So if you own a dog something big happened last week, and unless you live in a media free life you will know about. Of course I’m talking about Crufts 2017!

Now held at the NEC in Birmingham, Crufts has grown into the largest dog show on the planet with almost 22,000 dogs being shown this year. After being founded in 1891 as a reasonably small dog show, it has grown over the years outgrowing both of its previous venues Earls Court and Olympia in London and now uses over 5 halls at the National Exhibition Center. In 1928 a new award was added being the Best in Show which has become the most widely coveted award in the showing of dogs worldwide and surprisingly the prize money has remained the same at just £100!

So how does a show dog win best in show?

Firstly they have to win their breed category e.g. best puppy, best veteran etc., until there are just 2 dogs from each breed: best Dog and best Bitch. The winner of these 2 is then put through to the group final to represent their breed. Then the judging of the group finalists will reduce the dogs down to just 7 and they will then be judged against each other to decide who is the Best in Show. The groups and this year’s group winners are as follows

  • Toy Group won by a Yorkshire Terrier
  • Utility Group won by a Miniature Poodle
  • Hound Group won by a Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen
  • Terrier Group won by a Lakeland Terrier
  • Gundog Group won by a American Cocker Spaniel
  • Working Group won by a Newfoundland
  • Pastoral Group won by an Old English Sheepdog

Established in 1891, Crufts is generally accepted as the largest dog breeds show in the world. Held over four consecutive days the show sees over 20,000 kennel club registered dogs competing in breed classes for the coveted title of ‘best in show’ the premier accolade in the canine world.

But it’s not all about showing with hundreds of stands selling everything from toys, beds, collars and leads, grooming equipment, to car crates, artificial grass, kennels and clothing for you or your dog. There really is something for everyone in the shopping sections of each hall. With tens of thousands of people flocking to Crufts each year it has become a one stop shop for everything doggy. With the leading training institutes such as the IMDT, BIPDT and APDT all having stands at the show, there is help at hand for your pooch or for all you budding dog trainers in the making.

Other events which hold their most presidios awards and finals at Crufts each year are a lot of dog sports such as Fly ball, Agility, Obedience and Heelwork to Music.

The Kennel Club – who annually organise the show – not only do they promote the showing of dogs but they also better the understanding of the relationship humans have with their dogs.  Through schemes such as the Young Kennel Club, they help youngsters to understand and get more involved with dogs.

So who won?

So after 22,000 dogs were judged down to just one winner. This year’s best in show was won by an American Cocker Spaniel and the Runner up was a Miniature Poodle.