As Crufts begins today at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham UK, running until Sunday, we’ve sniffed out the history of Crufts, our favourite Best-in-Show winners and the 2015 finalists of the Friends for Life competition. Look no further… we have all the info you’ll need about the most famous dog show in the world.
11 Pawsome Facts
- Dog lover, manufacturer of dog biscuits and Saint Bernard owner Charles Cruft founded the show in 1891.
- The inaugural show attracted 2,437 entries to the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, London.
- Crufts was first televised by the BBC in 1950.
- Cruft’s changed to Crufts in 1974 after a rebranding exercise decided that the apostrophe was no longer needed.
- The top prize Best-in-Show was first awarded in 1928 to a greyhound called Primley Sceptre, dog of a brewery millionaire who also founded Paignton Zoo.
- 42 different breeds have won the prestigious Best-in-Show prize. The English Cocker Spaniel has won the most Best-in-Show titles, with seven triumphs
- Dog entries topped 15,000 for the first time in 1961 and kept rising – there were 21,564 canine competitors in 2014.
- The Discover Dogs area was introduced in 1994, whereby potential owners are encouraged to chat to breeders to find out which breed would most suit their lifestyle.
- Crufts takes up more than 25 acres of the NEC in Birmingham; equivalent to the area of around 12 football pitches.
- The Hero Dogs competition, now known as Friends for Life, first featured in 2004. The most recent winner was Molly, a Cocker Spaniel from Essex who supports her owner, Lucy Watts, who suffers from the life-limiting rare genetic illness Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
- For 2015, Kennel Club entry figures show that 21,474 dogs will be taking part in breed judging, Gamekeepers’ classes and the Obedience and Agility Championships; which matches 2014’s figures within one percent.
Previous Dogs to have Bow-wowed The Judges
In no particular order, here are the DogBuddy 3 top dogs:
Meet The Hero Dogs for 2015
The Friends For Life competition is a celebration of man’s best friend, shown through support, bravery or companionship. All finalists are invited to Crufts, and the winner is chosen by the public.
Miracle was rescued from a lorry cruelly packed with 1,000 other dogs destined for the slaughterhouse in Thailand and was brought to the UK where he found a home with the Leask family in Strathglass, Inverness.
The miracle pup now has a special bond with the owner’s six-year-old son Kyle, who has cerebral palsy and autism.
Lhaso Apso Ellie May has lived in a dementia care home in Crickhowell Powys, bringing happiness and comfort to those in need since she was a puppy.
This labrador is medical-detection-trained and monitors the blood sugar levels of Claire Pearson, from Sittingbourne in Kent, who has type 1 diabetes.
Crossbreed Folly gave Katy Evans, a woman with cerebral palsy from Birmingham, a new lease of life when she was assigned to help her through charity Canine Partners.
Pop back on Monday for our exclusive report on Crufts 2015.
Have you been to Crufts before? Share your experiences of the World’s Most Famous Dog Show in the comments below.