Canines from across the world converged on the National Exhibition Centre yesterday for the start of the annual Crufts dog show.
The event is expected to attract more than 23,700 dogs to the Birmingham venue over four days of competition, culminating in the prestigious best-in-show contest on Sunday.
Officially recognised as the world's largest dog show by the Guinness Book of Records, Crufts also boasts almost 400 trade stands offering visitors the latest dogrelated products.
The cream of almost 200 breeds will be hoping to succeed the 2004 champion, a whippet called Deedee. Earlier this week, the Kennel Club, which organises the show, highlighted the plight of declining British and Irish breeds.
Officials said there were 28 native breeds whose numbers were falling for reasons like an influx of new blood from overseas and a lack of awareness among the public.
Tickets cost £12.50 for adults, £8.50 concessions and £34 for a family (two adults and two children) today and £14.50 for adults, £10.50 for concessions, and £40 for a family tomorrow and Sunday.
For further information log on to www.the-kennel-club.org.uk ..TEXT More pictures from the Crufts in today's Birmingham Post.