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Scruffts on the horizon!

Scruffts - the show that celebrates the canine species in all their glorious cross-breeds - is returning to The National Arboretum, Westonbirt for the second year in a row.

Organised by the Kennel Club, Scruffts is the nation's favourite annual cross-breed competition, and its just one of many fun events for dogs and their owners at the arboretum's Dog Days weekend on February 17 and 18, 2007.

Over the weekend visitors will be able to enjoy a variety of doggie displays and have-a-go sessions in the event arena, including search and rescue dogs and police dogs from RAF Lineham.

Some canine cousins will also be present in the Wolf Enclosure and visitors will be able to pet these special guests in exchange for a small donation towards the UK Wolf Conservation Trust.

Dog lovers will be able to purchase all sorts of goodies for their pet in two exhibitor marquees, and all dogs will be keen to go on the 'Follow Your Nose' woodland trail. For fitness fans there is also the latest craze in aerobic workouts - called Cani-cross racing, which is running with your dog, something that will keep you both healthier.

The Forestry Commission is focusing on the physical and mental health benefits of walking and exercising with dogs for its Active Woods campaign in 2007. Walkies in the Woods aims to encourage dogs and dog walkers to explore the health benefits of woodland - and Cani-cross offers is a great way to get fit and have fun with your dog.

Scruffts is hosted on Sunday 18th and is run in support of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. Dogs are judged on good character, health and temperament with people and other dogs in four separate classes.

Dog owners are reminded that Scruffts is a competition for cross-breed dogs - pedigree dogs, therefore, are not eligible for entry. Dogs must be older than 6 months and less than 12 years old to enter. Entry to each class is £1, with all money raised going to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

Scruffts rosettes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each class. Only 1st-place winners in each class will be eligible for the final in November at the Discover Dogs event at Earls Court 2 in London.

Admission charges to the arboretum apply: £6 adults; £5 concessions; £2 children (5 to 18).
Scruffts heats 2007

This year sees a number of heats scheduled to take place across the United Kingdom. Further information about each heat can be found by visiting www.scruffts.org.uk:

18 February Westonbirt Arboreta, Gloucestershire;12 – 13 May All About Dogs, Essex; 20 May My Pet Shop, Leeds;2 June Pengwern Club Companion Dog Show, Wales; 24 June Oxford Family Fun Rose Weekend, Oxford; 26 July Notcutts Gala Day, Cambridge; 28 July Gables Farm Open Day, Plymouth; 2 August Notcutts Gala Day, Norwich; 2 August Young Kennel Club Camp, Leicestershire; 4 August Wag and Bone, Windsor; 9 September RSPCA K9 Party in the Park, Halifax; 9 September Battersea Reunion; 22 – 23 September Paws in the Park Dog Extravaganza, Kent; 14 October East of England Autumn Show, Peterborough

In each Scruffts heat, there are four entertaining and exciting classes to enter: Most Handsome Crossbreed Dog 6 months – 7years; Prettiest Crossbreed Bitch 6 months – 7 years; Child’s Best Friend 6 months – 12 years’ Golden Oldie 8 years plus

Judges take into account the importance of training and pet ownership and will judge the dogs on good character, health and temperament. Rosettes are awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions in each class, and each dog or bitch that receives a 1st place is eligible to compete in the final at Discover Dogs, which will take place at the event on the 11 November 2007 at Earls Court 2. London.

For further information about Scruffts and the heats that are happening in 2007, please visit www.scruffts.org.uk.