The time has come for the largest dog show in the world — Crufts features over 23,000 pooches! Sadly, it's not televised (live) and it takes place in England, so it's not something most of us can watch. Sigh. But don't worry, I'll be providing photos and updates from the four-day event as it progresses here on PetSugar! Before I got started, I needed to brush up on my dog groups because the organization of the Kennel Club UK is a bit different than the AKC and Westminster Kennel Club. While there are still seven competing groups, the members and names are switched up, and there are some breeds that we wouldn't even see here in the US. My little Boston Terrier would be part of the Utility group in this show. To see a brief description of the groups,
- Toy: Pretty straightforward, this group includes many of the pooches from our Toy group along with breeds like the Coton De Tulear that can't compete here yet!
- Utility: This is similar to our Non-Sporting group — a hodgepodge mix — but, in England, there are a couple differences like all three poodle sizes (including the Toy Poodle) compete here.
- Gundog: We'll find the hunting dogs like retrievers, pointers, and spaniels in this group — seems like our Sporting Group but with fun dogs that I'm not too familiar with – can you say Large Musterlander, Lagotto Romagnolo, and Kooikerhondje three times fast?
- Working: Once a worker, always a worker as these pups were bred to be guards and search and rescue dogs. One of my fave newcomers at Westminster this year was the Tibetan Mastiff, competing here as well alongside the Mastiff, Bullmastiff, and Neapolitan Mastiff.
- Pastoral: Meant to work livestock, similar to our Herding group, you'll see another sheepdog (the Maremma Sheepdog), and four different variations of the Belgian Shepherd.
- Terrier: I love the spunky Terriers — many familiar faces here in this big group alongside a couple different ones like the adorable Cesky Terrier.
- Hound: It's Uno's group, the Hound dogs! Here we'll see sight and scent pups like the Cirneco dell'Etna, Sloughi, and Portuguese Podengo who are all members of AKC Foundation Stock Service, which allows these purebred breeds to continue to develop here in the US while providing them with the security of a reliable and reputable avenue to maintain their records.