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Dog Bed Sales at Crufts 2019

It is upon us again! The famous Crufts dog show where everything dog related happens. All sorts of dog stuff is being sold from around 1000 stalls and Tuffies dog beds is there as ALWAYS in hall 5, stall 56. We love Crufts and we sell our luxury dog beds to old and new customers every year. Crufts receives around 160,000 human visitors and during the four days around 28,000 dogs are shown. It is almost impossible to imagine the logistics of getting that number of dogs through a show in only four days. Every dog is carefully scrutinised for characteristics in line with their particular breed guide lines and for their friendly nature. Also, without writing this in the guidelines, the level of grooming and “ring craft” (how well they will agree to stand still and the fondled by a complete stranger, the judge) is part of their chances of gaining the top place on the podium. Every dog has a number and a hard earned ticket in order to enter Crufts and when they get in, they all have an allocated bench to sit on before and after their turn in the ring.

It is an absolute thrill to see the ones that sit on a little Tuffies waterproof mattress dog bed to ensure their total comfort while they wait.

 

The History for our Dog Bed Sales at Crufts

It is around 16 years ago since we first wondered if we should go to Crufts with Tuffies. I personally drove down to the NEC and, as a little side story, I saw the most amazing “murmuration”, which is the display of starlings flying together in huge numbers. The swirls of birds were amazing and the M6 literally slowed down to 40mph while everyone was mesmerised by nature’s display.

I got to Crufts and found it mind blowing. At times you could hardly move for people getting through the bottle necks in hall 2 and 4 as they are slightly more narrow halls than hall 1, 3 and 5, but with the same procession of humans trying to get through with half of them trying to look at products such as dog beds, half of them trying to get from A to B, some with dogs on tow. However, despite this incredible crowd, everything seems to work very well. I was much encouraged and we booked a stand for the following year. This will be our 15th time at Crufts and it is always great fun.

 

Far More than Just Dog Beds

Being at Crufts for four days solid, speaking with dog enthusiasts, who are interested in treating their dogs to only the best of dog beds is great and we have learned so much about the role that dogs play in the lives of humans. Dogs live with us like no other animal and they enrich so many people’s lives. We see couples discussing which dog bed would be the best for their dog or dogs. We can see the thinking and consideration that goes in to choosing between the different dog beds Tuffies provide. It is lovely to see and hear how everyone knows their dogs and how they try to find the product that will give pooch the exact best experience. Some have a little Whippet or a Vizsla at home and know how much he loves a nest dog bed with a nest sock and some have a Newfoundlander at home, who will need a very large waterproof mattress dog bed with no cover or sides because he will get too hot rather than too cold. At Tuffies we also take great care to create contemporary designs for dog beds for the house so that our colour range will offer something for most people. We love seeing our customers enthusing over the beautiful fabrics while they discuss what colour to go for. Some find it difficult to choose and to agree.

But apart from the above, being at Crufts brings home to us all the other ways that dogs fill humans’ lives. Some work their dogs either for shooting or for mountain rescuing or as sheep dogs or police dogs. Some make agility the centre of their lives. We sell a lot of bespoke dog beds for cages to people, who travel the country with their show dogs, agility dogs and working dogs. We have fitted out whole vans with space for up to 10 dogs, each with their little compartment of doggy comfort.

We see, of course, the HUGE help and companionship dogs give to disabled people from guide dogs to assistant dogs. It is a whole other world that you may not come across unless you have seen their amazing displays at Crufts.

Dogs become the centre of many of our lives. I thought I was bad, but we sell to people, who know that the only right dog bed for their Fido is a Tuffies dog bed. We can only agree.

 

We had a Dog Bed Stolen

Years ago, when we were starting out making soft covers for our waterproof luxury dog beds, we went to Crufts with just ONE prototype of a Fluffie Tuffie cover. We showed this enthusiastically to interested customers and took a lot of orders to be sold on later. At one point in the day I turned to grab this bed with a beautiful cover on it to show it, but I realised it was not on the stand. I excused myself to the baffled customer and headed for the nearest entrance at high speed. I looked down the path outside, full of people with or without dogs coming and going between NEC and the car parks. Out in the distance I saw something that COULD be our dog bed being carried. I ran as fast as I could to catch up and challenged the hideous skin-head type bloke that was carrying it. His girlfriend looked horrified and totally embarrassed as I simply took the bed off him. He wasn’t bothered and just laughed at me. Well, shop lifting is not something we tolerate and I took our bed back to the stand. The hilarious thing was that the baffled customer was still there when I got back and she was in hysterics with laughter when I told her the story. In fact, she has been coming back to the stand every now and then over the years and we have a laugh remembering the story.

 

Tuffies Dog Beds are Sturdy and Substantial

Over the years our customers have started to realise as they come back to our stand again and again for what they recognise as the only real luxury dog beds on the market, that they are hard work to take to the car park. A large Tuffies Nest is around 8 kilos and once you get it outside and on the shuttle bus (having annoyed a few fellow passengers), having dragged it from the bus to the car, the weight of a Tuffie is becoming an acute problem. So while many people love to take something home from their visit to Crufts, the sensible thing is to make use of our visit from Aberdeenshire to NEC and simply have a good look at the quality we stand for and make and then just order what you want and have it sent directly to the door. No carrying, no fuss.

 

See you at Crufts 2019. We are in hall 5, stand 56.