Can I borrow your hair straighteners Afghan hounds at Crufts take Best in Breed award for looking like their owners
12:40 GMT, 12 March 2012
You could be forgiven for having a double take at some of these doppelgangers at Crufts.
The extraordinary collection of owners who look like their pets is an annual bit of fun during the world's biggest and most competitive dog shows.
And it's sometimes hard to tell who is the more sty-leash of this set of uncanny carbon-copy canines entered into this year's competition at the Birmingham NEC Arena.
Uncanny: The striking resemblance between an owner and his Afghan Hound is clear to see
Cut above: The flowing locks of an Afghan Hound gets some admiring looks from two women who obviously approve of the styling
Just a snip: That shiny hair-do is bound to get noticed by the judges… and the Bichon Frise's trim isn't bad either
But while some were chuckling at the human/dog duplicates, all eyes will tonight be watching to see which
pets will scoop one of seven competitive top dog categories.
dog from each of the groups – Working, Utility, Hound, Pastoral, Toy,
Terrier and Gundog – will take their place in the Best in Show ring, having been awarded the Best of Breed and then
Best in Group accolades in previous judging rounds as the competition reaches its climax.
Each animal will then be put through its paces as they go head-to-head in the final showdown, vying for the top title.
Kennel Club-approved judge will watch the dogs take their lap of honour
and mark them for their overall health and condition, coat, character,
temperament, movement, and how close they have come to the Kennel Club
Sty-leash: Handler Katia Rauhut admired Bo the Afghan Hound's glossy coat on the fourth and final day of Crufts at the Birmingham NEC Arena
Glance: A Yorkshire Terrier appears to recognise that hair style from somewhere, during judging at Crufts
Peas in a pod: Two blonde women put the finishing touches to their Afghan Hound before going into the parade ring during the Crufts dog show
Last year, Jet, a flat-coated retriever owned by Iain Ross, was crowned Best in Show.
dog will also take home the celebrated Friends for Life competition
winner's rosette, which celebrates animals who dedicate their lives to
there were five categories in which entrants could be nominated –
service dogs, police dogs, assistance dogs, companion dogs and 2012
The winner will be the one which has received the most votes from the public.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokeswoman, said: 'The Friends for Life competition is one of the highlights of Crufts each year.
year we are very excited to make a nod to the Olympics, and the
Paralympics in particular with the special '2012 Games' category.'
dog Kaiser, a golden retriever-poodle cross, took home the title last
year for his continued work helping owner Joanne Day, from Shropshire,
who suffers from neurological disorder dystonia.
A family of Papillons await judging during the first day of Crufts 2012 which is the world's largest dog show and was established in 1891 by Charles Cruft
Bichon Frise and their owners await judging – just a few of the near 21,000 dogs competing for the coveted 'Best in Show' title
In action: A Standard Poodle is paraded through a judging ring on the first day of the Crufts dog show at the NEC arena in Birmingham
Second chance: Gertie, who was born in a pound, as a puppy (left) and now, winning prizes
It was ruff: Winnie in a pound, where she was just days away from being put down
Two Irish dogs who had been just days away from being put to sleep at a pound were also celebrating today after scooping plaudits at Crufts.
In a heart-warming tale of ‘wags to riches', Gertie and Winnie avoided death row at Dunboyne, South Dublin County Council's pound, after being rescued by charity group A Dog's Life to claim prizes.
Winnie, a gorgeous grey-haired lurcher who had been found as a stray, scooped second prize in the tough ABC Dog Agility Competition, while cute collie cross Gertie came in fourth in the Young Kennel Club Agility Competition.
In 2008, Winnie, who was then named Heidi, was picked up as a stray by a dog warden and faced certain death at Dunboyne before being rescued.
Gertie, who was born in the pound a few days after her mother arrived there as a stray in 2005, also made it out against the odds.
Anne Rogers, chairwoman of A Dog's Life, said: 'All dogs deserve a second chance just as Winnie and Gertie did.
'Every day abandoned and unwanted dogs are brought to pounds, where they face certain death unless they areadopted or taken in by a rescue organisation which deals with the pound.
'If you're ready to give a home to a dog, please help save a dog's life by adopting from your local pound.'