Could you find your dream dog at Crufts 2020?
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Could you find your dream dog at Crufts 2020?

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The annual Crufts dog show 2020 takes place this year from the 5th-8th March, at Birmingham’s NEC arena. Whether you’re very into dog shows, just want to see what it’s all about, or love dogs and want to go along and see literally thousands of them all in the same place, there is a huge amount to see and do at Crufts!

Dogs of every recognised breed in the UK as well as a whole range of mutts and mongrels, rare and endangered breeds, and breeds and types recognised in other countries but rarely seen here can be found at Crufts, competing or as invited guests as part of events.

If you’re considering buying or adopting a dog of your own, or want to get a new dog or even your very first dog, Crufts can be a great place to find ideas, narrow down your options, and even spot the type of dog you eventually end up owning for the first time.

Whilst you can’t actually buy a dog at Crufts (and making a decision on the spot and taking a dog home in that way is a terrible idea for many reasons) going to Crufts could be a great way to find your dream dog, or at least, get some leads on where and what to look for, and what might not be a good fit.

Read on to learn how going to Crufts could help you to pick the right breed or type of dog for you.

Discover Dogs should be your first port of call

If you’re going to Crufts to try to find the right breed of dog for you, make a beeline for Discover Dogs. This is a huge section of the show that is attended by representatives of all recognised dog breeds, including very rare ones, vulnerable native breeds, and some breeds found abroad but not here.

Not only do you get to see them, but you get to pet them, get to know them, and talk to experienced owners and handlers about what is good – and bad – about them too!

Go and check out some rescue and rehoming charities

Crufts hosts lot of stalls for dog charities and rehoming organisations, who will showcase many of the dogs they have available for adoption and may even have some along with them!

You will not be able to take a dog home on the day and will likely have to go through a process of applications, home checks and approvals, but you might even meet your future dog for the first time at one such stall.

Watch some breed classes

Watching some breed classes and seeing what breeds look like, act like, and what they’re good at can be a good way to identify your tastes and what interests you! However, bear in mind that breed competitors at Crufts are the very best examples of their respective breeds, and pet-quality offerings will be variable; and as ever when it comes to dogs, it is personality that counts, not looks.

Talk to competitors

Talking to competitors around the kennels between classes can enable you to find out more about individual dogs, the breed as a whole, and what caring for a dog of that type is like.

Some Crufts competitors are also dog breeders, and you might make a connection that you later go on to view a litter with.

Watch some displays and showcases

Arena showcases and displays, such as gundog displays and events that show the key skills and traits of a certain type of dog or working role can tell you more about what certain types of dogs are like, how smart they are, and their general behaviour. This can help you to rule in or out various options!

Take in the atmosphere

Simply taking some time to sit and watch people and dogs pass by and soak up the atmosphere at Crufts can help you to gain pointers too. What type of dogs are finding everything fun and exciting, and being really lively and outgoing? Which are chilled, and taking it all in their stride?

What type of dogs look like they don’t care either way, and are fast asleep? Find out more if something appeals.

Identify a type

When you’re seeing a lot of different dogs of many breeds together, you might find that something in particular or a combination of “somethings” in certain dogs keeps appealing to you, even if this trait or traits are found in several different breeds rather than just one.

Identifying a trait you like might mean identifying a grouping or type of dogs to consider; for instance, sighthounds like the greyhound and whippet share physical traits with each other, as do spitz types like the malamute and Siberian husky.

Make sure you find out about breed-specific health and welfare issues

Finally, even if you fall for a breed immediately, or spot a certain dog type and decide that nothing else will do, make sure you undertake the whole process with your eyes open.

If a dog appeals to you, before you look into them any further, find out if there are any health and welfare issues associated with the breed – like there are for brachycephalic dogs – and that you factor this in before you fall in love and make a decision on a purchase.

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