If you’re a dog lover and are all about watching dog shows, you’ve likely heard of Crufts. This canine show has been around for over a hundred years and celebrates everything that we love about dogs!
In 2023, Crufts was from Thursday, March 9, to Sunday, March 12. In 2024, Crufts will take place from Thursday, March 7, to Sunday, March 10.
If you’re interested in learning more about when Crufts is typically held and its history, read on!
What Exactly Is Crufts?
Crufts is considered the biggest dog event worldwide, and in fact, in 1991, Guinness World Records named it the World’s Largest Dog Show1.
Crufts attracts over 18,000 competitors every year, and these numbers don’t include the hundreds of thousands of visitors and spectators drawn to the event. Crufts is generally held on the second weekend in March for 4 days (Thursday to Sunday).
It’s held in Birmingham, England, at the National Exhibition Centre and is organized by The Kennel Club. Like most dog shows, it features the highly coveted Best in Show, as well as dogs competing as best in the following categories:
Crufts additionally holds competitions in the following areas:
Crufts also hosts a competition designed to call attention to vulnerable British and Irish breeds.
A Little Crufts History
Crufts is not only the largest dog show but also one of the oldest. The absolute oldest is the Birmingham Dog Show Society Championship Show, which has been running since 1859 and also takes place in the U.K. Still, Crufts’s first show took place in 1891, which means the next dog show in 2024 will be its 133rd show!
Crufts gets its name from the creator, Charles Cruft, a traveling dog biscuit salesman. He had previous experience working in dog shows but wanted to launch his own. From 1886 to 1890, Cruft hosted roughly six dog shows, but the show that he held in 1891 is considered the first established Crufts dog show.
It was held in London’s famous Royal Agricultural Hall and considered a great success! Queen Victoria entered her dogs and won three categories, including first prize for her Pomeranian Gena. Thirty-seven years later, in 1928, Crufts added the Best in Show category, and the winner of this famous prize was a Greyhound named Primley Sceptre.
Charles Cruft passed away in 1938, and his widow, Emma Isabel Hartshorn, took over the dog show for 4 years. In 1942, she sold the show to The Kennel Club, which has been running it quite successfully ever since.
What Is the Most Successful Breed Competing at Crufts?
While the Greyhound won the first Best in Show, the English Cocker Spaniel has been the most successful breed, winning seven rosettes. They are followed by the Irish Setter, Standard Poodle, and Welsh Terrier, all of which have won four rosettes.
Herbert Lloyd, otherwise known as HS Lloyd, saw three of his English Cocker Spaniels win. Each dog won twice, making up the entire six wins!
Who Won Best in Show in 2023?
A Lagotto Romagnolo by the name of Am Gch Kan Trace Very Cheeky Chic was 2023’s Best in Show, and an Old English Sheepdog named Airzeppeline Delia was the runner-up.
Who Were the Other Winners for the Seven Group Categories in 2023?
The dogs that won the seven group categories in 2023 are as follows:
How Can You Watch Crufts in 2024?
There are several ways that you can watch Crufts. In the U.K., it is televised on Channel 4 and More4. Outside of the U.K., you can watch the events in the main arena and the obedience ring on its official YouTube channel. If you enjoy podcasts, you can listen to the official podcast.
Finally, you can always buy yourself an airplane ticket and spend a week or two in England so you can watch the show in person. This is the more challenging way to see the show but definitely the most exciting!
Whether you watch it from the comfort of your own home on TV or YouTube or get to be there in person, Crufts is an incredible show! The dogs are all talented and gorgeous, and the opportunity to see the strong bond between dogs and their handlers is one of the biggest appeals.
So, mark your calendars for the next Crufts dog show!