Following the Covid-19 pandemic and changing government restrictions, we anticipate that the 28th annual Westminster Dog of the Year competition will take place in 2021. Dates and location to be confirmed.
The competition, organised by The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust, 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 dogs and their owners, and aims to promote responsible dog ownership. All parliamentarians’ dogs are able to enter.
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, explains: "The Westminster 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 or opinions. It is a fun filled day out with an important message at its core – helping to promote dog welfare issues and encourage responsible ownership."
Bill Lambert, Head of Health and Welfare at The Kennel Club, continued; "Whilst the competition itself is light-hearted and an entertaining event, not least because of the unusual criteria on which the dogs are judged, there is a serious side; It is about MSPs getting together with The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust to promote responsible dog ownership and develop a partnership on dog welfare issues, which we know are important to all dogs which play such an important role in our society."
More about why we run this event
Since 1992, the Westminster Dog of the Year competition has enabled The Kennel Club and Dogs Trust to engage with parliamentarians who are passionate about dogs and to identify those who are willing to raise canine issues and policies in Parliament.
The media are invited to watch the politicians show their dogs and raise awareness of key issues which affect canine welfare. Past issues raised include the effects of fireworks on dogs, the importance of dogs training and socialisation, and the need to protect access for dog walkers across the UK.
In a bid to win the ‘paw-blic’ vote, MPs call for their supporters to vote for their four-legged friends. In conjunction with the public vote, judges also assess the pooches based on their heroic deeds and winning personalities in order to crown the overall winner.
Don't forget we also run Holyrood Dog of the Year!