This is Ringo. He is an 8 month old Bernese Mountain Dog and a full time member of the Edmondson’s HQ office staff. Last week he made his debut at the biggest dog show in the world – Crufts. Show winning runs in Ringo’s blood, as his father and siblings all have strong track records of high placements in both Championship and Open shows. In fact, Ringo’s father earned so many points before the age of 18 months that he was awarded a Junior Warrant; a very prestigious award.

And we don’t mean to brag, but all these winners are fed and powered by our very own Edmondson’s Dog Food.

The world of dog shows can be quite confusing and long winded, so we thought we’d take a look at Ringo’s journey so far, as an example.

If you’ve ever watched or attended a dog show, you’ll probably have noticed that the dogs have quite unusual and lengthy names. This is their Kennel Club name, which is chosen by the breeder when the puppies are registered. It is used to distinguish the dogs from each other more easily during competitions. Ringo’s Kennel Club name is ‘Liskarn Can’t Buy Me Love’. ‘Liskarn’ is the name of the kennel he was bred in, also known as a ‘breeder signature’; all the dogs bred in this kennel will have ‘Liskarn’ in their Kennel Club name. We’ll carry on calling him Ringo!

Ringo training to stand with his handler.

In order to qualify for Crufts, Ringo needed to place either 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a breed class at a Championship show during the last year, before the closing date of 24th January. As dogs are not allowed to show before they reach 6 months of age, there weren’t many opportunities for Ringo to enter shows in the time frame given. However, on 20th January he entered into the Minor Puppy Dog class for his breed at the Manchester Championship Show. The Minor Puppy class is for dogs aged between 6 and 9 months. He placed in 2nd, with positive feedback from the judge regarding his body shape. The winner of the class was slightly older and more developed. He was also calmer than Ringo, who was a little excited after an interaction with another dog before the judging began. Ringo’s owners were still thrilled with this result as it meant that he qualified for Crufts in his first ever show!

During February, Ringo entered two Open shows to gain a bit more experience with the show environment and being handled. These were the National Working and Pastoral Breeds Society Open Show and the Cheltenham & District Society Open Show. As Open shows tend to be smaller with fewer entries than Championship shows, there was no class for Minor Puppy Dog. Instead, Ringo entered into the Puppy class for his breed. Ringo placed 2nd in both shows, losing out each time to his sister, Harper (Kennel Club name ‘Liskarn Love of My Life’). Males (dogs) and females (bitches) are usually judged separately in the first rounds, with the winner of Best Puppy Dog eventually competing against Best Puppy Bitch for the title of Best Puppy in Breed.

Finally it was time for Crufts. The event ran from Thursday 10th March to Sunday 13th March at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Over the course of the 4 days, almost 20,000 dogs competed with the aim of achieving the world-class title of Crufts Best in Show. 

Ringo entered the Minor Puppy Dog class for Bernese Mountain Dogs. His breed falls under the Working Dog category due to their history working as farm dogs in the Swiss Alps. The judges are primarily looking at characteristics that would allow the dog to perform the function for which the breed was bred, such as their overall appearance, temperament and build. Each breed has a different standard, which is why they must be judged independently of each other initially. Many judges specialise in certain breeds to enable them to focus on the specific characteristics required.

There was only one other entry in Ringo’s class, but Ringo was chosen as the winner. This meant that he could then progress to the Best Puppy Dog round, consisting of the winners of Best Minor Puppy Dog and Best Puppy Dog. Unfortunately Ringo was placed 2nd in this round, losing out again to the same dog as in the Manchester Championship Show. Despite this, winning his first class means that he has automatically qualified for Crufts 2023.

Ringo (right) competing in Best Puppy Dog at Crufts.

RINGO (Liskarn Can’t Buy Me Love)

Breeder: Liskarn Kennels

Sire: Jaybiem Modus Operandi JW

Handler: Miss L Bridges

Groomed by: For All Dogkind

Fed by: Edmondson’s Dog Food