I’m sure lots of you have been to Crufts, dog owners and not. It has, after all, been running since 1891. But, lovely reader, this was our very first time. I know. We can’t quite believe it either.
We have had dogs since 2010, so not sure what took us so long. But rest assured, it’s most definitely now an annual outing for us. It. Was. Magic.
The problem was that we only went on the Saturday. We had no idea how big Crufts actually is. The NEC is huge, we all know that, but Crufts takes up the WHOLE arena. Every inch. There are dogs everywhere, dog-mad people swarming round the five halls and every single pet brand you could ever need and want under one (big) roof.
Dog food, dog beds, dog accessories, dog jumpers, leads, collars, harnesses, 3D prints of your dog, dog statues, dog jewellery…. want me to go on?
One of the best bits of Crufts, however, is the Discover Dogs section. It does what it says on the tin - you can literally discover any dog breed. Thinking of getting a Dandie Dinmont Terrier? See one here! Want an American Cocker Spaniel? Yep, stroke one here.
Of course I came away from Crufts having fallen in love with multiple breeds. Obviously Dachshunds are my life, but Borzois (above) stole my heart, as did the Skye terrier (above right). The Komondor (below right) is quite remarkable, and the Bedlington Terrier (below right) is just so cute.
But Crufts isn’t only about Discover Dogs (Even though we spent A LOT of time sussing out the breeds). It’s obviously about best in breeds/group/show. Showing dogs is akin to a sport for the people bringing their dogs to Crufts. It’s competition, but most of all, it’s about being proud about the breed and the dog.
We spoke to many people at Crufts, asking lots of questions, and Rose, below, really was very compelling. Her stories were amazing!
Rose has nine Dachshunds. The middle one in this picture is a champion stud. She was telling us that this is 60th year of showing at Crufts. 60 years! That’s dedication. But what was abundantly clear from speaking to Rose for just a few minutes is that her love for the breed and pride for her dogs far outweighs anything else.
Yes, she loves the competition element, but for her, it was showing off her gorgeous pups and gaining notoriety with the breed. She did breed Dachshunds, but this was really a bi-product of having lots in her house. It just so happens that she became known for breeding champions!
She told us she has had six champion dogs in her history of the breed, that’s quite something! And the most she spoke about the years gone by showing these amazing dogs, the more animated and happy she got.
She also told us that she was the first person in the UK to bring over a stud Manchester terrier, and bred him here. Which meant that every subsequent Manchester terrier was a descendant of her own dog.
Rose’s enthusiasm and energy for Crufts was so infectious. It made us want to talk to everyone, to find out why people were really there. Why they were so invested in the competition and the breeds.