Tomorrow will be the big day of the competition for tickets to Crufts but today I will tell you a bit more about how this show and many other dog shows are judged and give a mention to some of my many blog friends at the same time. Check out their pages if you haven't seen some of these breeds before.
Above you can see a photo of me in my show pose. At Crufts and many other dog shows in Britain the dogs are judged first in their breed and then the best of breed winners go on to compete against others in their Group. The Group winners will then go on to compete against each other for the title Best in Show. There are 7 groups: Gundogs, Hounds, Pastoral, Working, Utility, Terriers and Toy.
As a miniature schnauzer in the UK I am classed as a Utility dog. A lot of different dogs are in this group from Dalmatians to Poodles and Bulldogs to Shih-Tzus like Muffin. Some Utility dogs are breeds that used to work in some way in the past but nowadays they are generally just pets - mind you that can be a full-time job if you ask me making sure the house and garden are not invaded, clearing up dropped food scraps, checking if all the bin lids are secure, blogging...the list is endless really :-) Anyway, back to business:
The Hound group are mostly dog breeds that would have been used for hunting in the past - there are sight hounds (like Leigh's Mum's whippets above) that used their good eyesight to seek out their prey and scent hounds (like Fred & Gloria, the basset hounds) that use their excellent noses to follow the scent of their prey.
The Working group are dogs that are still often used to do work of some kind such as guarding property or protecting people. Breeds like the Giant Schnauzer (above), Rottweilers like Bart & Ruby and Great Danes like Samson.
The Pastoral Group has dogs that work with 'cloven-footed' animals - herding sheep, cattle, reindeer etc. with breeds such as the Border Collie (above) and Corgis like Stewey the Welsh Pembroke Corgi.
The Gundog Group are dogs that are often used to go out with people who hunt birds and ducks to either chase the birds to fly up or to retrieve the birds that have been killed. Flat coated retrievers like Jet, the Best in Show winner from last year's Crufts (above) as well as bloggy friends Finn, Roy & Cody the Golden Retrievers, and Hawk, the Chesapeake Bay retriever are all dogs that would be in this group.
The Terrier Group has the terriers (of course!) like the Bedlington (above) and also Welsh Terriers like George & Tess, Airedales like Wyatt & Stanzie and Scottish Terriers like Daisy and Bella.
And last but not least - how could it be? - the Toy group which has the Affenpinschers like Alfie Crybbe (above) & Aoife and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels like Momo and Pinot. The Toy dogs are all small dogs who may have been bred down in size from a larger dog or who were companion or lap dogs (who may also have been useful in catching small vermin such as mice in years gone by).
So I hope you enjoyed that run down the list of dog groups. Thank you to the Kennel Club for letting me use their picture of Jet, the Best in Show winner and the Border Collie photo. Don't forget to check in tomorrow for the competition to win those tickets to Crufts!