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Friday, March 11, 2011

On the pull: The Crufts dog with an eye for the ladies (who don't mind a bit of dribble)


Looking for attention: A Dogue de Bordeaux keeps a keen eye out for da lady dogs at Crufts in Birmingham. Is that bib an atttempt to catch the enormous amount of saliva he produces?

Thousands of dogs and their owners have turned out for the first day of the annual Crufts dog show, which is celebrating its 120th anniversary.

Around 28,000 dogs are set to compete in various categories during the four-day show, held at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre.

Dogs which helped save lives in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake and the 7/7 London bombings are among those competing for the prestigious Friends for Life award.

Ow, easy does it mate: A Dogue de Bordeaux has his teeth cleaned during a demonstration by a vet. But what brand of toothpaste does he use?

Television presenters Ant and Dec - Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly - briefly stole the limelight from the animals as they filmed a segment for their ITV1 show Push the Button in the main arena.

The 'secret challenge' involved members of two competing families testing their dog handling skills in a timed agility exercise.

The competitors each led a dog around an obstacle course which included a number of jumps, a tunnel and a seesaw.

Limelight: Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly filmed a segment for their ITV1 show Push the Button in the main arena

The presenters, who back competing families in the programme, will not find out the results of the challenge until it is aired on Saturday evening.

Cheering his team on from the side of the arena, Ant joked: 'I am proper nervous, I am going to start running around (the course) myself.'

Dec told the crowd he was impressed with the good behaviour of the dogs he had seen at the show, adding:

'My girlfriend has got a dog, she's got a little dachshund. It's a cheeky little thing... very very disobedient.'

Crufts, which is sponsored by furniture retailer dfs, will be screened on More4, with Clare Balding at the helm. The channel is extending its coverage of the event to two hours each night, from March 10-13.

You looking at me? The Crufts annual dog show at the NEC, is celebrating its 120th year

Big doggy eyes: Oriel the Weimaraner waits for his turn in the parade ring, where nearly 22,000 dogs and their owners will vie for a variety of accolades

A fully-updated version of the documentary Good Dog! Bad Dog! from Mentorn Media will air at the same time, examining the issues and concerns surrounding dog welfare, responsible dog ownership and best practice in dog breeding.

The BBC pulled out of covering the event in 2009 following a documentary which alleged that dogs on show often suffer from genetic diseases following years of inbreeding.

Up, up and away! This one-eyed dog may not be pawfect but he's qualified to compete at Crufts despite his disability. Dudley the rescue mutt developed an infection before he was born and vets had to remove one eye

And they call it puppy love: Two dogs are held by their owner before they take to the ring

But Caroline Kisko, Secretary of the Kennel Club which organises the event, says Crufts is a celebration of the special relationship between man and dog.

'It offers people the opportunity to explore the issues surrounding how to buy, breed, train and care for a dog responsibly, so that everybody involved in dogs can help them to lead healthy, happy lives.'

As well as a one-eyed rescue dog called Dudley competing this year, the show also features the first deaf canine, Zippy. The dog is just 20 months old and was born deaf. His trainer Vicky says,

'As Zippy can’t hear me, it is important that we have eye contact, so he can see the hand signals for the commands. Generally, I touch his nose first and then touch my nose to make sure he is looking at me before I give him the hand signal. Zippy is a clever dog and very quick to learn. He is a real inspiration.'

Paws for thought: A Pointer gazes into the distance as he dreams of some choice cuts in his food bowl later

Furry best wishes: A dog surrounded by good luck cards from well wishers...and some fluffy toys thrown in for good measure

Dog tired: English Setter 'Sparsett Hembury Explorer' looks like he's had enough already

You must be barking: A long line of Weimaraners stand poised for the scrutiny of judges in the parade ring

source: dailymail


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