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    February 3rd, 2014Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2014

    Crufts is coming and we can’t wait! So we’ve compiled a collection of Crufts Trivia for you to enjoy in the meantime.

    1) The first ever Crufts was held on the 11th February, 1891. 2,437 dogs were entered back then, representing just 36 breeds (these days almost 200 are present, and more than 25,000 dogs made their way to the NEC – from 41 different countries – for Crufts 2013.)

    2) Crufts was cancelled for 3 years because of WWI, and 6 years because of WWII.

    3) In 1915, the first show after WWI, Crufts held special Army and Navy classes for dogs owned by officers, NCOs and the men. Now, Crufts celebrates working dogs (including Army dogs) through their display teams and their Friends for Life award.

    4) The show was also nearly cancelled in 1952, due to the death of King George VI two days prior, but they were ultimately allowed to go ahead. In 1954, however, it was called off due to an electricians’ strike – they couldn’t clear the venue from the previous event to make room for the rings.  In 2001, the show was held in May rather than March due to the outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease.

    5) The first ever Best in Show winner was a Greyhound, called Primley Sceptre, as late in the show’s history as 1928. A greyhound has won the accolade 2 times since then.

    6) The first female owner to win Best in Show, with “Bramshaw Bob” the Labrador in 1932, was Lorna Countess Howe. The same dog won again the next year. In 1937, Ms Howe won again with Ch Cheverells Ben of Banchory – and no Labrador has taken the Best in Show title since. (An Italian entry came close last year when it won the Reserve spot.)

    7) Last year’s Best In Show winner, Jilly the PBGV, won the reserve spot in 2011. The last time a reserve winner went on to win Best in Show was the Pekinese in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

    8 ) The most likely breed to win BiS, statistically, is the Cocker Spaniel. A Cocker has come out on top 7 times in total. Welsh Terriers and Irish Setters have each won 4 times.

    9) A total of 42 different breeds have been lucky enough to lay claim to a Best in Show Winner over the history of the show. But this also means that around 160 breeds could be first time winners of the title the future.

    10) A Vulnerable Native Breed has won Best in Show 10 times in total. (VNBs are a group of breeds that originated in Britain, which are now considered vulnerable because they register less than 300 puppies each year.) The most recent VNB winner was the Sealyham Terrier back in 2009. A Kerry Blue Terrier (also a VNB) was the champion of the millennium show in 2000.

    11) Every year, the bookies offer odds on which Group will put up the dog that claims the title. Although it is, of course, impossible to judge without seeing the dogs, the safest bets numerically are the Gundog and Terrier Groups, which have contained the title winners 23 and 20 times respectively. The last Gundog and Terrier Group wins were in 2011 (Yogi the Hungarian Vizsla) and 2009 (Charmin the Sealyham).

    The Hounds have won 10 times (most recent was in 2013, of course, with Jilly the PBGV), Utility is tied at 10 wins (the last being the Tibetan Terrier in 2007), and the Pastoral Group is next with 6 winners (2006, Australian Shepherd). The toys have given us 4 champions (most recently the Pekinese in 2003) and finally we have the Working Group, who have put forward only 3 (2008, Giant Schnauzer).

    BiS by Group

    12) At Crufts in 1892, there were dogs entered by at least 3 European royal families. (Alexandra, Princess of Wales’ Pomeranian; Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia’s Borzoi; and Prince Henry of Battenburg’s Collie).

    13) The first crossbreeds to compete at Crufts were Working Sheepdogs that entered the first obedience championships in 1955. Crossbreed dogs and mongrels are now a central part of the show, taking part in a wide range of competitions including agility, which was first presented at the show in 1978.  Last year, the final of Scruffts comes to Crufts for the first time.

    14) The Kennel Club took over the management of Crufts in 1948, after the founder’s widow handed over control. 84 breeds were represented at the show that year, more than double the number at the first ever show.

