DogFest North to return to Tatton Park in Cheshire this summer

DogFest North to return to Tatton Park in Cheshire this summer

Cheshire is set to host one of the nation’s favourite dog events this summer.

Now in its seventh year, DogFest North first event for 2021 will be at Tatton Park with strict COVID-19 safety measures and a refund guarantee in place.

Dog owners will be able to take their dogs on a socially distanced dog walk, enter them into a fun dog show, and check out their obedience in the ring, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports.

The event was launched back in 2013 by ‘Supervet’ Professor Noel Fitzpatrick’s practice, Fitzpatrick Referrals, in Surrey.

DogFest has become a celebration of everything there is to love about ‘Man’s Best Friend’.

The festival will be held at four locations across the country, each hosting an incredible two-day celebration of ‘the unconditional love shared between human and dog’.

DogFest will be at Tatton Park, Cheshire – June 12-13, Ashton Court, Bristol – June 26-27, Knebworth House, Hertfordshire – September 11-12, and Ragley Hall, Warwickshire – September 25-26. The festival will run Saturday to Sunday from 9.30am to 5pm each day.

The online ticket prices for DogFest areas follows:

  • Adult – £17.50

  • Child aged 5-16 – £10.50

  • Concession (student/senior) – £12.50

  • Child under 5 – free

  • Families of 4/5/6 – £12 per person

  • Premium ticket – £35 (includes glass of prosecco or craft beer and a DogFest lead flag)

  • Weekend adult – £30

  • Weekend child – £16

  • Weekend concession – £21

  • Parking – £7 per car (charged by Tatton Park)

Disabled Tickets are available and will include a free carers ticket. Disabled Parking is also available for £3.50.

Tickets will not be available to purchase on the door.

What’s on at DogFest North?

The Big Dog Walk – sponsored by Bought By Many, gives you the chance to join thousands of others on a 2km or 4km walk and explore the beautiful grounds of Tatton Park with your furry friend.

Have-a-go activities – You pooch can have a go at hay bale racing, obedience challenges and agility training, as well as some brand new have-a-go activities for 2021, including ultimate frisbee, hide and seek and a ‘dogstacle’ course!

Fun dog show – If you think your pooch has what it takes to be named ‘best in show’ then enter them into the weekend-long contest! The entries must be booked online at £2 per entry, which will be open for entries in April.

Breed meet ups – back by popular demand, these meet ups give owners the chance to meet up with other paw-rents to let their dogs play and share notes and tips about their breed.

Obedience ring – In the obedience ring, there will be some fabulous masterclasses from expert Dog Trainers, who will teach you everything from tricks and prop training to scent work!

Main arena – The timetable for the main arena will be released closer to the festival, but visitors can expect some of the UK’s most talented dogs showing off their skills, whether it be agility, dancing or jumping through rings of fire!

Dogs with jobs – The Dogs with Jobs feature brings together some truly remarkable dogs who all have their own important responsibilities. You’ll get the chance to meet the dogs and chat to their trainers to learn more about the important work they do.

Other events include the Puppy Academy, Dogs of Instagram, and the fantastic Live Stage.

Dogs at DogFest

Of course, dogs of all shapes and sizes are welcome at DogFest, but those attending should be protected by current veterinary vaccinations and kept on leads at all times. Cats and other animals will not be allowed at the event.

There are some ‘golden rules’ for dog owners to follow whilst visiting the festival, to ensure the safety of all dogs and visitors on site.

The Golden Rules:

  • Please consider the temperament of your dog before you decide to attend. The show is very busy with thousands of other dogs and people, and knowing your own dog(s), you should consider if this is an environment they will enjoy.

  • What your dog can cope with will depend on its age, breed, health and the weather on the day. For example, suitable dogs will be healthy, not over- or under-weight, friendly towards other dogs and people, confident and calm in new places with new people.

  • The welfare of your dog is your responsibility throughout the duration of the show and they must not be left unattended at any time.

  • Dogs must be under control and on a lead at all times.

  • Only well-socialised dogs (i.e. friendly towards other dogs and people, including children) should attend the festival. The behaviour of your dog is your responsibility.

  • Please do not attend if your dog is fearful of other dogs or people.

  • Dogs should not be dressed up in costumes.

  • Dogs should not be forced to interact or do anything they don’t want to.

  • Dogs should have a collar and a tag with their owner’s name and address inscribed on it (note: this is a legal requirement) and ideally a phone number on which the owner can be contacted.

