Will it be a silky coated Lhasa apso who takes the crown this year? Or perhaps a slinky whippet? All will be revealed in Birmingham, England, when Crufts, a four-day celebration of dogs, takes place.
Confirmed by Guinness World Records as the largest dog show in the world, Crufts runs March 7-10 at the city’s National Exhibition Centre. Tickets are available online and cost from 17.25 pounds, or about $27. Discounts on children’s entry fees apply.
Those attending Crufts have the chance to acquaint themselves with more than 200 dog breeds and watch more than 20,000 of them compete in judged events. Thousands more will participate in agility, heel work to music, flyball and other competitions and displays.
A “Discover Dogs” area gives visitors the chance to see different breeds up close and learn about their specific characteristics and grooming needs. While dogs not taking part in the show must be left at home, their owners can check out hundreds of stalls in search of a gift that will get a tail wagging.
For the first time, Crufts will feature Any Variety Import Register classes. About 145 dogs across 13 breeds not previously shown at Crufts will make an appearance. Some of these lesser known breeds include the Korean Jindo, Eurasier, Mexican hairless and the Slovakian rough-haired pointer.
Each day, different groups of dogs compete. March 7 spotlights hounds and terriers; March 8, the toy and utility groups; March 9, gun dogs; and March 10, the working and pastoral groups. At 7:30 p.m. March 10, the Best in Show title will be awarded.
While it’s possible to buy tickets at the door, some online forums suggest that those who want to attend Best in Show secure tickets in advance. Arriving with ticket in hand also might cut valuable time spent at the gate. For more, see www.crufts.org.uk.