Festival is a big hit with dogs and their owners

Canines of all shapes and sizes, ages and breeds enjoyed a range of have-a-go activities at this year’s North East Dog Festival.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 8:00 am
One of the have-a-go activities at the North East Dog Festival. Picture by Ben Heward.

The event saw thousands of owners and their dogs visit Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall Campus, near Ponteland, and there was a good turnout on both days – despite the damp weather on Saturday.

The trainers and clubs running the have-a-go activities such as gundog scurries, hoopers, flyball and dog parkour worked non-stop, with some seeing more than 200 dogs per day go through their individual areas.

Those present also came along to shop, play and have fun, and aim to win one or more of the many rosettes on offer.

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One of the activities at the North East Dog Festival. Picture by Ben Heward.

The festival, sponsored by Durham Animal Feeds, had three charity dog shows – including classes that were judged by Channel 5’s Yorkshire Vet Peter Wright.

Some classes saw in excess of 50 entries, meaning that lots of money was raised for their individual causes.

The display ring welcomed Alan Bradley from the Lake District Sheepdog Experience and also the Walworth Castle Birds of Prey, whilst the demonstration ring welcomed festival newcomers Scentventure, as well as rally and whippet racing.

Festival directors Rebecca Ashworth Earle and Dawn Oliver Doyle said: “This year’s festival has been one of the biggest and best we’ve ever run. The weather didn’t put people off on the Saturday and Sunday was warm and sunny, bringing huge crowds.

Picture by Ben Heward.

“Walking around and seeing everyone having a go at something with their dogs, and seeing those dogs happy and learning, is why we do it.

“Many of the clubs and trainers said that they had recruited new members and this is what this festival is all about, bringing something new to the area and giving people with their dogs an opportunity to learn and give new things a try.

“It was fantastic to see visitors leaving with rosettes, prizes and bags and bags of shopping, with many food traders selling out on the Sunday.

“This event is a real team effort and we are extremely grateful to those who have supported us this year.”

The North East Dog Festival. Picture by Ben Heward.

They added that it is hoped the festival will run again in 2022 and dates are set to be released shortly.