    15) Crufts is one of only four shows in the UK to have representative status, ie the right to award Challenge Certificates to for all breeds eligible for CCs. (The others are the Scottish Kennel Club Show, the Welsh Kennel Club show and Birmingham Dog Show.)

    16) Crufts was first aired on the BBC in 1950. It was televised by them every year for almost six decades – until 2009, when a certain infamous documentary meant it was off air completely for one year. More 4 picked up the coverage of the show in 2010, and will continue it this year. You can also now stream the show live through the internet.

    17) The show hasn’t always been held in Birmingham. It was originally held in London, and has been hosted in the past at Olympia and Earl’s Court – the current venue of the smaller KC event, Discover Dogs in November. It has been a four day event since 1987.

    18 ) Crufts is the second largest show held at the NEC each year, and covers five halls as well as the Pavilion and Arena. The British International Motorshow/Autosport International beats it in terms of space– probably because cars are somewhat bigger than your average dog! It is the most popular however, with a footfall of almost 149,500 in 2013.

    19) At the Centenary celebrations in 1991, Crufts was officially recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest dog show, with 22,973 dogs being exhibited in conformation classes that year. Including agility and other events, it is estimated that an average 28,000 dogs take part in Crufts per annum.

    20) Crufts used to have an apostrophe in it. It was Cruft’s Dog Show (in reference to founder, Charles Cruft), but this was removed in 1974 due to a rebrand by the Kennel Club. Since then, Crufts has become a brand/institution in itself.

    21) The popular Friends For Life competition has been running in some form since 2004. Nominations have now closed for the 2014 competition and we’ll be bringing you news of the nominees shortly. 2013’s winners, Haatchi and Owen, have a book out later this month.

    If you have a bit of interesting Crufts trivia which we haven’t included here, we would love to hear it.

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    February 1st, 2014Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2014

    Can’t wait for Crufts? Neither can we! With Just days to go now, we’ve compiled a collection of things you can join, listen to, watch, read or buy to tide you over until the big event arrives.


    First off, you should follow our @DogsInTheNews Twitter feed, so that you can receive all the latest updates as and when they happen. We’re also on Facebook and Pinterest.

    While you’re there, there’s also an official Crufts Facebook page and the Kennel Club has a Twitter feed as well.

    Additionally, there’s an official Crufts website and even an app.

    If you’re taking your dog to the show, please consider getting involved in our little canine interest project. We’re looking for exhibitors who are willing to be featured in an article during the show – more details can be found here.


    Crufts has an official YouTube channel, where you can find archive footage of not only last year’s Groups and highlights but also interviews and clips from previous years’ shows as well. There’s also a Discover Dogs feature for most breeds. It’s a great way to get into the Crufts mood and remind yourself of favourite moments from the past.

    If you want to know who to look out for in the future, Dog World newspaper have produced a video of the top British dogs of 2013 which is well worth a look. Many of these dogs are headed for Crufts this year and could be our next Best In Show; this video tells you who’s who and why they’re special.  (Last year’s BIS winner was the Top Dog 2012.)

    If you’re not really a ‘YouTube person’, no worries: you can buy the 20092008 and 2005 – 2007 box set DVDs on Amazon. We have these, and they are great for reference (or if you just miss the sound of Frank Kane’s voice and feel like watching ‘Crufts’ in the middle of September!)

    If you would prefer a movie you can watch with friends, we suggest you try Best in Show. It’s a silly ‘mockumentary’-style film which follows five American dogs and their owners on the road to the prestigious Mayflower dog show.  Completely daft, but sometimes scarily close to the truth!  Or, if you want something less mainstream, there’s an old Disney movie called The Ugly Dachshund, which is about a show Great Dane which thinks he’s a much smaller dog than he is.


    As you may know, we used to run a Doggie Book Club through this website and could recommend dozens of titles for dog lovers to sink their teeth into. However, one in particular which we would recommend in the run up to Crufts is Show Dog by Josh Dean; it’s a fascinating, non-judgemental and very honest look at the world of dog showing as the author follows one dog to Westminster and back again. (We have one copy of this book to give away to a lucky reader – just drop us a line at

    And, for a full history of dog shows and winning dogs, do check out Best In Show by Bo Bengtson (no relation to the above film). It’s thick but thorough and would make an excellent reference tome for anyone’s library.

