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Top dogs go walkies to collar Crufts attention.

Byline: Campbell Docherty

Nine canine Crufts competitors practised their show technique yesterday to drum up support for the rescheduled competition in Birmingham.

The dogs, which included chihuahuas, an Afghan hound, Tibetan terriers, Pomeranians and collies, behaved impeccably at the event to alert exhibitors and visitors that the showcase, at Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre, is taking place later this month.

It was postponed earlier this year due to the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

This year, due to the relaxation of quarantine laws, dogs from abroad are to be allowed to compete for the first time, but many countries have advised exhibitors to be careful visiting Britain or have put restrictions in place.

Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: 'A lot of people thought it was cancelled rather than postponed and we hope we can get them back.

'We were trying not to make a big noise to start with because we thought it might be insensitive publicising the fact we were having a lovely time when a lot of people were having a rotten time.

'But then we relaised that people need to know the show is still on.'

More than 22,000 dogs and 15,000 owners are due to compete in the show at the Birmingham NEC from May 25-28.

About 120,000 visitors are expected to visit the show, with 5,000 of them from overseas.

CAPTION(S):

Crufts hopefuls Theo, a four-year-old Pomeranian, takes cover from the rain under Afghan hound Meme in central London yesterday to publicise the NEC show
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 17, 2001
Words:252
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