Kennel Club online dog show brings paw-sitivity to lockdown and attracts more than 39,000 entries

The Kennel Club online dog show, launched in April to bring joy during lockdown and celebrate all of the four-legged friends helping owners through difficult times, has finished its third and final week.

Attracting more than 39,000 entries over the three-week extra extravaganza, the show was open to all dog owners with access to social media and welcomes dogs from different backgrounds and age groups, with classes for crossbreeds as well as pedigrees.

Last week’s classes celebrated the companionship and love, as well as the fun that dogs bring into our lives.

The Best Canine Colleague class, which took place on 27th April and was won by Cocker Spaniel, Reilly, celebrated the benefits of sharing your home office with a dog. Similarly, Whippet, Frankie winner of the most adorable Expression on 27th April, undoubtably brought a spark of joy to their owner’s life and others during the lockdown, as well more than 2,600 dogs entering this category.

The Canine Hero category quickly became a platform for sharing heart-warming stories of canine companionship and true loyalty to their owners.

Entries spanned from a retired army sniffer dog, Lucy, to a gentle giant, Newfoundland Simba, who visits care homes and special needs schools, and also is a blood donor. Police dog, Captain was crowned as winner rewarding his service to the public by locating high-risk people and catching criminals.

The quirky and fun side of four-legged family members was appreciated with the category Best Family Paw-trait, won by a family of two Rottweilers and a Labrador retriever called Riddick, Jet and Magic; Cheekiest Dog category won by Jack, the Bearded Collie; and Cutest Canine Selfie won by Hector, the Great Dane.

The Best Walkies, which appreciated the views both owners and dogs enjoy on their daily walk, was won by crossbreed Norman.

The third week of the show was also marked by canine activities classes, including Best at Home Agility and Best at Home Handling, encouraging dog owners to continue training their dogs at home and to enjoy improvising with household items while building an agility course.

Winners of the classes were: Tilly, a Miniature Schnauzer won Best at Home Agility on 28th with her impressive TikTok challenge; a seven-month old Chihuahua, Eevee won Best at Home Heelwork to Music on 29th April.

Sonnie, crossbreed from Nuneaton winning Best at Home Obedience on 30th April; Best at Home Handling winner, crossbreed Luna and four-year old human handler, Henry on 1st May; and impressive Beagle, Otis, winner of the Best at Home Trick category on 2nd May.

Launched to bring dogs and their owners together, promote the importance of mental and physical stimulation for dogs during lockdown, and providing tens of thousands of cute puppy pictures for dog lovers everywhere to scroll through, the Kennel Club’s online dog show successfully engaged thousands of ordinary dog owners as well as seasoned Crufts competitors.

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts show manager commented: “Warm thanks foes to all those who participated in our online dog show across all the categories. It was great to see the dog community come together during these difficult times and we are happy that our virtual show was able to bring some smiles to people looking at thousands of pictures and videos of dogs doing what they can do best – providing their owners and families with love, comfort and reason to smile.”