    If you really want to dive into history yourself, all Crufts catalogues from 1886 onwards have been scanned and converted to PDFs for you to view, search, download and print off from the Kennel Club website. It’s a fascinating archive and certainly worth a quick look.

    Finally (whew), don’t forget to buy your tickets here!  

    Hopefully there are more than enough resources and ideas there to help you bide your time until the big event. Know of anything I didn’t think of? Let us know.

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    March 23rd, 2013Laura P (Editor)Articles, Crufts, Crufts 2014

    The Kennel Club recently announced a special ‘early bird’ offer on Crufts 2014 ticket prices; buy before the 19th April this year and get them at “2013 prices”.

    Unfortunately, while this is a very generous offer for the especially keen among us, what it really means is that Crufts ticket prices are set to rise yet again in 2014.  How much they will be raised by “hasn’t been confirmed yet”, according to a KC spokesperson on the Crufts Facebook page.

    Crufts 2014 runs from  the 6th to the 9th March, at the NEC, Birmingham.

    The early bird ticket prices are as follows: 
    Adult £14.00 (+ £1.25 booking fee)
    Child aged 9 – 15 £10.00 (+ £1 booking fee)
    Child aged 8 and under FREE
    Disabled Visitor £10.00 (+ £1 booking fee)
    Senior Citizen (aged over 60) £10.00 (+ £1 booking fee)
    Student £10.00 (+ £1 booking fee)
    A £2.00 transaction fee (per sale) also applies

    Best in Show and Obedience ring tickets do not appear to be included in this offer.

    Click HERE to take advantage of the early bird prices.

    The schedule for Crufts 2014 is: Thursday, Working & Pastoral; Friday, Terrier & Hound; Saturday, Toy & Utility; Sunday, Gundog.


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    March 13th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2013

    Crufts 2013 may well be hailed as one of the most successful ever, as TV viewing figures and footfall at the NEC hit an all time high.

    The number of people attending Crufts in person increased by 3%, from 145,000 in 2012 to almost 149,500 this year.

    Meanwhile, an average of 1.7 million dog lovers tuned into Channel 4 and Channel 4+1 on Sunday night to watch the Friends for Life and Best in Show finale. The broadcast across the whole event, on More4 and Channel 4, delivered an audience which cumulatively peaked at 4.5 million over the four programmes.

    Additionally, 145,000 hours of watch-time was clocked up on the Crufts live internet stream during the show, with over 13,000 subscriptions to the Crufts YouTube channel.  The Crufts Facebook page was hugely popular, delivering pictures, videos, news and comment throughout the show and now has over 100,000 likes.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We are ecstatic that Crufts continues to hold such a special place in people’s hearts, particularly at a time when other events are seeing a decline in visitor numbers due to the economic climate.”

    The Best in Show trophy was presented this year by Samsung Electronics, to commemorate 20 years of sponsorship and support. They also presented the Blue Cross with a cheque for £20,000 on the final day, to mark the success of their joint venture, the “Adopt-A-Dog-A-Thon” App, which reached over 2000 players via Facebook.

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    March 11th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2013

    “She is just so busy, so naughty, she’s such a character: a once in a lifetime dog.”

    Last night Crufts 2013 culminated in the usual pomp and circumstance that is Best In Show. We are delighted to report that the award was taken by Ch Soletrader Peek A Boo, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, called Jilly at home. Jilly was bred in the UK.

    Credit: The Kennel Club

    Credit: The Kennel Club

    A Labrador Retriever caller Romeo, from Italy, took the Reserve title (It Ch Loch Mor Romeo).

