Date Event
1891 The first Cruft’s show in that name takes place at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington with 2,437 entries and 36 breeds.
1918–1920 Cruft’s is not held due to the First World War.
1928 Best in show award starts. The first winner is a Greyhound called Primley Sceptre.
1932 First female owner of best in show, Lorna Countess Howe with Labrador Retriever, Bramshaw Bob.
1936 Charles Cruft celebrates his golden jubilee five years early, breaking the 10,000 entries mark for the first time.
1938 Charles Cruft dies. His widow, Emma Cruft takes over the running of the show.
1942-7 Cruft’s is not held due to the Second World War.
1948 The first Cruft’s show under Kennel Club auspices takes place after Emma Cruft gives over control. Held at Olympia, it proves an immediate success with both exhibitors and the public, with 84 breeds entered, almost double the number of breeds at the first Cruft’s in 1891. Since then Crufts has increased in stature year by year, now attracting around 200 breeds annually.
1950 Cruft’s first televised by the BBC.
1952 The death of King George VI on 6 February threatens the possibility of the cancellation of Cruft’s for that year but the show is allowed to take place two days later.
1954 Electricians strike action leads to the show being cancelled, as electricians refuse to disconnect the stands from the previous show held at Olympia, and the venue can therefore not be cleared to make way for the Cruft’s.
1955 Cruft’s becomes an obedience championship show. Working Sheepdogs are entered, becoming the first crossbreeds to compete at Cruft’s. Crossbreed dogs are now a central part of the show, taking part in a wide range of competitions including agility.
1961 Entries break the 15,000 mark for the first time.
1972 During the Winter of Discontent, Cruft’s 1972 takes place under subdued lighting and with an abbreviated catalogue due to the three-day working week which had been enforced. As one commentator says: “For two days every visitor was able to forget the troubles of the world.”
1974 Cruft’s changes to Crufts, during a rebrand as it is decided that the apostrophe is no longer needed. 1978 – Agility first demonstrated at Crufts.
1978 Agility first demonstrated at Crufts.
1979 The show moves to Earls Court as the increasing number of entries had the show outgrowing its former venue at Olympia.
1980 First official agility competition at Crufts - with the move comes a new atmosphere at the event.
1982 The show is extended to three days to accommodate the increasing numbers of dogs and spectators.
1985 The Kennel Club Junior Organisation is launched, now the Young Kennel Club (YKC). Its competitions form an important part of the current dfs Crufts show
1987 The show is extended to four days to accommodate further increases in the number of dogs and spectators.
1988 More than 110,000 people come through the doors making Crufts not only the biggest dog show, but also the most popular show to be held at Earls Court.
1990 Flyball first demonstrated.
1991 Crufts centenary show is held at its new venue, the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre - the first time the show had moved from London.
1992 Mary Ray demonstrates her fast moving heelwork to music routine. She is now a regular performer at the event.
1994 Discover Dogs area is introduced to Crufts as part of The Kennel Club’s commitment to encouraging responsible dog ownership, enabling dog loving visitors at the show to find out more about the different breeds and how they may fit into their lifestyle. Good Citizen Dog Scheme ring introduced to Crufts, enabling dogs to demonstrate their pet obedience credentials, and owners their responsible attitude to dog ownership, through obtaining a range of certificates from bronze to gold.
2000 Rescue dog agility introduced to the show, enabling rescue dogs to shine in the fun and fast-paced demonstration.
2001 Crufts moved from March to May due to foot and mouth disease. The International Agility Competition takes place at Crufts for the first time.
2004 The popular competition Friends for Life competition first appeared, then called Hero Dogs. The popular annual competition ensures that man's best friend gets the recognition he deserves for bravery, support and companionship. The Southern Golden Retriever Display Team appears at Crufts for the first time and this has been part of the event every year since.
2007 As the event continues to grow, the arena is used for the first time, for competitions including agility, Friends for Life and best in show.
2008 Crufts develops its own Facebook page, now with more than 35,000 fans. Canicross, canine cross country, is introduced to Crufts for the first time as people look for ever-more ways to get fit with their dogs.
2009 Crufts streamed online for the first time and became the most watched channel on YouTube in the UK. The Health Zone is introduced, with breed and scientific experts providing information and advice about breed health and scientific advances. Judges are given the power to remove unhealthy dogs from the show ring and show monitors may report dogs that they fear are unhealthy to the show vet, who can order their exclusion from competition. Breed rescue charities, the unsung heroes of the dog world, are given a high profile area, so that the public could find out more about their work. They are supported by The Kennel Club Charitable Trust.
2010 DFS becomes the principal sponsor and the event is renamed dfs Crufts. More4 becomes broadcast partner, providing one hour of footage a night and two hours on Sunday.
2011 The Health Zone is renamed Breeding for the Future which is run in conjunction with the Animal Health Trust. It includes information about the latest work that The Kennel Club and the Animal Health Trust are conducting to improve breed health. dfs Crufts 2011 sees the launch of the revolutionary Mate Select service. This service allows breeders to check the potential outcome of hypothetical matings online so that they can work out which matings will maintain genetic diversity and therefore be best for the future health of their breed and ultimately, which matings will produce the healthiest offspring. Get Fit With Fido 2011 launched in partnership with Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs - the campaign aims to help dog owners to find new and interesting ways to keep themselves and their dogs fit and healthy. Display of Bull Breeds from Wood Green Animal Shelter in the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme ring to highlight the plight of these dogs, often bought as status symbols and then abandoned. More4 named as broadcast partner for 2011.
2012 As an additional safety net to complement the 2009 vet checks, it is announced that best of breed winners and champions in the 15 high profile breeds, which may have a tendency to suffer from health problems due to exaggerated features, will need to be vet checked before their awards are confirmed from Crufts 2012 onwards. 2016 - Crufts celebrates its 125th year.
2016 Crufts celebrates its 125th year.
2018 Mary Ray performs her heelwork to music display in the main arena for the last time. Agility celebrates 40 years at Crufts.
2023 Celebrations of The Kennel Club’s 150th Anniversary take place at Crufts with a special anniversary class. Stand Up To Cancer and Crufts launch the first walkies challenge raising £1.4 million.
2024 Clare Balding celebrates 20 years presenting Crufts. Discover Dogs marks its 30th anniversary. Hoopers is displayed for the first time in the Resorts World Arena.