Yesterday afternoon I was sat on the floor of the NEC with a latte still contemplating what I was going to write about. And then it dawned on me how Crufts has become split into two halves, especially so over the last few years I think.
On one half is the Showing aspect, the show owners and fans. On the other half is the activity dogs, the working dogs and their trainers.
If we’re going to be technical I would say Crufts is divided into four visitor types; dog show people, working/activity dog people, general pet dog owners and none dog owners.
But this is my blog and I feel the divide between the show and the active dogs is the strongest.
I think now more than ever you can get a lot of enjoyment from Crufts, even if you aren’t interested in or dislike the show dog world.
I spent two days at Crufts this year. During these days I watched competitive agility, flyball, obedience and heelwork to music. I watched demonstrations by West Midlands Police Dog Unit and the RAF. I saw demonstrations of activities such as rally obedience, gundog training, and working trials plus I watched a fantastic display about children safety around dogs. I shopped for dog and human items. I bought a dog coat and a human coat! (Hopefully Guinness and I won’t end up wearing the wrong one). I attended a fascinating lecture about Canine Science, which was free! I spoke to a lady about dog hydrotherapy for fitness. I spoke to friends and celebrated their successes.
I don’t have many gripes against “the show dog world”, plus the competitive and working dog environment is far from perfect. But this year especially, I could really feel the divide and I think it can only be a good thing that people can enjoy Crufts no matter what their interest in dogs is.
At the end of the day, without the show dogs Crufts wouldn’t have become such a prestigious event!