Doggy History

Cruft’s Dog Show was named after its founder Charles Alfred Cruft
In 1891 Charles Alfred Cruft started the first "Cruft’s Show" billed as

Cruft's Greatest Dog Show

at The Royal Agricultural Hall Islington, with profits going to himself
and attracted 2,000 dogs and 2,500 entries

Charles Cruft had a fixed agreement that only he could exhibit dogs at this location, so had a stronghold on dog shows. Exhibitors had to pay an entrance fee, and on a three day event, had to pay if they wanted to take their dog’s home each night, and also pay if they wanted to leave before the show ended on its last day

In 1893 Tsar Alexander III of Russia sent over 18 Borzois to exhibit.

In 1905 & 1907 the “Best Champion” was ‘The Sable Mite’ a Pomeranian owned by Mrs Vale Nicholas,

1916 King George V entered his Labradors

1918 to 1920 Due to the First World War Cruft's was not held due to the army requisitioning the Agricultural Hall as a warehouse for military equipment and the show restarted in 1921.

In 1936 was Cruft’s Jubilee Show which had 10,600 entries and 80 breeds of dog’s participating
1936 also saw the introduction of the "Best in Show”, which previously Charles Cruft deemed unnecessarily

Queen Victoria was a known Exhibitor as was King Edward VII

1928 saw Best Champion changed to Best In Show. Up to this time the winner was classed as "Best Champion" So Best in Show 1928 was won by "Primeley Sceptre" a Greyhound

Charles Alfred Cruft run the Cruft’s Dog Show in his name every year till his death in 1938, when his wife Emma Cruft with the help of the Shows Secretary Miss Harding, continued for another three years, before selling the rights to the Kennel Club, in 1939

The Kennel Club did not hold shows from 1939 to 1947 due to the Second World War

The First 'Crufts' run under the Kennel Club umbrella was in 1948, and was held at Olympia London

1949 There was no show

1950 Crufts was televised for the first time by the BBC

1952 Cruft’s was suspended for two days due to the death of King George VI

1954 Cruft's show was cancelled due to an electrician’s strike at Olympia, which meant the previous exhibition could not be removed.

In 1955 Crufts was an Obedience Championship Show, and Sheepdogs were entered for the first time. This was the introduction of "Cross-Breed" dogs competing into the Crufts events

In 1959, despite an increase in entrance fees, Crufts achieved 13,211 entrees

1960's saw Crufts only accepting dogs that had won cc's

1961 sees over 15,000 entries, making an all-time record

1972 Cruft's (2 Day Event) was showing under reduced lighting and a slim version of catalogue due to the "Winter of Discontent"

Cruft’s Shows always had an apostrophe right up until 1974 when this was dropped. And is now known as Crufts

1978 sees the introduction of Agility Competition, a new conception to attract the visitors

In 1979 the Crufts venue was changed to Earls Court, and was a one day event. Due to increasing popularity,

1980 sees the First Agility Competition

In 1982, Crufts was changed to a three day event and due to increasing number of exhibitors and spectators.

1987 Crufts is becoming more attractive to both exhibitor and visitor alike, that the Kennel Club make it a four day event

In 1991 the show was moved to its new, now permanent home the NEC Birmingham, where it had its Centenary Show

In 1991 Crufts was officially the world’s largest Dog Show, according to the Guinness Book of Records, which saw 22,973 exhibits

In 1992 Crufts introduced Mary Ray with her performing dogs to an entertaining demonstration of “Heelwork” to music, which has been a regular performance

In 1994 Crufts decided to educate the public by introducing “Discover Dogs” which allowed the Dog Clubs and Dog Breeds, to show their particular breeds, and answering the various questions that future owners would need to know for taking on a particular possible unknown breed

In 2001, Crufts was held in May, because of Foot & Mouth decease in cattle and there was a ban on moving animals around because of it

2002 Best in Breed was a Pomeranian (Tuttsclump Pick Pocket) handled by Roy Rattley, and bred by Mr Michael Titchener

The International Agility Competition was held at Crufts for the first time.

In 2004 Crufts introduced “Friends for Life” which previously was called Hero Dogs, to recognize dogs that have shown bravery, in guarding their human handlers, whether in combat or at home
Also this year the “Southern Golden Retriever Display enters the arena, and is now a regular event at Crufts

Crufts is held every year in March and was televised by the BBC from 1950 until 2008 when it was dropped by the BBC due to a controversial programme "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" It was broadcast on BBC1 on 19th August 2008

In 2009, despite the programme "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" in 2008, Crufts still attracted 22,677 entries and was shown on the internet through the Kennel Club's You Tube Website, and again in 2010, and also shown on the More4. TV Channel

Due to the controversial BBC programme the main sponsors (Pedigree Petfoods) as well as Dog Trust, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and the RSPCA, withdrew their sponsorship with Cruft’s and other Kennel Club activities.

in 2010 Crufts was sponsored by DFS Furniture and was called DFS Crufts, this was the twentieth year that Crufts show has been staged at the NEC, and drew 22,000 entries, with 186 pedigree breeds competing at the show

2012 sees Vet Checks introduced on dogs who have reached best in Group and are on the “Health Risk” list (following the  "Pedigree Dogs Exposed") are checked by vets, before being allowed to challenge for Best in Breed

2013 sees over 25,000 entries including 2,000 from 41 countries, 194 breeds of dogs including 32 breeds of Terriers,

2014 saw a Pomeranian called "Colin" compete for the prestige position as Best in Show, which was won by a Standard Poodle CH/AM CH AFTERGLOW MAVERICK SABRE. Colin walked out with his head held up high, and contented that at least he was “Best in Breed” in Pomeranians, Then best in Toy Group

It is estimated that Crufts has an estimated 28,000 entries throughout all breeds of “Pedigree Dog” and 160,000 visitors from all over the globe

Eukanuba are now the principle sponsors of Cruft’s 2016

Crufts Dog Show