Crufts 2015!

Hello, It’s me, Arran. You know, it’s not long to go now until the Winner of Crufts 2015 is announced! Mum Ladee says that it wont be me. I don’t know why I can’t win, but I suppose you do have to be there.

There’s been some lovely dogs picked as Best in Group so far, although not a sheltie, we think they all look very nice dogs. The Sheltie winner, Sid, was a very nice dog and he met the host of Crufts on the TV. I would not like to do that though. I live up to the breed standard of ‘being reserved around strangers’. Although, I am not reserved once you get to know me! We especially loved the happy smiley Flat Coated Retriever.

We know some at our dog training club and they are just as happy! Although I do sometimes have to tell Brody off cos he is a bit big and bouncy and I am the fun police you know. Who will win the toy and utility groups? Mum always likes the poodles.

You can watch the live stream from the main arena on YouTube. All day long! You can also see the other days too.

Group winners

Group winners

Of course, we’ve been enjoying watching the Agility. I could so do that! I am getting very good at agility now. Although I don’t think our Mum will ever get up to the standard of the Crufts handlers. Ludo is not very good at watching TV. He does not usually do it. He is so close his eyes are boggling.

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This video below would probably happen to my Ladee. Wasn’t the border collie very nice to go check she was ok?

Crufts has been sharing some really cool videos.

Hey Ladee, I want one of those GoPro’s!

Pawsome! I hope I get to go next year. Although Mum says it would be too busy and stressy for me and Ludo would enjoy it much more, I am sure I would like it. Don’t you think? Off to go do some training now. ~Wiggles, Arran!

Crufts visitor tips

Crufts 2015 is just under a week away! It was my (the human’s) first time going last year, and whilst super fun, I did find it a bit overwhelming! If it’s your first time too, here’s some things I found useful during my visit. Unfortunately I can’t go this year but I hope these might help anyone who is going.

 

  • Buy the official guidebook on entry, ok, it is quite expensive, but I found it invaluable. I get lost really easily, the NEC is big with many halls and there are market stands in each hall which make you feel a bit like you’re in the same place wherever you are. The map and the what’s on where in the guide were immensely helpful. It also lists all the shops and what stall number they are located at and which area each breed judging will be in.  Plus it’s a nice souvenir.
  • Visit the Crufts website a couple of days before going to familiarise yourself with what will actually be on, there are so many events and displays which you may not know about. I happened upon some great demo’s, even in the main arena, such as the ‘Safe and Sound‘ scheme demo.
  • If you are there with others designate a ‘lost area’ and a time to be there, if you separate, or get separated. The phone signal in the arena can be poor, so don’t rely on that. Just in case, find the first aid/emergency areas too.
  • Wear a watch. Sadly, as with any big event, getting your phone out to check the time is not always practical or safe. On a similar note, people often say to take a ‘bum bag’ with your money and essentials in, rather than a handbag and purse which could be easily accessed by others.
  • Look out for little events going on around the outskirts, where you might not expect it. I found a cute little demo of Pets at Therapy reading dogs and the people were more than happy to chat to me about what they were doing. petsastherapycrufts
  • Take a notebook. Obviously it helped me as I was noting down names of dogs I was photographing for the blog, but it was also helpful for shopping. Use it to note down which shop you saw that must have item in, or your days itinerary.
  • Wear comfy shoes! It seems obvious, but I thought my feet might drop off by the end of the first day, in my assumed comfy shoes, which apparently were not comfy after several hours. It’s also warm there, so a light jacket that can be stowed away is a must!
  • Try and decide what you want to watch at the start of the day and allow time to get to where it’s held. A couple of times I arrived just as something I wanted to see was just finishing. Some display’s and comps only last 10 – 20 minutes. It also doesn’t hurt to get to an event early and sit in the arena for a while, ok, so you might have to watch the setting up, but I found the main arena quite relaxing, one day I ate my lunch in there. The arena hosts the finals of Agility, Flyball and Heelwork to Music/freestyle as well as hosting many demo’s and display teams. Most of the obedience is in it’s own ring so be sure to look out for that too.
  • Crufts arena

