Crufts dog show is the Kennel Club’s largest annual event, which sees the finals of a huge range of different events from dog breed show classes to agility, obedience, and much more.
Whilst not every dog lover has been to Crufts, everyone has heard of it, and this is a show that is both controversial and that has a long and colourful history too.
Whether you love dog showing in general and Crufts in particular and harbour a secret ambition to strut your stuff in the ring one day – or if you’re actually going to be doing so this year – if you’re attending the event, or even if you hate everything Crufts stand for, there is no denying that the sheer history and scale of the show itself is fascinating.
With this in mind, this article will share ten fascinating facts and statistics about Crufts dog show. Read on to learn more.
The dog show we now call Crufts (more on this below!) opened its doors for the first time in 1891, which makes it by far the oldest and longest established dog show in the world, as well as the largest and best-known one.
Crufts might be the world’s best-known dog show and the one to host classes for more breeds than any other show, but when it first started out it was only open to terriers.
The very first Crufts dog show was known as the “First Great Terrier Show,” and in fact, it was five years before dogs of any other breed were invited to compete.
Everyone knows that Crufts is a really big dog show, but even if you’ve visited the show, you might not realise just how many dogs compete across the course of the event in all of the different categories and classes.
In 2020, this will total around 28,000 dogs.
Because you can buy tickets for Crufts on the door, exactly how many people will go to see the show isn’t yet known, but based on previous years, around 160,000 people are expected to go and spectate over the course of the show’s four days.
Even if you wouldn’t be willing to hazard a guess as to how much money the owner of the Best in Show winner at Crufts takes home, you’d probably assume it was a significant figure, right? The sort of money that could really change your life?
Well, it’s not. And it won’t even come close to covering the cost to the dog’s owner of attending and presenting their dog at the show!
The Best in Show winner of Crufts takes home just a token cash prize of £200. The bragging rights and prestige, however, can translate into cold, hard cash for dog breeders in sponsorship deals too.
The huge cup awarded to Best in Show winners isn’t theirs to keep either, and the cup itself (the real one!) is made of solid silver, and called the Keddall Memorial Trophy.
Winners do, however, get a replica to keep.
Over the course of Crufts’ history, it is the Cocker spaniel dog breed that has won the Best in Show trophy the most, with a total of seven wins.
In terms of the dog breeds that see the largest numbers of competitors at Crufts based on 2019 entrants, the Golden retriever came in first with 537 dogs, followed by the Labrador retriever in second, with 531.
Third most populous was the Whippet, a drop down from the other two with 416 entrants.
Crufts dog show has taken place annually every single year since its inception, with the exception of some of the time during and surrounding the war years of the two respective World Wars, during which the show was suspended.
Aside from 1918-1920 and 1940-1947 respectively in order to account for the impact of the Wars and their immediate aftermath and the efforts to restore normality, Crufts has been part of the annual calendar since if very first began.
Finally, the Best in Show class is the best-known part of Crufts, the most widely watched on TV, the most talked about, and certainly the most prestigious. However, the Best in Show class wasn’t even a part of the show at all during its early years, and was only introduced to Crufts in 1928, almost three decades after the very first Crufts show took place.