    We are delighted with the result, as we have had our eyes on Jilly for quite some time. She’s a fantastic show dog as well as a wonderful example of her breed; she was Top Dog All Breeds in 2012, as well as the Reserve Best In Show winner at Crufts back in 2011. She was also Top Hound in 2011 and has 8 all breed BIS, 5 RBIS, 27 CCs and 26 Group wins under her belt. (You can read more about her here.)

    Jilly is co-owned by Sara Robertson and handled by her other owner Gavin Robertson, who got a tad emotional during his TV interview. “It’s something I’ve thought about since I was a little boy” he said.

    Here’s a small selection of the headlines from around the web this morning:

    Rare dog breed wins Crufts Best in Show – The Independent

    Oxfordshire canine Jilly crowned Crufts champion – BBC

    Crufts 2013 Best in Show’s owner had decided to retire pet just months before victory – Mirror

    Jilly the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen beats 20,000 other dogs to be named Best in Show at Crufts – Mail Online

    A twist in the tail as Crufts top dog quits – The Sun (Jilly is actually being retired, to have puppies)

    ‘Naughty’ hound is the top dog at Crufts – Express

    Last night was also a triumph for Owen and Haatchi, the three-legged Anatolian Shepherd Dog, who won the Friends For Life final prior to the Best In Show Judging.

    The Best in Show trophy was presented to the winners by Samsung Electronics, to commemorate 20 years of Crufts sponsorship and support.

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    March 10th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2013

    We’ve just confirmed that all five of today’s high profile breeds passed their vet checks, giving Crufts 2013 a 100% pass rate and meaning that we will once again see two full groups in the main arena this evening.

    In the Pastoral group, the only high profile breed was the German Shepherd Dog. Their pass today retains the breed’s 100% pass rate so far. The BOB winner was the famous CH ELMO VOM HUHNEGRAB, of Seiger type.

    In the Working group, we had the Douge de Bordeaux, the Mastiff, the Neapolitan Mastiff and the St Bernard.

    The winning DDB was the dog, CH BAKERVILL’S STYLE FUNKYBOY.

    The winning Neapolitan Mastiff was the dog, simply titled KINGLOUIE.

    The winning Mastiff was the bitch, THOMASTER BLACK ROSE.

    The winning St Bernard was the dog, CH LAZEYBEARS BACK TO BLACK. His pass retains the breed’s 100% pass rate so far.

    Congratulations to all the dogs who passed their health  checks this year!

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    March 10th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2013

    To commemorate 20 years of sponsorship and support, Samsung Electronics have been given the honour of presenting the Best In Show trophy in the Main Arena this evening.

    Samsung also have a stand at the show (in Hall 3), where visitors can play with the latest technology, including tablets and a 3D TV, as well as have a photo taken with a fun doggy background as a memento of their visit. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable, so do drop by!

    This year, Samsung and the Kennel Club paired up with the Blue Cross to fund vital health checks for rescue dogs via their Help-A-Dog-A-Thon app. With this app (available via the Crufts Facebook page), users can care for and play with a virtual dog – every dog which is helped in cyberspace goes towards helping a real dog in a Blue Cross centre. They are presenting the charity with a cheque for £20,000 at 2:00pm today at their stand (also in Hall 3), but it’s not too late to try the app and help them make even more of a difference!

    Other anniversaries this year include Hearing Dogs, which is culminating a year of 30th anniversary celebrations today at Crufts, and Dogs for the Disabled, who are celebrating 25 years at various events, including Crufts, throughout in 2013.

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    March 10th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2013

    It’s snowing around the NEC this morning, which is somewhat appropriate as the halls are full of solid working dogs which are happy in the cold: Huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds and St Bernards!

    The cold hasn’t kept the journalists away, though, and the press room is buzzing as usual.  There are plenty of stories to chase today, and we’ll be tracking them all down for you.  Do keep checking back here throughout the day.

    For a start, we have five High Profile Breeds today: the German Shepherd Dog in the Pastoral Group, and the Douge de Bordeaux, Mastiff, Neopolitan Mastiff and St Bernard in the Working.

