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Pooches parade for Crufts

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With perfect nails, sparkling eyes and teeth, and not a hair out of place you would be forgiven for thinking they were contestants in a beauty pageant.With perfect nails, sparkling eyes and teeth, and not a hair out of place you would be forgiven for thinking they were contestants in a beauty pageant. However, thousands of pampered pooches are being preened and primed as Crufts mania comes to the West Midlands. The world's greatest dog show starts tomorrow at the NEC in Birmingham with 22,964 animals competing for the Best in Show title. See also: Dogs get ready for Crufts Even with 600 more dogs than last year, Crufts 2008 has narrowly missed breaking the show's all-time record by just 27 dogs, in 1991. Overseas entries have also increased with 1,165 dogs from other countries taking to the ring to compete. Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, said "Crufts has yet again surpassed all expectations. "This event just keeps getting bigger and bigger and with over 150,000 visitors attending last year, we are preparing for another record breaking show. "The low numbers of vulnerable breeds is, sadly, expected. In the registration figures released earlier this month we saw a huge decline in some native British and Irish breeds. "We hope that an occasion as big as Crufts will help highlight just how important it is to ensure we don't lose these beautiful breeds." Read more in the Express & Star

With perfect nails, sparkling eyes and teeth, and not a hair out of place you would be forgiven for thinking they were contestants in a beauty pageant.

However, thousands of pampered pooches are being preened and primed as Crufts mania comes to the West Midlands. The world's greatest dog show starts tomorrow at the NEC in Birmingham with 22,964 animals competing for the Best in Show title. Even with 600 more dogs than last year, Crufts 2008 has narrowly missed breaking the show's all-time record by just 27 dogs, in 1991.

Overseas entries have also increased with 1,165 dogs from other countries taking to the ring to compete.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, said "Crufts has yet again surpassed all expectations.

"This event just keeps getting bigger and bigger and with over 150,000 visitors attending last year, we are preparing for another record breaking show.

"The low numbers of vulnerable breeds is, sadly, expected. In the registration figures released earlier this month we saw a huge decline in some native British and Irish breeds.

"We hope that an occasion as big as Crufts will help highlight just how important it is to ensure we don't lose these beautiful breeds."Recent puppy registration figures released by the Kennel Club highlighted the worryingly low numbers of certain British and Irish breeds.

Crufts entry figures show that only six per cent of the dogs attending the event are from those 23 breeds listed as being vulnerable.

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The show provides an ideal opportunity to get to know breeds such as the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Smooth Collie and the Irish Red and White Setter. Crufts was moved to the NEC in Birmingham due to its overwhelming popularity in 1991 and has become an established annual event in the region.

Birmingham's black cab drivers have used the arrival of the show to announce their allegiance to man's best friend. Birmingham and Solihull Taxi Association, located at Birmingham International Station, and TOA black cabs, have got on board with The Kennel Club's sticker campaign so people can easily see which of their taxi drivers will welcome dogs.

This comes after the Purple Hotel in Birmingham, which re-branded in February with the help of the 2007 Crufts Best in Show winner, Fabulous Willy, announced it is 'Open for Dogs'.

Travelodge is also gearing up for Crufts by offering "pooch beds". King size beds will be available, complete with a mattress, pillow and duvet as well as a pet "pillow bed", with Travelodge expecting over 300 dogs to stay at its hotels during Crufts.

Leigh McCarron, Travelodge sleep director, said: "Crufts is a big occasion in the dog calendar. We have extended our range of pooch beds to ensure our two and four legged customers get their beauty sleep."

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