  • When travelling, we would ask you to follow the advice of all the major charities and government and ensure that your dog is transported safely by properly securing him/her in the vehicle with a suitable harness, or in a suitable carrier.

  • Always travel with a portable water container for your dog. Always assume the weather will be hot and sunny. There will be dog watering points throughout the venue to drink, and splash pools for dogs to use to cool off if required.

  • Your dog(s) must not be left unattended in a vehicle during the event (or at any time). If poor weather turns into direct sun, it can take only a few minutes for a vehicle to reach temperatures that are a threat to their welfare and even their life.

  • If the weather is wet and cold, it is your responsibility to keep them warm and dry.

  • Please ensure that you follow the standard Veterinary advice that your dog is correctly vaccinated to prevent disease.

  • Dogs should be healthy and fit enough to take part in the have-a-go activities. Enter them based on your knowledge of your dog, his/her fitness and veterinary history. Please follow any instructions you are given closely.

  • Owners should be aware of the signs of heat stress and also make provision for use of pet-safe sunscreen where appropriate. Some dogs are more prone than others e.g. those with short flat faces, overweight, old, young and dogs with thick coats. If any dog starts to display signs of stress during the event, inform a member of the event team so that help can be provided.

  • Harsh handling of any dog at any time will not be tolerated and may result in the visitors being asked to leave the festival.

  • Bitches in season must not attend the event.

  • Please be a responsible dog owner and clean up after your dog. Designated disposal areas are located at the show. Please bring dog waste bags.

Covid-19 Safety at DogFest

A number of Covid-19 safety measures have been put in place to ensure the festival is inline with government regulations.

A spokesperson for DogFest said: “At DogFest we are taking every precaution to ensure the highest level of safety in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, to ensure the health and well-being of all our humans and dogs, whilst providing the best day out possible.

“We continuously monitor government advice to ensure the experience we provide complies and offers a risk-free experience for all our visitors. You can book in confidence knowing in the unlikely event we can’t go ahead we guarantee a 100% refund or transfer of tickets.”

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Refund and ticket transfers due to Covid

DogFest have promised a full refund or ticket transfer to a later date should the event be unable to go ahead. Those who find themselves self-isolating will be able to transfer their tickets to another date, as will those unable to attend due to a local lockdown.

Other Covid-19 safety measures at DogFest

  • To ensure every human and dog can enjoy DogFest, if necessary, we will look at spreading the entry times closer to the event, so that we can accommodate as many people as possible without ever having too many people at the event at one time.

  • As part of the condition of entry we will need to take your details to assist with NHS Test and Trace. An NHS COVID-19 QR code will be available but there will be alternatives to this if you have not downloaded this app.

  • We will be looking to ensure all humans stay two metres apart throughout their visit to DogFest. That’s roughly just under two Great Danes standing nose to tail!!

  • Our queues to entry will be managed so there is a two metre separation distance between visitors. You are not required to, but do feel free to wear a mask should you choose.

  • Whilst we do not envisage any crowding issues owing to the capacity limitations on we are also adding a separate exit to the event. This will ensure that we reduce the need for people to contraflow ensuring we maintain social distancing at all times.

  • In today’s world we understand the need for human paws to be washed more thoroughly than ever before. We have positioned handwashing stations around the event and each individual exhibitor will be given their own hand washing alcohol rub as well.

  • More toilets will be available and rigorous cleaning will take place in the high touch areas throughout the event.

  • We have increased and enhanced our cleaning regime to ensure that toilets, seating areas and the general event is cleaned on a far more regular basis.

  • Our food outlets are independently audited to ensure the highest quality of health and hygiene on site, and during the event they will be individually monitored by a food safety manager.

  • Everyone one of our exhibitors will have completed a COVID-19 risk assessment for their participation at the event.

  • Signage will be around the event to remind everybody what they can do to ensure we manage the risk of transmission.

  • We know how exciting DogFest can be for both humans and dogs, the team here get excited everyday whilst working on the event, and we will have a dedicated team on site whose role it will be to monitor the event and remind people about things like social distancing if all the excitement gets a little too much!

  • As part of our communication strategy we will be constantly updating all of our visitors with the latest guidance for the event but more importantly we are planning on sending out some final instructions on the week leading up to the walk.

  • This year, we are going digital with our show guide. We will email this to you prior to the event, which will also help you plan your day!

  • We will also have the show map available, via a QR code, which will be able to be downloaded on site to help you navigate DogFest.

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