Crufts embraces the wandering visitor, but it also overwhelms. After all, the annual dog show is colossal. There are not just dozens of benches of dogs but scores of exhibition stalls selling everything from flea remedies to keyrings.
By Published on 13 Mar 2019
Due to its size, it’s easy to get lost in the melee. The halls of Birmingham's NEC have a habit of sending you in circles. I eventually find the terrier arena and head for the familiar green floor of a show ground.
The enthusiasm of the exhibitors and the judges is contagious. As I watch a tuxedo-clad judge dart from dog to dog I catch a glimpse of what it is that brings 27,000 dogs and their handlers from every corner of the world to a no-frills arena in the middle of England: passion and drive, a love of dogs and the chance to meet other likeminded people.
Three breeds which stood out for me in respect of their temperament and appearance were the Dandie Dinmont, the Bedlington Terrier and the Lancashire Heeler.
The name of this type of Border terrier was inspired by literature. One of the novels of Sir Walter Scott includes the character Dandie Dinmont, and the breed’s proper colours are thought to closely match those of the two dogs in Scott’s story. The Dinmont has very recognisable features: a long and curving body, short legs, a striking silky topknot and beautiful large, almost human, eyes. In the face of this dog is an expression of intelligence and thoughtfulness.
This breed is thought to have been born of a Bull Terrier and Otterhound. It has a beautiful soft coat and its long head and arched loin give it the appearance of a lamb. The husband and wife Bedlingtons I met were extremely friendly and gentle. As a first-time family pet you may not find a dog more suitable.
This breed is believed to be born of a Welsh Corgi and Manchester Terrier. It has the characteristics of both parent and has become itself a pedigree of justifiable commendation. Its loyalty and love of cuddles have brought this dog in from the cold of the cattle farm and onto the warm lap of the owner.