Every year, the world-famous Crufts dog show takes place over the course of four days, attracting competitors and spectators from all over the UK and much further afield too.
This year’s Crufts competition takes place from Thursday 8th March to Sunday 11th March at the NEC in Birmingham, and while it’s too late to enter your own dog as a competitor, there’s still time to get tickets to see the show itself – and bookmark the most popular events to check out on the TV too.
In this article we’ll provide a short rundown of what’s on offer at Crufts this year, and tell you everything you need to know about visiting the show, watching it on TV, or following the latest updates on social media.
Read on to find out more about Crufts dog show 2018.
Crufts holds the accolade of being the world’s largest and best-known dog show, and taking home an award from the show is highly prestigious and hotly contested!
Crufts is perhaps best known for its breed classes, within which dogs from all over the world take place in heats and finals that are designed to identify the best examples of each respective breed, as well as giving the breed category winners the chance to compete for the highly coveted Best in Show and Reserve Best in Show positions too.
However, the show also hosts competitions in every discipline of canine sport and obedience – within which mixed breed dogs of all types are welcome to strut their stuff alongside of their pedigree cousins – as well as displays, seminars, and entertainment for all the family too.
Shopping at Crufts is an experience all of its own, with hundreds of stalls and retailers showcasing their wares, often offering hefty discounts to the show’s visitors. A large number of canine charities, organisations and breed societies also take a stall at the show as well, so there really is something for everyone.
As well as the different classes and shows held in the arena’s various showing rings, there are also lots of other dog-related events taking place for the public to get involved in – with the most popular of these being the “Discover Dogs” event, which encompasses over 200 different dog breeds taking part in meet and greets with the show’s visitors. This is well worth a look if you’re trying to choose a dog breed, want to find out more about different breeds, or are keen to meet some of the rarer and more unusual breeds that you won’t generally see out and about in the dog parks of the UK.
Many events designed especially for kids and young people take place at the show as well, including junior handler competitions and much more.
Over the course of the four day show, competing dogs that have pre-qualified at other Kennel Club heats and local dog show in the prior the year will be judged and winnowed down to the finals of their breed heats, and the show finishes on the Sunday with Best in Show judging, which is the most popular and most-watched event of the show itself.
Unless you’ve received an invitation to compete at Crufts, you can’t take your own dog along to the show for a day out. However, it’s not too late to attend the show as a spectator, and you can either book tickets in advance here, or turn up to buy tickets on the door on the day.
If you want to attend the Best in Show judging on the Sunday of the show, it is important to note that your general admission ticket won’t cover this – you need to buy an additional ticket when you get to the show itself. Tickets for Best in Show are strictly limited, and aren’t allocated to the general public until the show begins, so make this your first priority when you arrive if you’re keen to get in on the action.
Crufts is held at the NEC in Birmingham, which is easily accessible by train using Birmingham International train station. The entrance to the NEC is literally right on the platform, so whilst you should wear sensible shoes because you’re likely to do a lot of walking in the NEC itself, getting to and getting into the show is easy and won’t tax your shoe leather.
If you can’t make it to the show itself, you can watch the event on TV.
Channel 4 and Channel 4 More broadcast the event live for fourteen hours a day while the show is on, and the show is also livestreamed on Crufts’ own YouTube channel.
A lot of social media attention – not all of it positive – is generated by the Crufts show, and the main accounts to watch on Twitter are the official @Crufts account, and the unofficial @CruftsFans. #Crufts and #Crufts2018 are the event’s core hashtags, so keep an eye on them to get the latest news from the spectators and competitors on the ground.