DogFest is delighted to announce a raft of fantastic new features for its 2019 festival taking place at Knebworth this weekend.
Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday will be hosting a show-stopping parade of four-legged record-breakers and their owners. They include Lynne Land and her poodle Mojo (most pirouettes by a dog in 30 seconds), Rachael Grylls and her Jack Russell Jessica (most skips by a human and dog on a single rope in one minute) and more. The Guinness World Records talent spotters will also be scouting for any pooches with extraordinary tricks or bodies that could qualify as a record, either at the show or for future fame!
An amazing striped Big Top will be at the heart of the action with a host of talks and book signings. National treasures Clare Balding and Professor Noel Fitzpatrick will be there (Noel will be talking to younger visitors about how much animals matter). The Mayhew animal charity will also present its extraordinary welfare work here.
Lucy Heath, whom the country took to their hearts on Britain’s Got Talent with her little furry star Trip Hazard, will showcase her inimitable training techniques. No fewer than five of her dogs will perform astounding dog dancing, plus theatrical and obedience training routines. But at DogFest everyone can get involved – and the public can test their own training skills too, with their dog, in a timed, have-a-go Obedience Challenge.
Former policeman Colin Butcher and his spaniel Molly (The Pet Detectives) will demonstrate their uncanny sleuthing skills in finding lost cats across the UK, which have even led them to unearth a treasure trove of jewels! Dave Wardell and police dog Finn, who inspired ‘Finn’s Law’, will also be appearing. The German Shepherd was stabbed repeatedly while defending Dave; because of them legal protection for service animals has now been enshrined in law.
One of Britain’s best loved breeds, but not normally known for their athleticism, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Display Team will wow the crowds as they tear round a testing agility course. In more agility excitement, further competitors, with a variety of breeds will show festival-goers how it’s done, to championship level!
There’ll also be eye-catching breed meet-ups as large numbers of Labradors, German shepherds, cocker spaniels, pugs and others gather together with their doppelgangers and owners swap notes. An Instagram opportunity if ever there was one!
Canicross is the new fitness craze that’s taking over the UK (that’s off-road running, with your dog, in a special harness and linked by a bungee cord). Visitors can watch displays and try out the sport themselves, with their canine pals.
Puppy Zone is brand new this year: adorable little ones can get used to different environments and build their confidence through special experiences and games, all under the expert guidance of the doyenne of puppy trainers, Gwen Bailey.
Numerous charities will be raising awareness of their work at DogFest. Dog Lost is typical; it helps reunite dogs with their owners: 2,500 dogs are lost each year and a shocking 30 are stolen every week. StreetVet will also be there; it’s an incredible new charity that gives free medical help to the pets of the UK’s homeless. And on the PDSA stand people can meet remarkable dogs that have demonstrated outstanding bravery and exceptional devotion to duty.
Previously announced attractions at Dogfest include: The Great Dog Walk (spot Clare around the 2K and 4K courses), Hound Hangout (meet celebrated ‘dogs of Instagram’), mass participation dog yoga and ‘wag & tone’ aerobics from the main stage. Back-to-back canine entertainment and displays in the Activity Arena mean there’s always something to watch. Dog Diving and Fido’s Lido are guaranteed crowd pleasers too, as are Temptation Alley (where dogs negotiate a course through irresistible toys and treats), hilarious hay bale racing and the ‘just for fun’ dog show.
Animal health and welfare is central to Dogfest and educational talks, Q&As, demonstrations and check-ups are all part of the day. There are free inspections in the Flea and Tick Tent and elsewhere there are free dog MOTs and demonstrations on first aid for pets.
DogFest is super-family friendly and, as with all the best festivals, has great music all around, mouth-watering food and drink – and shopping galore, for people and dogs!
In fact the stands are a ‘woofy wonderland’. Visitors can meet specially trained tennis ball catching dogs and have a glass of Pimms in celebration of Wimbledon, or wander through fascinating roomsets in a perfect pop-up pet’s home. Hungry hounds can fuel up at a dog food café (with specially trained chefs cooking up a storm) or sample delights in a luxury doggy diner.
Further information on all shows can be found at: www.dog-fest.co.uk.