Crufts 2012 Day 1

Crufts Day 1 (2012)

Well, we survived the first day at Crufts!  It was fantastic to meet so many new and lovely people (and their dogs) – if you were one of them, hi!!

Seriously!  So many dogs!!!

If you’re anything like me, you spend most of your time in the hall where your favourite breeds are – or around the trade stands and exhibitions.  Certainly I have never explored every hall so thoroughly or realised what an enormous show Crufts really is.  We handed out over 1000 leaflets about our competition today to different breeders, and we certainly didn’t get to everyone.

What I noticed particularly though, was the different feel to every breed area in the different Crufts halls.  The smell of hairspray near the poodle rings;  the ribbons and bows scattered around the yorkies;  and the chalky floor near the bichon frise.  It affects the owners too.  Amazing how many dalmation handlers were wearing spots!

And even the taste in food seemed to change from hall to hall at lunchtime.   The bulldog owners had good filling chips and sandwiches; there seemed to be a lot of chocolate cake around the King Charles Spaniels; and champagne and strawberries around the poodles!  Any comments?

Just an observation.  I shall continue this highly scientific study over the weekend!

Apart from handing out leaflets, I enjoyed the gun dog displays as I always do; especially Adrian Slater, demonstrating at Crufts with his spaniels – I always learn something from him.  Today he demonstrated training with a six month old puppy right through to an experienced working gun dog.  Brilliant.  It’s not easy for these dogs, being expected to work especially well in an entirely new environment, surrounded my crowds of noisy people and with a hundred and one distractions on every side.  And it says so much for their training that they are still completely focused on their handlers and willing to do what is asked of them.

I also particularly enjoyed chatting to the police dog handlers and watching their demonstration in the Crufts main arena.  Their protection work with the shepherds was great – and the control impressive; but their sniffer spaniels were just brilliant and for all their dogs it was obviously just a huge game.  Dogs were made to work – and these were some very happy dogs.  They are gearing up for the Olympics now.  I guess most of the visitors this summer just won’t realise how many spaniels are working behind the scene – sniffing out drugs, fire-arms, explosives etc, Keeping the event safe for payment with a tennis ball.

So, a great start to Crufts. I’m back to my Other Job tomorrow. Gutted, because it’s gun dog day and the one I would most like to be at… but someone has to teach my English classes  and I’ll be back at Crufts on Saturday when I can’t wait to see the German Shepherds and Old English Sheepdogs in the ring and my daughter will be stalking St Bernards all day.

Enjoy Crufts!

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