    Thus far all nine of the High Profile dogs from the past three days have passed their checks.  The German Shepherd and St Bernard breeds also have a 100% pass rate since (and including) Crufts 2012, when the checks were first introduced. We await today’s results with interest – could we see two full groups again this evening? As usual, we will tweet the results as soon as we have them, or you can visit our Vet Check Tracker (via the Crufts tab) on this website.

    Secondly, we have five Vulnerable Native Breeds to watch out for today: the Smooth Collie, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, the Old English Sheepdog and the Lancashire Heeler in the Pastoral group and the Mastiff in the Working.

    Two VNBs have already won their groups – the Skye Terrier and the King Charles Spaniel. Could there be another tonight?  We understand that More 4 did some coverage on the VNBs last night; sadly we missed this, but do let us know what you thought.

    Speaking of VNBs, an update on the Top Winning Irish Water Spaniel we mentioned yesterday: he went 4th in the Gundog group, behind the Labrador (from Italy), the Weimaraner and the German Shorthaired Pointer.

    Dogs to look out for today include Ch Allmark Fifth Avenue, an Australian Shepherd, who was the Top Winning Pastoral Dog 2012*. The Top Winning Working Dog 2012 was a Bouvier des Flandres, who is not present at the show today.

    If you’re not into dog spotting, there are a few celebrities about as well. Marc Abraham (the TV vet) is hard to miss in his blue scrubs: he’s here to promote his “Where’s Mum?” anti puppy farming campaign, on Mothers’ Day. The Barking Blondes are also about with their dogs, and swimmer Mark Foster will be in the Main Arena later to judge the Crufts Factor, along with Lucy Heath, winner of ITV’s “That Dog Can Dance”. Finally, we’re told that Ed Speleers from Downton Abbey will be around as well.

    And of course we have the usual Friends For Life and Best In Show final this evening! It’s going to be a long day!

    We’re going to get out there – have a great final day at Crufts folks, or just watching at home: don’t forget it’s on Channel 4 tonight, at the earlier time of 5:30pm.

    * Update: He won the Group that evening!

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    March 9th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2013

    Irish Setters like to sleep in a variety of ways…

    All photos taken by Laura Patricia, on her new WB250F camera, very kindly provided to the Crufts bloggers by Samsung

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    March 9th, 2013Laura P (Editor)Crufts, Crufts 2013

    It’s been another eventful day here at Crufts 2013, with the main headline being that the Clumber Spaniel BOB passed its vet check and will represent his breed in the Main Arena this evening.

    That makes a fifth full group for the event, and a 100% pass rate so far. The dog who won was Big Boom’s Banditos Dex, son of the BOB who failed amid much controversy last year.

    9 out of 15 high profile breeds passed their vet check in 2012, and this year 9 out of 14 (the Chinese Crested was removed from the list) have passed so far, with five still to be judged tomorrow. This is excellent news for both the dogs and breeders, and the scheme in general.

    In the Pastoral group there is just one high profile breed, the German Shepherd Dog, while the Working group has four: the Mastiff, Neopolitian Mastiff, St Bernard and Douge de Bordeaux. Interestingly, the GSD and the St Bernard currently have a 100% pass rate over all the health checks held since (and including) Crufts last year.

    But back to Gundog day: the Top Winning Gundog 2012, an Irish Water Spaniel, won his BOB and will be representing his breed in the ring this evening. This breed (and the Clumber) is one the nine Vulnerable Native Breeds in the Gundog group. And, the first ever Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retreiver CC was awarded to Trevargh The Entertainer at Brizewood, the dog.

    We, meanwhile, attended a seminar at the new KACI stand in Hall 5 (more about that later), and decided to campaign to bring back tail docking – it would be much easier to photograph dogs if they weren’t wagging!

    All our photos from the day (as well as the past two) will be up on our Facebook page shortly, and we’ll let you know the results of the Group judging as soon as we know, via our Twitter feed.

    See you tomorrow folks!

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