be owners can chat to breeders and find their perfect companion, Crufts has aimed to entertain and inform dog owners by showcasing dog breeds and providing a forum for dog lovers to share their enthusiasm for our four-legged friends. So after 131 years, we think that Crufts deserves a round of ‘appaws’ – it is still well and truly best in show.


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