With more dogs from overseas set to descend on Birmingham next month than ever before, the world’s greatest dog show Crufts will be even more international this year.
A total of 3,623 dogs from overseas will compete at Crufts this year, compared to 3,469 in 2017, an increase of over four per cent. Dogs from a total of 48 overseas countries will take part in the show, including entries from Bahrain, Kazakstan and Peru for the first time ever.
Leading this friendly ‘foreign invasion’ with more entries than any other overseas country is France with 462 dogs, followed closely by Italy (411), the Netherlands (334), Germany (319) and Russia (297).
Crufts will welcome around 27,000 dogs this year, taking part in a wide variety of competitions and displays over the four days of the show, which takes place at the NEC, Birmingham from 8th – 11thMarch. Last year, a record attendance of over 162,000 visitors joined in the annual celebration of man’s best friend.
The show is also set to be more competitive than ever, with over 200 pedigree dog breeds in contention for the famous Best in Show trophy, which will be awarded live on Channel 4 on the evening of Sunday 11th March. Never before in the show’s 127 year history have over 200 different breeds had the opportunity to get their paws on the ultimate prize in dogs.
These breeds include the Braque D’Auvergne, a French gundog, which will compete at the show for the first time. Another new breed from across the Channel appearing at Crufts 2018, though not yet eligible to compete, is the Barbet which will be formally recognised in the UK from April. Visitors will be able to see the breed for the first time at the show in a special parade on Thursday 8th March.
In total, nearly 21,000 dogs will be competing for just seven places in the show’s finale, representing each of the individual groups. The highest number of dogs in a single breed set to compete in each group is as follows:
- Working: Boxer – 222
- Pastoral: Border Collie – 390
- Terrier: Staffordshire Bull Terrier – 341
- Hound: Whippet – 414
- Toy: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – 304
- Utility: Bulldog – 263
- Gundog: Golden Retriever – 592
As well as the breed class judging which leads to Best in Show, visitors will be able to watch some of the world’s finest dogs and handlers in action across a range of disciplines including agility, obedience, heelwork to music and flyball.
Crufts will welcome two new finals for the first time this year, as the show plays host to the popular annual Eukanuba Champion Stakes and Eukanuba Pup of the Year competitions for the first time. Other highlights of a busy programme taking place in the Genting Arena are the Kennel Club Friends For Life competition, which celebrates those dogs in our lives that provide lifetime service, support, love and devotion, and the final of the nation’s favourite crossbreed competition, Scruffts.
Gerald King, Crufts Chairman said: “We are delighted that entries to Cruft remain so impressive year on year. We feel honoured to welcome dogs from a wider variety of breeds than ever before, representing all corners of the globe. The fact that people travel far and wide to enter this prestigious event proves that it really is the world’s greatest dog show.
“We thank everybody who has entered the show and look forward to welcoming all the dogs and their owners, who make Crufts such a wonderful event, whether it is those who have been loyally returning year after year or those who are experiencing the show for the first time, such as those who will make the journey from Bahrain, Kazakhstan and Peru!”
A full list of entries in each breed will be available on the Crufts website at: www.crufts.org.uk/content/dog-exhibitors/crufts-2018-entries/ shortly.