    Find a good seat in the arena

  • Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Every dog owner and exhibitor I met was very friendly and more than keen to talk and get their dog’s photo taken. Just be aware of what’s going on. If someone looks like they are just about to step into a ring for judging, try not to strike up a conversation.
  • Try and watch some btoyut3reed judging, even if conformation showing is not your ‘thing’ it’s a really interesting experience and it’s good to go back to Cruft’s ‘roots’.  also found the breed rings an ideal place to get some’zen’ back. The main arena’s can be very hustly and bustly and noisy but the breed rings were pretty peaceful, everyone just looking after their dogs or grooming them and so on and this was some of the places where I met the most interesting and friendly owners.
  • Everyone always says to take your own food as the prices are expensive. I did this on the first day and by the time I remembered to eat my sandwich it was a bit warm and unpleasant (and squashed) but then, as I live far away and was staying in a hotel, it was not very easy to take my own food. I didn’t find the café in the breed ring area any more expensive than a motor way services for example and the trade stands similar. So actually my recommendation would be to set some money aside in your budget to allow for fresh, hot food, so you feel nice and refreshed. Unless you are very good at packed lunches.
  • There are lots and lots of shops with lovely tempting goodies, but don’t forget, if you’re on public transport, you’ll need to be able to carry whatever you buy (we just about managed). I picked up some cards for stalls I liked and went shopping online when I got back.
  • Speaking of shopping, many of the stalls at Crufts have special offers, goody bags and competitions on, so look out for the chance to get some bargains and freebies, if you enter something, don’t forget to go back and check to see if you won. Our friend Jack won a competition with Natural Instinct food.

jackwinnaturalinstinct

 

  • imageIf you are at all interested in dogs in an academic fashion, you should also check out the Kennel Club’s stands on breeding, rescue etc and the KCAI career zone.  There are a very interesting range of seminars and lectures on a host of topics, you do need to pre register your interest though and many are sold out already, so be quick!
  • Lastly, I don’t think Crufts would be complete without a wander through Discover dogs to see the sheer variety of amazing breeds that are out there. It;s a great opportunity to meet some breeds that you probably have heard of, but maybe have never seen. Like This Skye Terrier (of Greyfriar’s Bobby fame)
  • greyfriarsbobbyOh, and you can also do a bit of celeb spotting. As well as famous dogs doing book signings, and people endorsing products, I spotted various celebrities just wandering around, enjoying Crufts.

I hope you have found my tips useful, please share your own in the comments. Have a great time everybody! Next year I’ll be there too!

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Crufts is coming – Win tickets to go!

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Crufts 2015 is nearly upon us. Crufts is the World’s Largest Dog show and I (Being Dee, the human) really think a chance to visit Crufts is not to be missed! Whether you like dog conformation shows, sports like agility, shopping, or just being surrounded by barking, it’s an amazing experience for any dog lover. I can’t wait to go back, but unfortunately I can’t make it this year, due to that whole wedding thing we have planned.

This year Crufts is on from the 5th – 8th of March and as usual, is held at the NEC in Birmingham.

Crufts has kindly given us a pair of tickets to give away on the blog, these will get you in on any one day of Crufts, excluding Best in Show on Sunday evening. If you’d like to win, just post in the comments “I want to go to Crufts.” by midnight GMT on Tueday 10th of Feb. We’ll draw a name out of a hat on Wednesday to announce the winner.

Thursday / Friday: Adults £16.50; Concessions* £12.10

Saturday / Sunday: Adults £17.60; Concessions* £13.20

Best In Show: £25.50 / £20.50 / £17.50

Under 12s go FREE!

The boys want me to tell you the shelties are showing on Friday (with the other pastoral and working breeds), so that’s probably the best day to go… 😉


I told the dogs whoever had the fastest recall got to pick the name out of the hat. Who do you think will win? The answer will be revealed on Wednesday!

race

 

You can see my posts on Crufts last year here