It’s often referred to as ‘the world’s greatest dog show’ and Crufts returns for another year of doggy magic in Birmingham from 8th to the 11th March! For anyone from dog enthusiasts to competing canines, this event might be one of the biggest and most exciting of the year. With dogs competing in a whole host of different events and a trade area with a range of different products on sale, it could be heaven for pooch-mad people! At The Insurance Emporium, we couldn’t be more excited about Crufts, so we’ve put together this helpful guide on what you need to know before the four-legged fun begins!

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1. A whole lot of history…

Crufts is an event that has a long and rich history and will be running for its 128th year in 2018. The show was started by Charles Cruft in 1891 before being sold on to The Kennel Club in 1942, four years after his death. The former travelling salesman worked for a dog biscuit manufacturer and spent plenty of time at canine shows before he started his own event which was billed the ‘First Great Terrier Show’ in 1886. It wasn’t until five years later that it became Crufts. The first edition of Crufts had 2,437 entries which included four of Queen Victoria’s dogs! These days Crufts has around 22,000 dogs on show with over 162,000 spectators in 2017 and an incredible five million watching last year’s Best in Show on television! Last year’s winner of Best in Show was a record breaker, with Miami the American Cocker Spaniel the first of his breed to win the coveted award! Now that’s something to bark about!

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2. Vital venue details

Since 1991 the event has been held at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. In 2018 it will run for four days from 8th March. The show will be a mix of competition and trade, meaning that it could be the perfect place to do anything from watching top-dogs in action to finding the latest poochy products for your canine pal! The eventing arena seats 6,000 people, so you might want to get there early to avoid disappointment. If you are purchasing tickets for Crufts, you might be pleased to know that under nines get in free! It could also be important to note that a separate ticket is required for the Best in Show competition. There will be over 550 trade stands at the show this year, so it could be worth putting plenty of time aside to have a good explore and even plan in advance what you’d like to see! If you can’t make it down to Crufts in person then do not fear! There will be a record-breaking 14 hours of TV coverage airing on More4 and Channel 4 in the UK!

3. Champion competition canines

Although the trade show, charities and demonstrations are an important part of the Crufts experience, it’s the competitions and displays that really get the crowds excited! There are a whole host of different awards on offer in a range of different disciplines. Agility works on a time trial basis where dogs must manoeuvre through different obstacles alongside their owner. There is also the obedience category where dogs must undergo various different activities such as off-lead heelwork and retrieve whilst judges mark them for their obedience. Flyball is a relay-style race where teams of four dogs must compete in jumping over hurdles and relaying a ball back-and-forth. There are also choreographed routines to music and a Young Kennel Club competition for handlers between the ages of 6 and 25. The main event however is the Best in Show! This is the award that all 22,000 dogs will be competing for. This award is open to all breeds and has seen the English Cocker Spaniel record the most wins with a total of seven Best in Show victories!

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4. Discover dogs!

Many dog-lovers might be heading to Crufts in the hopes of bumping into some friendly canines for a stroke and a cuddle. The Discover Dogs area could be just the place to do that! There will be over 200 breeds of dog with their tails wagging and ready to meet and greet visitors! This could be the perfect place to speak to owners and breeders, taking everything that you can from their experience and wealthy pool of knowledge. Whether you’re looking for advice on training your pooch or you’re in the market for a new furry friend then these guys could be vital! If you’re looking to welcome a new dog into your home then it could be extremely important to select the right puppy for your own circumstances. It might be the most significant decision that you make for both you and your potential new pup, so meeting them in advance and chatting to someone could be a great help. There will be plenty of experts on hand to give you advice at the show, just have a walk around and take it all in!

Heading down to the world’s biggest dog show might be one of the most exciting times of the year for canine fanatics! It’s the time when you can surround yourself with a whole manner of different pooch related activities and doggy-mad people! If you already have your own furry friend at home then it could be important to have some dog insurance in place in case the worst happens. At The Insurance Emporium, all of our new Dog Insurance policies include a 20% Introductory Discount*! There are also five policy types to choose from with benefits including up to £8,000** for Vet’s Fees! Head to The Insurance Emporium and see if we can be best in show for your cover!

*20% Introductory Discount only applies to brand new policies.

**Lunar Monthly Lifetime Gold policy.

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