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A dog playing with a BUBBLE on the beach is one of the winners in this year’s Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year competition.

Puppies are pictured sunbathing, snuggling, sleeping and snuffling in these winning images, which were among an incredible 10,000 entries from more than 70 different countries in the annual contest, which is now in its thirteenth year. Other photos show dogs leaping through the sand, playing in the snow and climbing on cliff tops.

The competition has 10 categories

  • Portrait, Man’s Best Friend
  • Dogs At Play
  • Dogs At Work
  • Puppy
  • Oldies
  • I Love Dogs
  • Because – a category for those aged 12 to 17
  • Young Pup Photographer – for entrants 11 and under
  • Assistance Dogs
  • Rescue Dogs.

This year's overall winner was Monica van der Maden, from the Netherlands with an image of Noa the Great Dane seemingly alone in a forest. Monica began taking photos of dogs 18 years ago and has been professionally snapping man’s best friend for the best part of a decade.

She said: “I am very grateful to be the overall winner of the Dog Photographer of the Year competition. Photography is what I love doing the most. I always try to capture the image of a dog in a way that you can see the emotion in their eyes, when I took this picture in the forest early one morning, Noa looked at her owner and you could feel the love between them.”

Elinor Roizman, from Israel won the ‘Dogs at Play’ category with a photo of Lili the Pomeranian chasing a giant bubble on the beach, whilst Klaus Dyber from Germany, won the ‘Puppy’ category with a beautiful image of Ceylin the three- month-old Italian Greyhound. Carol Durrant, from the UK, won the ‘Portrait’ category with a stunning image of three Flat Coated Retrievers and Tracy Kidd, from the UK won the ‘Dogs at Work’ category with a group shot of spaniels and retriever dogs after a day of working hard.

The winner of the ‘Assistance Dogs’ category was Dean Mortimer from Castle Combe, Wiltshire, who captured the unique bond between man and dog as German Shepherd Dog, Rocko comforted his ex-soldier owner who suffers from PTSD. Sonya Kolb, from New Jersey in the United States, was named as the winner of the ‘Rescue Dog’ award for her intimate portrait of a rescued Labrador and his loving new owners.

This year’s Dog Photographer of the Year competition is sponsored by SmugMug, the dog-loving photo sharing site for professional photographers, and Nikon School, a photography training establishment that aims to educate and inspire photographers.

SmugMug’s European Manager, Alastair Jolly said: “Once again, SmugMug are delighted to be sponsors of the Dog Photographer of the Year competition. It really is a pleasure to be able to judge this competition again this year, even if as always the decision gets harder and harder. It is a highlight of the year for me. I always enjoy seeing such a wonderful range of images of some truly beautiful dogs. Congratulations to all of the winners. I am sure everyone will enjoy seeing the winning images this year and I am already looking forward to next year."

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