British and Irish native dog breeds, including some very rare ones, will be among the more than 2,500 dogs which will descend on the Eikon Exhibition Centre from the 23rd – 24th September for the popular Belfast Championship Dog Show – the largest dog show in Ireland.
The show will see more than 200 breeds and their owners from all over Ireland and beyond compete in a bid to qualify for the world’s biggest dog show, Crufts, which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham next March.
The pedigree dogs taking part will be judged on a number of factors in the ring, including temperament and that they are fit, healthy and happy dogs that are good examples of their breed, as they compete for the ultimate ‘Best in Show’ prize.
The show is the largest gathering of dogs in Ireland and will see rare native Irish breeds competing, such as the Glen of Imaal Terrier, Irish Red & White Setter, Kerry Blue Terrier, Irish Wolfhound and Irish Water Spaniel.
In addition to breed judging, the show is holding obedience and agility competitions, so visitors can watch a range of events and find out more about the different activities that dogs can get involved in.
The show is perfect for families researching the right breed of dog for them, and visitors will be able to meet the dogs themselves as well as talk to experts in each breed about finding a good breeder, what to expect from the breed, and training and care requirements.
Jackie Stubbs, secretary of the show, said:
“Ours is the largest dog show in Ireland and naturally we are very proud of that fact. Being held a few miles from the centre of the vibrant and historic city of Belfast, the show is very popular with visitors and brings thousands of dog lovers to the area each year. We are expecting this year’s show to be bigger and better than ever.
“The show is a huge celebration of man’s best friend and visitors will get to meet lots of wonderful dogs throughout the weekend, find out more about dog showing and the various activities they can get involved in with their own dog, and browse the many dog products on the trade stands.
“Anyone thinking about getting a pedigree dog can come along and research their favourite breeds, as well as some of the lesser known breeds they may not even have heard of, and take the opportunity to meet the dogs themselves, which is definitely a favourite with families.”
Pedigree dog classes are held across the seven dog groups. Saturday 23rd September will see the Terrier, Gundog and Hound breeds competing, followed by the Utility, Toy, Working and Pastoral breeds on Sunday 24th. Sunday also sees the climax of the competition – Best in Show – followed by Best Puppy in Show.
The show is one of 37 group and general championship dog shows licensed by the Kennel Club throughout the year, which enable dogs to qualify for next year’s Crufts.
More information on the show can be found at www.belfastdogshowsociety.org/. More information on dog showing, and any other activity dog owners can get involved in with their dogs, can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk