Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Crufts Countdown

Well, tomorrow's the day we look forward to all year. No, it's not Christmas..... it's CRUFTS! The best dog show in the world. All year dog showers have been trying to get their beloved poches qualified for Crufts, just so they can compete at this great event.

If you are not sure of the dog show system in the UK here's a brief explanation. There are several different types of show:-

The Companion or Family dogshow:these have some classes for pedigree dogs, but also they have classes such as ... the dog with the waggiest tail, the dog the judge would most like to take home, the best rescue dog. You don't have to enter these shows in advance, just turn up and have fun.

The Limit/ed Show: You can only enter these shows if you are a member of the Dog Club holding it. They are run under Kennel Club rules and are only for pedigree dogs. You have to enter about six weeks before the show date and the cost is usually under £5 per dog, per class. These shows are quite small, usually held in village halls and are very friendly, often only having one ring and one judge.

The Open Show: Held under Kennel Club rules, in bigger premises, sometimes outside. You have to enter these about six weeks in advance, the cost is between £5 and £10 per dog, per class (slightly less if you are a member of the club hosting the show). These are held on the group system, every pedigree dog belongs to one of the following groups, Pastoral, Working, Utility, Hounds, Terrier, Gundog, Toy, and the bigger (in number) breeds will have classes specifically for them, the smaller numerically will join together in the Any Variey class for their group. When all the classes have been judged in a group, the winners of each class will then compete together to find the best Terrier, best Hound etc. At the end of the day the winners of the groups will compete together to find the Best In Show. These shows have many rings and different judges for each group.

The Championship Show: These are held under Kennel Club rules and usually in large premises or showgrounds. Each breed has a number of CCs (Challenge Certificate) given depending on how large numerically the breed is. These CCs are spread out between all the Championship Shows and the winning dog and bitch from each breed is awarded a CC (if available), when a dog has three CCs he/she becomes a Champion. The format of the show is the same as for an Open Show although on a much larger scale with a judge for each breed. Often there are benches where a dog can be kept and groomed before it goes into the ring. There are also stalls selling doggy goods at these shows. You have to enter a Championship Show at least two months beforehand and the cost is at least £20 per dog per class.

Crufts: In order to qualify to be entered for Crufts your dog has to have won a first, second, or third at a Championship show. This show is the biggest of the UK year (23,000 dogs this year)and runs over four days, with different groups on each day. There are also other things going on including Obedience and Fly Ball, loads of traders stalls and doggy information. There is also Discover Dogs where you can see and talk to owners of all the dog breeds, not just the ones competing on that day.
It cost about £24 to enter and has to be done at least two months beforehand. There are benches for all the dogs which have to be used all day except when the dog is in the showring. Exhibitors cannot leave untl 4.30 as the public love to come around and see all the dogs.

I hope this has been helpful to you, we're getting very excited about our day out, it's always enjoyable even if we don't come home with a rosette. It is a myth that you can make money at dogshows, there are not usually any money prizes and if there are it's usually £2 maximum. I think the Grand Winner gets £100 at Crufts