Our Top Tips to enjoy Crufts week from your own home!

Merlin & Ripley Crufts Dog Show 2022

Prevent Crufts FOMO;

Bring the excitement of Crufts home and share the fun with your own dog – It’s Cruftsmas!!

Crufts, known as the greatest dog show in the world, started on Thursday this week. Held at the NEC in Birmingham it’s a celebration of the dog world, primarily for breed showing but now with so many additional dog related activities too. Crufts first began in 1891 in Islington, London and it’s come a long way from its initial 2,000 entries; 2024 Crufts has over 19,000 entries over the 4 days!

What is Crufts about?
Breed Showing involves specific breeds, known as Pedigree Dogs, being shown in their own individual classes to determine the judges’ best in each class, which includes Puppy, Junior, multiple Adult classes and also Veteran. Each dog entered is seen moving and felt by the judge to check how they are against the Breed Standard; how the breed should be according to the breed club. For example checking dentition, placement of feet, strength in the body and back and during movement looking at a naturally flowing movement without issues. 

Once each class has their winner all winners for that breed go back into the ring to judge for Best of Breed! You have a male and a female and one will be chosen overall. At the end of the day all Best of Breed winners go in the ring to compete for Best of Group; Gundog, Working, Hound, Toy, Utility, Pastoral, and my personal favourite, Terrier!

All Best of Group winners then return on Sunday evening for the well known Best In Show judging where the best dog of each of the 7 groups are seen by a new judge, the winner being crowned Best In Show 2024!

What about non Show Dogs?

However it’s not just showing that draws thousands of people to Crufts! There are demonstrations for things like Heelwork to Music (Doggy Dancing), Gundog Training, Assistance Dog work and more! The Discover Dogs section showcases all of the UK’s breeds and provides a stand for each one so dog lovers looking into a breed can speak to real life owners about the pros and cons, see the breed’s size and fur type, and meet some of their favourite breed type!

We help on the Norwich Terrier Breed Stand every year and love to talk to people about our dogs! Crufts also hosts sports competitions for Agility, Flyball and Heelwork to Music, with the top level dogs and handlers competing. There are hundreds of trade stands to visit, many with show offers to grab or freebies when you purchase something, plus lots of stands with items you won’t see anywhere else that you never knew of but absolutely need! 

What type of costs are involved?
Crufts is somewhere many people dream of going but it’s not accessible to everyone. For example, for people living in Tendring like myself it’s a 3+ hour journey each way which is a lot – and that’s assuming traffic is good! The journey will also cost a fair amount with the fuel prices. For dog owners we need someone to look after our dogs while we visit crufts as spectator dogs are not allowed – only dogs that are part of the show are permitted using passes sent from The Kennel Club.

The cost of getting into the show can be an obstacle too as it’s not just a few pounds! An adult ticket this year are between £24 and £32 each depending on the day! Plus it’s a busy day, very noisy and not many places for calm and quiet which may be incredibly difficult for many people.

Merlin and Ripley at Crufts

So what can we do if we are excited for Crufts but cannot attend in person?? Here are our Top Tips to enjoy Crufts from home!

  1. Watching elements of Crufts over the four days is easier than ever now! You can’t watch absolutely everything as there is so much but there are live streams online and overviews on tv. Channel 4 and More 4 have coverage in the afternoons and show each day’s Best of Group in the evenings. The Kennel Club also have a podcast that will have lots of coverage. Crufts is on Facebook and will post updates throughout each day too. 
  • Treat your Dog to their own pamper day! Each dog has their own likes and dislikes which need to be acknowledged, but spending some special time giving your dog a light massage, a gentle grooming session, treat them to a Doggy Icecream (specifically for dogs), and giving them their favourite fusses like a belly rub or a good ‘scritch’ behind the ears! It’s not just show dogs that deserve to be pampered!
  • Why not try a Crufts Activity? Now, remember the dogs at Crufts have been doing these activities for at least a year or two to reach Crufts level! You could try teaching your dog some tricks and doggy dancing like twirling in a circle to follow a treat you hold or to go around a flower pot in the garden! For active dogs you could set up a mini agility course in the garden! Guide your dog left and right through a row of flower pots, under the garden table or chairs, step or jump over a garden broom or bamboo stick  sitting on two small flower pots and finish with your dog jumping into their bed (maybe place the bed on a blanket if the garden is a bit muddy!)! Use a treat or toy to help your dog learn each part and by the final day of crufts you could be on your way to Agility Champ status!
  • With so many trade stands at Crufts offering show discounts it can feel like people staying home are missing out. However a lot of trade stands recognise this and have special offers during Crufts for people using their online shop too! Free delivery or a free gift when you order are the main offers from brands such as Tug-e-Nuff Dog Toys giving free delivery, Charley Chau have 10% off, The Little Dog Laughed cards and gifts have 50% off until Best In Show is revealed and even Your Dog Magazine with a discount on subscription and free bedding too! If your favourite Dog brand is at Crufts take a look at their website or social media to see if they have any Crufts At Home offers this week.
  • Take part in an online fun competition! There are lots that appear the week of Crufts to help dog owners join in at home! Photo competitions are most popular, special tasks set to join in with and film your dog doing to be entered etc. You can take a look at our special Crufts Week Online Competition which is completely free and will have prizes for favourite Dog Pose, Best Trick Video and Best Selfie Style Photo!! Check Dog Training for Essex & Suffolk’s Website or on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/dogtrainingforessexandsuffolk

However you celebrate Crufts, if in fact you do (it’s absolutely not for everyone!), you know we all have the best dogs and get to take the best dogs home every day x


Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Sleep is a crucial part of our dog’s day – for all ages of dogs but even more so for puppies as […]