Italian Greyhounds arrive in orange fleece coats on the first day of the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England on March 8.

Photo: Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images

Team orange

Italian greyhounds make an entrance in orange fleece jackets on March 8, the first day of Crufts in Birmingham, England.

 

Put on by the Kennel Club since 1891, Crufts is the largest international dog show in the world. Over four days, nearly 22,000 dogs and their handlers will compete in a number of categories depending on breed, gender, age and history of wins in previous competitions. Once the Best of Breed winners are determined, these tops dogs go head-to-head with each other in the finals to determine who wins Best in Show.

 

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Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Poodle primming

A woman readies her standard poodle for competition on March 8 inside Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre.

 

The Crufts dog show has come under fire in recent years after "Pedigree Dogs Exposed," a 2008 BBC investigative documentary, uncovered the alarming health and welfare issues faced by pedigree dogs in the show circuit. The public reaction was overwhelming, prompting BBC and other Crufts sponsors to cut ties, and sparking an overhaul in the Kennel Club's code of ethics and breed standards.

 

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Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Strutting on the green

A dog owner parades his Yorkshire terrier in the green carpeted ring on the first day of Crufts on March 8.

 

In addition to the Best in Show competition, there are also several other contests that evaluate agility, obedience and other doggy skills.