Chiswick House Dog Show is back this year, having been cancelled like so many other things in 2020. The Show, now in its 16th year, will take place on Sunday 26 September, held as usual on the cricket pitch within the Gardens of Chiswick House.
The Show is a great event. Thousands of people go with their dogs, to watch dogs take part in ridiculous competitions, such as ‘My Dog’s Got Talent’. Though it’s described as “probably the biggest dog show in London”, you don’t need a dog to enjoy the show so you can just turn up and watch free of charge.
Over the years the show has attracted an array of celebrity judges, including Kevin McNally, David Tennant and Mel Giedroyc.
“Chiswick House Dog Show is an opportunity for everyone who uses and loves Chiswick House & Gardens to give something back through being part of a fun day out for all the family” says organiser Jan Preece.
“Run by the community for the community, everyone’s efforts raise monies to fund the show and any money raised is used to maintain and improve Chiswick House & Gardens”.
Images above: Dogs taking part in a previous Chiswick House Dog Show
Covid has inevitably meant that some restrictions have crept into this year’s event, with competitors having to sign up online rather than register in person on the day.
Classes range from ‘Prettiest Bitch’ to ‘Best Groomed’ and ‘Best Veteran.’ There will also be puppy classes for all those who have added a new pet to their home in the past year.
“Every dog is welcome – big, small, pedigree, mutt, young and old – it’s a celebration of the canine world”.
It costs £4 to enter a dog into a class and you can register your dog or see the 2021 programme at:
With a beer and wine bar and a range of food stalls, there’s no excuse not to make a day of it. There are around 60 stalls in total with an eclectic mix of dog related services and accessories on sale including pet portraiture, the latest in must-have collars and blankets, dog treats and the opportunity to support animal charities.
“Obviously there’s quite an emphasis on canine stores” says Jan, “but there’s lots of other things as well like there’s a candle store, dog portraits etcetera. There’s six or seven charity stalls including the RNLI, Chiswick House Friends will have their produce cart there too.”
Images above: dogs attending a previous Chiswick House Dog Show
Fancy dress theme
Every year the show puts on a fancy dress competition. Last year’s theme supposed to align with the 50th anniversary of Glastonbury music festival. But with Covid, last year’s show wasn’t able to go ahead.
“A bit like the Olympics we’re doing it a year late, this year we’re doing 50 years of Glastonbury” said Jan.
“[The winner] gets a big rosette saying ‘Best In Show!’ Every dog that enters gets a rosette saying ‘well done’.
Each class will have a first prize and a second prize and then at the end of the show all the winners of the 16 classes compete against each other to produce the dog considered to be ‘Best In Show’.
Image above: competing dogs getting kissed by their owner
Need for volunteers
The event is run by a team local of volunteers for the enjoyment of the Chiswick community, with the aim of raising money to maintain and improve Chiswick House Gardens.
It takes over 150 volunteers to run the Dog Show, so if you would like to volunteer to help even just for just a couple of hours, you can register via the website or email email@example.com.
Even with less than a week to go, when asked Jan said they still need plenty of volunteers to sign up to help out.
“Oh god yes, we need volunteers right up until the very last minute” she said.
“We ask each volunteer to do about a couple of hours and we start at seven in the morning and finish at seven at night. So yes we are still asking for volunteers!”.
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