Holyrood Dog of the Year

3 dogs stood on podium
2019 winners: 1st place – Jeremy Balfour and Sadie; 2nd place – Alison Johnstone and a ‘Dogs Trust’ rescue dog; 3rd place – Monica Lennon and Cuillin. Stewart Attwood Photography © / The Kennel Club

The next annual Holyrood Dog of the Year competition, organised by Dogs Trust and The Kennel Club, will take place in 2020. Dates and location to be confirmed.

The event is open to all MPs, peers and parliamentary pooches, regardless of breed or ‘pawlitical’ persuasion and aims to showcase dogs as an important member of the family.

Celebrating a unique bond

The competition celebrates the unique bond between man and dog and aims to promote responsible dog ownership. The competition is open to all parliamentarians' dogs, regardless of breed, creed or pawlitical persuasion.

Jim Monteith, interim Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, explains: "The Holyrood Dog of the Year competition is so much more than a canine beauty pageant. The competition is strictly apolitical; judges will be looking for the dogs' good deeds and devotion to their owner, rather than policies, opinions or 'bottle'."

Caroline Kisko, The Kennel Club Secretary, continued; "The serious side of this competition is about MPs getting together with The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust to promote responsible dog ownership and develop a partnership on dog welfare issues. The competition itself is light hearted and an entertaining day out, not least because of the unusual criteria on which the dogs are judged!"

More about why we run this event

Holyrood Dog of the Year is organised by The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust and takes place on an annual basis. The competition is open to all parliamentarians with either their own dogs or a Dogs Trust rescue dog and aims to celebrate the unique bond between man and dog.

The event began as a way for The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust to engage with MPs who are passionate about dogs and identify those who are willing to raise canine policies in Parliament. As part of each competition, media are also invited to watch the politicians show their dogs, while also raising awareness of key issues and discussion points that affect canine welfare, with past themes including the effect fireworks can have on dogs, the importance of dog training and socialisation and the need to protect access for dog walkers.

MPs also use the competition as an opportunity to call for their supporters to vote for their four-legged friends in a bid to win the ‘paw-blic’ vote, with additional judging on the day for the overall winner, based on their heroic deeds and winning personalities.

Don't forget we also run Westminster Dog of the Year!