Crufts reaches a canine-filled crescendo tonight in Birmingham, with dogs and owners alike patiently awaiting the prize everyone wants to win, Best in Show.
The much coveted rosette will be awarded at 8pm this evening when the competition reaches its finale.
Owners of the most well groomed dogs in the business are not leaving anything to chance even if their canine friends are impervious to the pressure as they take well-deserved naps in between competition.
The annual event, founded by Charles Cruft in the late 19th century and now held at the Birmingham NEC, brings thousands of dogs to the Midlands city – with thousands of viewers watching the action unfold on television.
Hopefuls will try and take the prestigious award from Tease, a Scottish Whippet owned by Yvette Short who won last year.
It’s a dog’s life! One furry competitor, a large poodle, sinks its teeth into a sponge while waiting for its moment in the spotlight
This Standard Poodle is feeling a little dramatic on the fourth day of competition and stares into the distance, perhaps dreaming of a good dinner
This superstar worked the arena like no other and showed its best smile to the judges
This while Standard Poodle looks a bit confused as he is caught mid-grooming
Nothing is left to chance as poodles are groomed before making their way to the arena, down to their puffy ankles
While most dogs have to be satisfied with only watching from the comfort of their homes, this year’s fierce competitors are getting ready for the 128th edition of the competition’s big finish.
The day debuted at 9:30am with the first round of the agility championship, which focused on jumping.
This was followed by the dog activities display at 10:20am and the Good Citizen Dog Scheme display at 10:40am.
This glossy contestant is all prepped and ready for the big show and takes a much deserved nap on its pink pillow
This Yorkshire terrier full of ribbons patiently waits for its owner to be finished with the grooming so it can wow all the judges
This fierce four-legged competitor is not afraid to show a little skin
It’s a long wait until Best in Show, which will be awarded tonight at 8pm. This owner bites his time with his furry companion with a well-deserve cuddle session
The second round of the agility competition took place at 11. Soon to follow were the Lowland Search and Rescue at 12:15pm, some heelwork to music at 12:40 and the Gundog Display at 12:45.
At 1:05pm, Southern Golden Retrievers strutted their stuff on the ring in teams.
The four-day-long competition will culminate this afternoon with the agility championship final, the YKC Stakes Final and Presentation and group judging events and presentations for utility and toy.
Later, the Presentation of the Police Dog Team Operational and Humanitarian Action of the Year Award will take place, right before the stage is prepped for the event everybody’s waiting for: Best in Show.
Everything needs to be perfect for this white beauty while its owner busies themselves brushing its immaculate hair
This poodle is all ready for action and clings on to a sequin bone while waiting to be judged
Dogs wear hairspray? Grooming that larger-than-life quiff is a two-man job
The world-famous event has courted controversy in recent years with protesters calling the competition ‘cruel’, although the UK Kennel Club, who are behind the event, say they’re ‘committed to ensuring that all dogs have the opportunity to lead healthy, happy lives, with responsible owners’.
The pooch-filled pow-wow was established by Charles Cruft in 1891 as a much smaller event held at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, and has grown to become the world’s biggest dog show.
Have no fear, this furry competitor can count on his owner’s expert hand to guide him around the arena
A Shih Tzu is groomed at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre (NEC) for the fourth day of the Crufts Dog Show
Doggy catwalk: Owners line up their pets for a last-minute grooming session
Shih Tzu’s wait to enter the show ring during the final day of the Crufts Dog Show in Birmingham
Finally it’s show time! Shih Tzus flock the arena of Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC)
Every year bookmakers see dog fans placing bets on breeds likely to scoop the top prize. Last year’s overall winner was Tease, a whippet from Scotland but Bookies Betway has revealed that this year’s favourite to walk away with the rosette is the gundog category, which last won the category in 2017. Odds are currently at 11/8 with terriers nipping at the heels with odds of 7/4.
This obedient Dalmatian remains calm under pressure as he is being judged on the ring
This cutie peers into its judge’s eyes – but will it win them over?
A judge has been forced to step down after it was revealed he was once involved with scientific experiments on beagles.
Ron James had been selected as one of the elite panel choosing the Best In Show champion at tonight’s finale of the world’s biggest dog show. But two weeks ago, the vet and expert beagle breeder was told to stand aside.
The Kennel Club, which runs Crufts, gave no explanation for his sudden removal.