THE COMPETITION is on for East Lancashire’s Crufts entrants who have spent the week bathing and grooming in preparation for the world’s largest dog show.

There are 17 entrants from the area, with breeds including Japanese Chin, miniature pinscher, Shetland sheepdog and the Hungarian wirehaired vizsla.

The Afghan hound is this year’s most popular breed, with five owners showing them at the Kennel Club’s Best in Show at Birmingham’s NEC from today until Sunday.

John and Maureen Whitehead from Blackburn are entering two dogs this year — four-year-old Hugo, a French briard and five-year-old Hubble, a soft-coated wheaten terrier.

Mr Whitehead said: “Crufts has doubled in size since my wife and I started doing it 40 years ago and there’s a lot more competition than there used to be.”

Angela Bell from Darwen, started showing dogs in 1999 at the prestigious event and is taking her Japanese shiba inu mother and son duo, five-year-old Tulsa and two-year-old Jenx, along on Saturday.

She said: “My dogs are pets, but they seem to enjoy the show.”