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Crufts! Any advice for a newbie?

(23 Posts)
Fridayschild Mon 02-Jan-17 11:48:44

DS2 and I terribly excited to be going to Crufts on the Saturday, as spectators, not to show a dog. We've never been before and I don't know the NEC especially well. What are your top tips to help us make the most of our day?

Setterlover Mon 02-Jan-17 11:51:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Setterlover Mon 02-Jan-17 11:52:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fridayschild Mon 02-Jan-17 12:00:29

Yes, Saturday is gun dogs day. We wanted pugs but that's Friday.

Whitney168 Mon 02-Jan-17 12:33:03

This thread from last year will have some good tips:

Whitney168 Mon 02-Jan-17 12:33:27

There will be Pugs there every day on Discover Dogs, by the way, for you to get your fix.

TrionicLettuce Mon 02-Jan-17 13:25:35

I'm going for the first time this year as well, I'm so excited!! I'm doing the Thursday (hound day) and the Friday. My vague plan is to watch some of the actual showing classes on the Thursday, including the hound group, then do DD (with my shortlist of breeds to go investigate) and shopping on the Friday.

Shriek Mon 02-Jan-17 13:29:40

Do come back here to share your experiences?!

Fridayschild Sat 07-Jan-17 06:50:01

Thank you all!

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Sat 07-Jan-17 07:01:28

Go on the website & plan a rough route beforehand, then print the map & take it with you. It's really quite overwhelming & is easy to miss things.

BikeMum8 Sat 07-Jan-17 22:54:20

It's really really busy. How old is DS? Usual suggestions on what to do if you get separated from each other. Enjoy your day 😃

Fridayschild Mon 09-Jan-17 19:42:05

DS is 12. If we get lost we will meet at the pugs!

BetweenTwoLungs Mon 09-Jan-17 20:17:32

Have been lots and lots and it's fab but Saturday gets very busy. My tips would be:

arrive early, go round the thousands of stalls etc first thing. There's so much fab stuff but tends to be grouped e.g. Will be a few training stalls together. If you see something you want but want to still look around for alternatives then take a photo of the stall number so you can find it again.

I'd do discover dogs fairly early - not all of the dogs will be there at the very very start but it gets very busy later on and is nice to look round. There are a few small rings in hall 3 with demonstrations which are nice to watch for a bit.

The food is expensive so we take our own food, sandwiches etc and when we've had enough of the stalls and they're getting busy we go and get a seat in the arena. We spend the afternoon in the arena - you can get times of what is on and when online. The army dogs/police dog display is good, and the fly ball is fab as it's so fast paced and you get really into it supporting a team. Get in the arena a bit before the fly ball starts though as it gets really busy later on and can be big queues to get in.

Then when we've had enough of the arena might go for some last bits in the stalls and then head home.

Other tips, wear comfy shoes and layers as can be hot one minute and cool the next. Afternoon on Saturday in the stalls is unbearable as so busy so would honestly suggest the arena for this time. It's easier to go out and back in again to get from hall 1 to 5 rather than walking throufh the halls.

I love crufts, it's fab. The showing is a tiny tiny part of it which I never really pay any attention to.

BetweenTwoLungs Mon 09-Jan-17 20:18:32

Should say that discover dogs is where you can meet all the breeds and is in Hall 3.

Shriek Mon 09-Jan-17 22:10:10

I really struggle with sshowing because of the lack of health checks on shown ddogs by the kc . Its disgusting as some, msybe many, dogs that look great and perform well on the day yet have been shown to be suffering terrible breed health issues. Its such a shame

FaintlyBaffled Tue 10-Jan-17 01:47:11

Which wasn't really what the OP was asking was it shriek? hmm

OP it will be bonkers, absolutely brilliant but bonkers! Top tips from me would be,
-start early and take your time
-take drinks as it's very hot and drinks are furiously expensive
-take food if you can be bothered to carry it
-take plenty of cash as the stalls will be packed with stuff that you simply cant live without
-comfy shoes and clothes. As a PP said, temperatures can vary enormously inside. As a softy southerner I always find stepping out into the Birmingham chill something of a shock grin

BernardsarenotalwaysSaints Tue 10-Jan-17 10:50:37

Faintly Birmingham chill grin. It does exist though! We only live 45 minutes away & it genuinely is a good couple or more degrees colder than rural Warwickshire where I am. Used to hate it if dc2 had an early morning appt at Children's hosp in Winter.

Whitney168 Tue 10-Jan-17 11:13:05

Shriek I appreciate that due to media coverage you may not believe this, but the vast majority of dogs will be healthier than the general population because good breeders DO health test, unlike many pet breeders and particularly those who don't register their dogs.

I don't disagree with you at all that some breeds have been entirely ruined in the name of dog showing, but they are a minority.

Temperaments are in the main sounder on show dogs too - they have to be, if a dog doesn't enjoy showing, there is no point, and believe me a venue like Crufts is a challenge for a dog's temperament.

Shriek Wed 11-Jan-17 01:13:25

faintly no OP wasnt 'asking' specifically but if you're going to something like this don't you think its somehow relevant?

Whitney I dont disagree actually that health standards have improved things for many breeds but it doesnt alter the fact that showing a dog says they perform well on the day. I also know potential owners of pups that have come to me with horrible stories of pups they felt sorry for from breeders part of the 'assured breeder programme' because of theirconditions and their is a LOT goes on behind the scenes . How can you see a CKC's painfull spinal condition or a lab's bad hip scores oreyes or many of the other breed issues .
There are absoliyely no health tests required to show and a lot of pug owners seem to think that pugs are supposed to make that noise!

Shriek Wed 11-Jan-17 01:16:55

Dogs used to showing are just used to showing, those that dont like other ddogs/people etc are kept in crates. The ddog must enjoy it tho as there'd be no point else

Whitney168 Wed 11-Jan-17 08:38:52

I also know potential owners of pups that have come to me with horrible stories of pups they felt sorry for from breeders part of the 'assured breeder programme'

You will see I've said many times on here that the assured breeder scheme is no guarantee of a good puppy, in fact in many cases it's the opposite. The ABS gives a whiff of 'prestige', but has very few requirements for many of the breeds, and also gives entirely free advertising whilst the KC is pushing it as the best - very flawed, in my and many people's opinions.

If I want a pedigree dog, I:

- choose a breeder who shows successfully (so the dogs look and behave at least mostly like the breed I chose for whatever reasons)
- make sure they health test through the available official schemes with good results
- see if I pass their strict criteria for puppy buyers (rather than just selling to whoever calls)
- and then wait for them to have a puppy for however long it takes ...

There is not one breeder in my breed who meets the above criteria and is a member of the ABS. Most aren't members. Many joined, became entirely disillusioned with the scheme's shortcomings and left.

Anyway, we (I!) digress. The vast majority of dogs at Crufts will be there with their very proud owners, who spend their lives trying to breed good healthy dogs, keep them in the best condition possible through good food, exercise and grooming. It is very simplistic to say that they're the dog that performs best on the day, if the rest of this didn't happen, it wouldn't matter how well they performed.

There are breeds that I think are a travesty, but the vast majority are happy healthy dogs.

LotsoNumbers Wed 11-Jan-17 09:20:55

You are allowed to wander round the benches and watch exhibitors preparing their dogs. Most will be happy to chat but if they look busy try not to disturb them. Do not touch or approach any benched dogs without the owners permission...quite often (and it's something I hate ) the owners will leave their dogs unattended. The agility is a lot of fun to watch too

Fridayschild Sat 14-Jan-17 07:39:53

Thank you for all the Crufts tips. We might get an earlier train....

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