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Over 200 breeds

Over 200 breeds expected at world's longest-running dog show

Visitors to the Staffordshire County Showground between 4th and 7th May will get to meet some of the UK's most popular breed of dogs - plus some very rare ones.

The Birmingham National Championship Dog Show returns next month with over 10,000 dogs competing during the four day event for a spot at the world famous Crufts.

The show is one of the largest gatherings of dogs in the UK, with the first show held in 1859, and includes breeds such as the Lancashire Heeler, Bloodhound, Smooth Collie, Mastiff, Irish Water Spaniel and Norwich Terrier. These breeds are bred in such small numbers today that they are considered by the Kennel Club to be at risk of disappearing.

Lancashire Heeler

A portrait of a Lancashire Heeler. Credit Marc Henrie/Kennel Club

As well as the judging, the show is also holding the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme bronze award obedience testing. The event is a great day out for the family, especially if you are researching the different breeds. You'll get to meet the dogs and speak to the experts about their training and care requirements.

Jennie Griffiths, Secretary of the show, said, "Ours is the longest-running dog show in the world and naturally we are very proud of that fact. Our first show was held in 1859. Being centrally located in Staffordshire, 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 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."

Entry to the show is free and only dogs entered in the show are allowed in the venue. To find out more about competition classes go to www.thenationaldogshow.org.uk/downloads/bnat.pdf.