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Inside the Exciting World of Crufts 2024: Who Let the Dogs In?

The last four days has seen the return of the world's biggest Dog Show to the NEC in Birmingham, with over 19,170 dogs being registered to compete for the title of Best in Show! There's over 200 different pedigree breeds shown at Crufts, and they've been split into seven groups which are the Utility, Toy, Gundog, Working, Pastoral, Terrier and Hound, but only one of these 19,000 plus dogs can win the title of Best in Show for 2024!

Discover Dogs is located in Hall 3 at the NEC and this is the place to visit ALL the breeds including the well-known breeds, some of the lesser-known breeds, as well as some vulnerable breeds; breeds are classed as vulnerable when less than 300 puppies are registered each year with the Kennel Club. Below are just two of the 200 breeds that were at the Discover Dogs section this year at Crufts and they were the Standard Poodle and the Dalmatian.

After visiting the Discover Dogs section of Crufts, there's still so much to do... Do you start on the shopping or do you watch the breed showing classes? Well we spent a lot of time looking at the different breed showing classes and meeting some of the dogs waiting to show in those famous benches at Crufts. You might even spot the odd human in those famous benches too!

What I find amazing about these 'famous' benches is how well behaved the dogs are, the Samoyed and two Boxers shown in the photos, weren't attached to the benches at all, they were just sat or lay in the Boxers case waiting for their turn in the ring. The human on the other hand was a little less well behaved, got off her bench and walked off... More training required for the boss lady of Emily's Canine Crew.

The time the owners of these dogs spend preparing them for their turn in the ring is incredible, the practise at home, at their dog classes, and the grooming aspect too... Just look at this Old English Sheepdog and it's fabulous hair do.

On the four different days you'll see the seven groups of dogs split over the four days. We visited on Gundog Day and Working and Pastoral Day. A lot of my photos of the dogs were taken on the Working and Pastoral Day. Sadly we missed the Border Collie and German Shepherd's being shown in their classes, but we did watch the Giant Schnauzers, Rough Collies, Australian Cattle Dogs, and Springer Spaniels, as we supported a friend who was showing her working Springer Spaniel, who placed fourth in his class this year! Congratulations to Donna & Jasper.

Walking around the five halls of Crufts at the NEC, there's so much to see and do, and I always try to make time to visit the Main Arena where you can see the main activities and displays of Crufts including the Heelwork to Music, Southern Golden Retriever Display Team, Rescue Dog Agility, West Midlands Police Dog Display, Agility Championship Classes and of course the loudest activity of all... the Flyball! My throat is still sore from all the cheering I did on Friday!

If you don't get chance to visit the Main Arena, as quite often people will queue for over an hour to see a particular show they want to see, you can always visit the Young Kennel Club (YKC) Ring and/or the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme (GCDTS) Ring which are both located centrally in Hall 3.

After you've watched the different breeds showing and competing in the rings, and you've watched a mixture of the displays and activities, it's time to shop till you drop! Over the last couple of years, it's been great to see the variety of stalls change and welcome more independent businesses, as well as the main show sponsors, some of the bigger pet brands and of course charity stalls. It's easy to spend a years wages at Crufts, if you let yourself go wild! This year I was rather restrained in my spending, but here's a few of the stands we visited and supported by making a purchase or two.

We visited The Muzzle Movement who were advocating for muzzled dogs, if you haven't heard of The Muzzle Movement, then definitely check them out! We said hello to the lovely Debbie of Barking Bags; we all have Barking Bags for work and love how much you can get in them as well as how you can wear them in different ways too. We visited the Guide Dogs stand and saw this beautiful Labrador enjoying a chew treat.

We also visited Bramble and Friends where a new collar was purchased (and another one on order!), Animology who produce dog shampoos and cleaning products, Walkies The Board Game was purchased, The Golden Paste Co gave us a helpful and informative talk about their products, Adios Plastic where we stocked up on poo bags, LickiMat where two yogipots were purchased, a copy of the book Daisy's Gift from the Medical Detection Dogs stand, Skinner's Dog Food for some treats and wet food, and many other stands were looked at.

After two long days at Crufts we're spending the final day of Crufts at home on the sofa, watching the live coverage and waiting to see which dog will be crowned this years Best in Show!

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