With Crufts 2018 starting in under a week we thought we’d answer a few of your questions about the worlds biggest dog show!
What are you competing in at Crufts, are you showing Woody?
We are competing in Agility alongside our team. So there are 5 dogs and 5 handlers, we all run individually and any faults are added up. You count your 4 best dogs and overall the fastest team with the lowest amount of points wins.
How many times have you been to Crufts before?
I’ve been to Crufts every year for 6 or 7 years. Woody has been 5 of those times, 3 of them he has competed [The other 2 times we were working with a few companies]
What are your expectations this year?
Absolutely nothing! Woody takes everything in his stride and I’m so incredibly proud of him for qualifying and making it to Crufts. I’m going to enjoy every second, no matter what as it will be his last year competing there & he always tries his best.
What’s your favourite breed that is showing to watch?
I always try to go along on Gundog day because I absolutely love watching…[Can you guess?] the Working Cockers! The show variety [Not the English Show Cocker Spaniels but the showing type of Working Cockers] have such a different shape and coat type, and it’s beautiful seeing them all together.
When are you competing?
We will be competing on the Sunday, which also happens to be Gundog day so we can watch all our favourite breeds showing afterwards.
Do you get to wander round with Woody?
Yes, only dogs invited by the Kennel Club are allowed to come to Crufts, e.g. those competing. The crowds are so big it also really wouldn’t be fair to people’s dogs if they brought them along. Before we compete we go to our benches [the little booths each dog gets] so we are on time and the dogs can just relax. But afterwards we are free to go everywhere. Woody absolutely loves going around the stands, picking out his new toys and accessories. Dogs are not allowed into the main arena, and we don’t get too close to the showing rings out of courtesy because those dogs are competing as well and we don’t want to distract them.
How do you combat the nerves?
I actually get so incredibly nervous beforehand, even though i’ve done it all before and I know exactly what happens. The worst feeling is when I put Woody in a wait on the start line and I walk away to release him – that is where i’ll be feeling very faint and nauseous. But I just tell myself it will be over in less than 30 seconds, and then i’ll be wishing I could do it all over again so I try and make the most of it.
Are there lots of places to take the dogs for a toilet break?
We actually get asked this quite a lot! Inside the NEC in the dog zones there are small sand areas around the edge where the dogs can go to the loo. These are mainly for the show dogs so they don’t have to go outside and get wet and dirty ruining their coat, but all the dogs are allowed. I usually take Woody outside so he can have a run around off lead and let his brain run free.
Does Woody get overwhelmed by all the people or dogs?
Crufts is such a huge show but it is an incredibly stressful environment for dogs. At busy times people amongst the stands there are huge queues with people stood shoulder to shoulder and I also have to protect Woody from being stood on. Most dogs simply wouldn’t be able to cope in there all day long, quite understandably, but Woody is an absolute star! I do make sure he has regular stops away from the crowds, we have a little game or tummy tickle and he’s ready to go. At the minute Wilma is not ready to cope in a situation like that and I know a lot of the other competing dogs have to stay in their booths away from the stress & they’re so much happier there.
Will you be going to Crufts? Either competing or just to watch and for the shopping?
Thank you to everyone following us on Instagram & Twitter for sending in your questions.
Megan, Woody & Wilma