Yesterday we had our annual trip to Crufts. Officially a ‘research’ trip to see if there are any tempting new products about, it was the perfect opportunity to coo over dogs all day and shop! Essentially my favourite kind of day out.
There is so much to see, one day is almost not enough. We’ve been quite a few times now so have a strategy for getting the most out of the day – a tour of Discover Dogs first, over for a mooch round the show rings second, looking at all the stalls third and then a well deserved sit down in one of the arenas to watch some agility, obedience or a display before rounding off the day in the main arena to watch the Best in Group.
Discover Dogs is my absolute favourite. This is where you can get close up and personal with every breed imaginable. You can get all the information you need on the exercise and grooming requirements of that particular breed along with details of any health issues that may be associated with them. Generally the people manning the stands are passionate about their breed and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. I like to think I’m quite clued up on my dog breeds but every year there are ones I’ve not come across before.
The shopping opportunities are endless. Every dog product you could imagine (and some you couldn’t!) are to be had. This years favourite was the stall where you could buy matching outfits for your children and your dogs??? Funnily, they were reduced!
The most impressive element by far though are the displays. Whether it’s agility, flyball, obedience or one of the many groups and clubs that display throughout the 4 days, they are awe-inspiring. For someone whose dogs have barely mastered the ‘sit’ command and seem to compete with each to be the most badly behaved, watching a team of 4 dogs do exactly the same thing at the same time without ever taking their eyes off their owners is, to me, amazing.
And even better is the obvious joy that the dogs have doing this. During the ‘go to your bed’ exercise, one little Cairn Terrier was so eager he skidded right over the top of his raised bed and had to hop back on. Absolute hats off to the time and effort that’s put in to training them.
As per usual, the dogs we wanted to go through to the final didn’t. This is based on nothing more scientific than ‘I like that one’ or ‘the handler of that one looks particularly smart’. It was great to see the mighty Jack Russell being shown for the 1st time and it would have been fantastic for them to go through. But for us, the definite winner of the Terrier group should have been the Bull Terrier – if for no other reason than because any dog that can bound so eagerly in to the arena that they almost trip their owner up in the process, is a winner in our eyes!