This amazing dogs-only festival has a pet hotel, canine contests and even a spa
It’s renowned for its fabulous estate, racetrack and Festival Of Speed, but glorious Goodwood is now hosting a new event – an inaugural celebration of all things doggy.
Goodwoof will run this Saturday and Sunday, when the 12,000-acre estate will open its doors to around 6,000 people a day – and an unlimited number of visiting dogs.
There’ll be demonstrations by experts, agility competitions, chillout zones, and even a Barkitecture competition, where leading architects and designers aim to create the ultimate office environment and housing for our canine pals, with designs being judged by Kevin McCloud.
It’s fair to say dogs have reigned supreme at Goodwood over the years. When the third Duke of Richmond built expansive housing for his beloved dogs in 1787, they were known as the most luxurious kennels in the world – even the heating was installed a century before such warmth made it to the house itself.
The famous kennels will now form a backdrop to the spectacular Goodwoof, although these days they are a private members’ clubhouse. With dogs welcome, only naturally…
Betty the schnauzer and Truckle the golden labrador pose for a picture with their two little Yorkshire terrier guests in the elegant reception of the Goodwood Hotel – a dog-friendly, luxurious hotel on the estate that welcomes pooches into all its restaurants and bars.
On arrival each dog is given a dog bed and their own dog bowl to ensure they have the most comfortable possible stay.
On the wall behind the canine sitters are portraits of various dogs owned by the Duke of Richmond and his family over the years.
Goodwoof aims to celebrate the role dogs have played in our past but also how important they are to our present health and happiness
Hollie the sheltie sets a dashing pace as she weaves expertly through poles on an agility course.
But festival goers who have mixed breed pets may be tempted by the DNA testing kit for dogs available at The Wisdom Panel in the Wellness Centre.
This not only identifies the breeds within a mixed breed and outlines how the knowledge of those breeds can help detect medical disorders and help owners to tailor make care.
Axel the German pointer leads the way during a CaniCross challenge, where owners race with their dogs across 1.8km.
The Have-A-Go area, presented by Animal Friends, offers something for every dog, including a Fastest Dog 50-Metre Dash. Each year Goodwoof will focus on exceptional breeds and honour dog heroes from history.
This year it’s the spaniel and owners are invited to enter their pals in the largest breed get-together of its kind.
All eyes will be on the competition elements in the Action Arena where world Disc Dog champion Adrian Stocia makes his debut in Britain – showcasing spectacular skills in distance and freestyle frisbee with his talented border collie.
There’s also Heelwork to Music and the gravity-defying Barkour, where canine partnerships navigate a course designed by stunt-coordinators from the Mission Impossible movies.
Dog therapist Lilo Ask-Henriksen treats injured muscles and arthritic conditions through massage and also practices Reiki.
Sessions with her at the Studio, presented by Randox Health, can be booked in advance.
Hound of music
Classically trained harpist Siobhan Swider has played at the Royal Opera House.
But today she uses her skills on dogs – working to create soothing tones that send many of our puppy pals to sleep.
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