One of the largest dog shows in the world, Crufts, taking place March 9th through 12th is known for honoring dogs and their positive impact in the lives of those who love them. From the History of Crufts website:
Crufts is named after its founder Charles Cruft. The young Charles left college in 1876 with no desire to join the family jewellery business. Instead he took employment with James Spratt who had set up a new venture in Holborn, London selling ‘dog cakes’.
Charles Cruft was ambitious and a relatively short apprenticeship as an office boy led to promotion to travelling salesman. This brought him into contact with large estates and sporting kennels. His next career move with Spratts saw him travelling to Europe and here in 1878, French dog breeders, perhaps seeing entrepreneurial talents in Cruft, invited him to organise the promotion of the canine section of the Paris Exhibition. He was still just two years out of college.
Back in England in 1886 he took up the management of the Allied Terrier Club Show at the Royal Aquarium, Westminster. It was in 1891 that the first Cruft’s show was booked into the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington and it has evolved and grown ever since.
Crufts is one of the largest dog events in the world. No longer purely a dog show, Crufts celebrates every aspect of the role that dogs play in our lives.
It has changed in ways that couldn’t possibly have been imagined when the show was set up in Victorian times by the late Charles Cruft. Although it was a very different event in 1891 Charles Cruft was a great showman and would surely have enjoyed the size and scope of the event today, which is an essential date in any dog lover’s calendar.
The dog show is still an important part of the event, celebrating the unique relationship that dogs share with their owners. Judges are trained to ensure that only healthy dogs win prizes, which in turn encourages the breeding of healthy dogs. But the event is now about so much more besides.
Crufts is ultimately a celebration of all dogs. It celebrates working dogs, which are fit and healthy enough to perform the jobs for which they were originally bred, such as those in the Gamekeeper classes or which line up for the Police Dog Team Operational and Humanitarian Action of the Year award, and it hails hero dogs through the Friends for Life competition. Rescue dogs are celebrated in the rescue dog agility competition and the speed and agility of dogs is celebrated in the ever popular competitions of Flyball and Heelwork to Music.
For prospective dog owners and dog lovers, Crufts is a prime opportunity to talk to Kennel Club Assured Breeders, rescue charities and breed experts about how to responsibly buy, train and enjoy life with your dog. And of course, with hundreds of trade stands selling anything and everything for dogs and dog lovers, it is a shopping extravaganza!
If it’s too late for you to get your plane tickets to the UK for Crufts 2017, don’t worry! You can now watch Crufts 2017 live here.
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