Crufts Attractions 2018 Pt. 1

In exactly one month's time, I will have completed my first day at Crufts 2018.  It seems such a short time away, but I want to be as clued up as possible, to prepare for my working visit.  


Although Crufts is generally known as the greatest dog show in the world, visitors will find many other attractions within the five halls that sprawl across the vast building that is the NEC Birmingham.  While the show dogs and their humans will spend most of of their time around  the various judging rings, many other individuals will be more interested in the activities on offer or the trade and charity stands.  Still others will be seeking answers from experts who are ready to share their wisdom.  And then there are the human/dog partnerships taking part in the exciting  competitions that are a vital part of the show.


Audience space is always at a premium in the various activity rings and the main arena. Agility, a great favourite with the crowds, is always a noisy affair as the qualifying  teams compete for the top spot.  I have only ever seen it on TV, and growled throughout the entire event!  However, our Mum loves it as, I think, do most humans.  It looks like such fun, but not just anyone can turn up to have a go at this prestigious event.  Oh no!  Hours of training and competition at the highest level precede Crufts, in order to qualify to perform at the largest dog show on earth.


Now, as a Dachshund, I am not sure I would like to take part in flyball, and even if Idid, our human would not allow it, in case we damaged our backs jumping about to catch the ball as it flies out of the box.  However, there are lots of dogs, mainly bigger than us, who enjoy running about and going crazy about balls.  They too have to qualify to compete at Crufts, and like our agility friends, must do lots of work in the preceding months.


The large arena is also a place where many displays are staged. Take a look at this YouTube video of the Southern Golden Retriever Display Team | Crufts 2016.  


In Britain, the Kennel Club administers the Good Citizen Dog Scheme, which is available through local training clubs.  To quote The Kennel Club "It provides a quality standard of training for dogs and owners, and incorporates many domestic obedience exercises, with 592,478 certificates of achievement having being awarded to owners and their dogs who have successfully passed the scheme's tests."  With attainment levels of bronze, silver or gold, the training also provides the opportunity for dogs to socialise and learn to get on with each other.  At Crufts, this training scheme has its very own ring where you can see what it is all about.  


Of course, being a dog is not just about working to achieve perfection.  We need our fun too, and at the Dog Activities Ring visitors can learn how to unleash their dogs' potential.  As an almost 13 year old, I think I am already fully potential but  I know Josef, my deceased brother and Emma both went dachshund trailing, and also did agility and doggy dancing.   However,  I want to know if there is more and will try to find out what else they reckon is good for us.


Now back to the main arena, where heel work to music is a huge attraction!  The dogs who appear at Crufts are the pick of the crop, and some amazing routines can be seen by the ever-enthusiastic audience.  As a taster, take a look at this incredible routine.


Even with all that we have already reported in this and previous articles, we have only covered a very small amount of what goes on at Crufts.  I shall be scrutinising the info that comes our way prior to the show, and will keep updating you on what to expect if you are fortunate enough to attend in person.  Watch this space!


Dolly Teckel

Sub Editor

The Daxington Post HQ

8th February 2017

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