PEOPLE and dogs alike descended on Cardiff for Britain’s first French Bulldog festival.
The popularity of French Bulldogs has rocketed over the past few years and with 9,670 registered, it is the fourth most popular breed in the UK according to The Kennel Club.
Following the success of Pugfest in August, father-son duo Martin and Rob Clowes created a sister event entitled Frenchie Fest to celebrate all things French Bulldog.
Martin said: “We were having lots of requests from people to run an event similar to Pugfest and we said ‘Sure, why not? We’ll give it a go’.”
About 800 people including some from as far as London brought their pets along to the one-day family event at Action Petz.
“You never know what type of turnout you’re going to get for your first event but we’re pretty pleased with how it’s gone today,” Rob said.
Main attractions included mini-makeovers and an agility course for the dogs and a memorabilia shop for owners. The main event was the grand dog show where prizes were won for best male, female and puppy French Bulldog.
In news that will delight dog-lovers around Britain, Martin announced they have big plans for the coming year.
“We are quite strict about the type of dogs brought to each event but we’re looking at combining the two events (Pugfest and Frenchie Fest). It’ll be Frug Fest I suppose!”
The money raised at Frenchie Fest has helped six-month-old French Bulldog Bruce, who was taken in by Rob after she suffered from heart murmurs.
Martin said: “These events give us a chance to help individuals who may not necessarily be able to afford their vet bills.
“We set up a foundation to help rescue French Bulldogs and Pugs, and we thought these events were a great way to help promote that.
“These events are all about having fun, it gives dogs and their owners a chance to meet up and socialise.”
The judge was actor Danny Walters, from ITV’s hit comedy Benidorm. Danny is a patron of the event and a keen supporter of the charity.
Danny said: “When I was asked to come today, it was a no-brainer.
Who could say no to stroking and playing with hundreds of cute dogs? It’s got to be the best job ever.”
According to Danny, there is no simple formula when picking the winner for best in show.
“French Bulldogs look quite similar but they have different behaviour. Their fur obviously plays a part but it’s like the X-Factor really – you just know!”
Despite Pugfest events occurring around the country, including Manchester, London and Brighton, Martin and Rob are keen to organise more events in the Welsh capital.
“The venue at Action Petz in Cardiff is ideal,” Martin says, “it’s enclosed so it gives the dogs a chance to run around freely. That’s what it’s all about.”