British and Irish native dog breeds, including some very rare ones, will be among the almost 6,000 dogs which will descend on Springwood Park in Kelso on 17th and 18th June for the popular Border Union Dog Show – one of the largest events of its kind in Scotland as well as in the UK.
The show will see more than 200 breeds and their owners from all over the UK 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 one of the largest gatherings of dogs in the UK and will see rare Scottish breeds competing, such as the Deerhound, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Gordon Setter and Skye Terrier.
These breeds are bred in such small numbers today that they are considered by the Kennel Club to be at risk of disappearing from Scotland’s streets and parks. Alongside these breeds will be some of the more well-known Scottish breeds such as the Border Collie, Scottish Terrier, Border Terrier, Rough Collie, Golden Retriever, West Highland White Terrier, Bearded Collie, Cairn Terrier and Shetland Sheepdog.
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.
Brian Stevenson, secretary of the show, said: “We are very proud that our event is among the largest dog shows held in Scotland as well as the UK. With the beautiful Scottish Borders countryside as a backdrop, the show brings thousands of dog lovers to the area each year and 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.”
Competition classes are held across the seven pedigree dog groups. Saturday 17th June will see the Gundog, Hound and Terrier breeds competing, followed by the Toy, Utility, Working and Pastoral breeds on Sunday 18th. 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.
Entry to the show is £5 for adults and £3 for senior citizens and children under 14. Car parking is free. The public can bring ‘spectator dogs’ with them to the show, free of charge, but will have to sign a declaration that their dog is free from any illness and ensure their dog is under control at all times. Spectator dogs may not compete at the show.