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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Jilly Beattie

Crufts 2023 will be bigger than ever

Crufts is back at the NEC Birmingham on March 9 with more than 24,000 dogs taking part over the four day show.

The 2023 event will see more than 200 breeds in contention for the Best in Show trophy which will be awarded live on Channel 4 on the evening of Sunday, March 12. Last year Baxer, a 6-year-old Flat Coat Retriever, took home the Best in Show award on March 13 after winning the Gundog Group title.

Leading the field with the most entries for Crufts 2023 is the family favourite, the Labrador, with 537 dogs, just ahead of the Golden Retriever with 491 dogs and the Whippet, with 400.

Read more: Police dogs sniffing out dirty cash at Belfast airports

The number of breeds competing continues to grow with the Bavarian Mountain Hound making history and having its own breed class for the first time, with six dogs vying for the title. These scent hounds are described as calm and balanced, devoted to their owner and reserved with strangers, a sound, self-assured, unafraid, biddable dog who is neither shy nor aggressive.

New to Crufts 2023 will be the Barvarian Mountain Dog (DogsLive)

This year has also seen an increase of 50% or more in the entries for the Kerry Blue Terrier, Norwegian Elkhound, Japanese Akita Inu and English Toy Terrier compared with 2022. The Komondor and the Swedish Lapphund have drawn just one entry each.

More than 3,000 dogs from 48 non-UK countries will be contending, the highest proportion of overseas dogs entered, at 18% of the overall contenders. France leads the way with 398 dogs, just ahead of last year’s frontrunner Italy, with 387 and 10 dogs from Ukraine will be attending.

The 2022 Best in Show winner Baxer with owner Patrick O’Ware (

As well as the individual breed classes, visitors can watch some of the world’s fastest and smartest dogs in action with agility and obedience championships, and enjoy unique canine relay in the flyball competitions.

Elsewhere, The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award celebrates five special dogs who provide lifetime service to society, and support, love and devotion to owners, and the final of the nation’s favourite crossbreed competition, Scruffts, will take place. The Discover Dogs area showcases hundreds of different breeds for would-be owners to meet close-up and find out more about.

For 2023, there is a record-breaking 16 hours and 30 minutes of Crufts coverage on Channel 4 and More4 this March, from Thursday 9 – Sunday 12. With dog-lover Clare Balding presenting Channel 4 and More4 will broadcast all the action from the show, leading up to the grand finale on Sunday.

Clare will host daily highlights of the world's most famous dog event live from the NEC and will be joined by a team of reporters including Radzi Chinyanganya and, returning for her second year, Sophie Morgan, along with dog experts who will be covering the show.


Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “Every dog has its day at Crufts and we look forward to welcoming dogs, owners and visitors from all over.

“The event really does offer something for all dog-lovers, from meeting and greeting the vast and diverse range of wonderful breeds there are, including some of the more unusual that are not often seen in the streets and parks across the country, through to getting closer to the action with exciting canine competitions and the dog show aspect, with the prestigious Best in Show finale.

“We’re delighted that Channel 4 and More4 are offering viewers at home the opportunity to enjoy this year’s Crufts with the most coverage since the show was first televised in 1950.

"The programme will include something for everyone, with topics about choosing, caring for and enjoying life with a four-legged friend, as well as different issues affecting dog owners in the UK.”


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