The Greatest Dog Show in the World

Crufts story

As a nation of dog lovers, Crufts has become one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the canine calendar. This year the celebration of all things fluffy and four-legged takes place between the 7th-10th March at the NEC in Birmingham, a slightly different venue to where it all started back in 1891.


Named after its founder, Charles Cruft, the show was first named ‘Crufts Greatest Dog Show', the show was the first of its kind to invite all breeds to compete. In its first year there were 2,000 entries to the competition. Each year the show has grown in popularity until it was eventually sold to The Kennel Club after Charles' death in 1938.


Over the years the show has evolved to include not just the Best in Show competitions, but now encompasses other events that celebrate all aspects of the unique relationship that dogs share with their owners. It is estimated that an average of 28,000 dogs take part in Crufts each year, attracting over 160,000 visitors and a global audience thanks to TV coverage.


Competing for Best in Show

Crufts champion
Crufts is not an open competition. In order to gain entry to the Best in Show category, dogs must have successfully gained a top-3 place in their breed class the year before. Dogs then go on to compete against others of the same breed split by gender, age and previous class wins. A Dog and Bitch are then picked as winners from each class who then go on to compete for the Dog and Bitch Challenge Certificate (CC). The two CC winners then go head-to-head to determine the Best of Breed.


Once the Best in Breed winner has been chosen, they then go on to compete against other breeds in their Group: Toys, Gundogs, Utility, Hounds, Working, Pastoral and Terriers. The seven group winners then compete for Best in Show, in which the overall winner receives a replica of the solid silver Keddall Memorial Trophy, and a small cash prize of £100 in addition to the prestigious title of Best in Show. Best in Show for 2012 was won by Ch. Zentarr Elizabeth, a Lhasa Apso from the Utility Group.


Other competitions at Crufts

    Crufts competitions
  • • Aside from the main show, a popular attraction at Crufts is the Dog Agility competition. Here, dogs compete in a time trial where they must manoeuvre  through an obstacle course of highs and lows with guidance from their  owners in the fastest time. Any mistakes made are penalised by adding time  to their result.

  • • The obedience competition awards prizes and allows owners to showcase their dogs obedience skills by undergoing a number of demanding activities, such as off lead heelwork, distance control, retrieve, send  away,stays and  scent work.

  • • Flyball competition is a relay-style race where teams of dogs compete against one another in a knock-out competition. Each dog jumps a series of hurdles to collect a ball at the other end. The dog then races back over the hurdles to tag a team mate who then repeats the process until all the dogs have finished.


Where to buy tickets?

Tickets start from just £14 per day and are available online or over the phone by calling 0844 444 9944.


If you would rather watch from the comfort of your own home, More4 will be providing coverage on channel 14 on Freeview, channel 124 on Freesat, channel 138 on Sky and channel 147on Virgin Media. Visit the Channel 4 website for more programme information.



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