Dogs and their owners have arrived in Birmingham for the start of the Crufts dog show. Almost 22,000 dogs are expected to travel the NEC to compete in the world's largest dog show.

The event has an international flavour with 2,655 dogs competing from overseas, compared to 2,131 in 2013, an increase of 25 percent. Dogs from 45 overseas countries will take part in the show, compared to 41 in 2013.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "Crufts continues to grow in size and popularity, as the number of dogs entered into this year's event is five percent up on last year. The fact that dogs come in their tens of thousands to Crufts is testament to the immense popularity of the event."

Dogs and their owners braved the rain as they descended on Birmingham today for the start of the Crufts dog show.
They arrived by bus, by pram and by trolley
old english
Some pampered pooches were carried into the NEC by their owners
There was time for a quick spot of grooming, or a pedicure...
...or a trim!
border collie
And then the dogs settled in for the long wait for their turn in the spotlight
great dane chihuahua
A Great Dane looks at a Chihuahua at Crufts
An owner holds her Great Dane on first day of Crufts
Pete Dowling sits with Zoran, a Canadian Eskimo Dog
Helen Hepple walks past a billboard with Kayos the Jack Russell on her shoulder
Bored dogs: Two Dogue de Bordeaux relax on the first day of Crufts
gerat dane woman
A woman sits with a Great Dane during the first day of the Crufts dog show in Birmingham
A small dog jumps over a fence during the Rescue Dog Agility show in the main arena
A boxer waits backstage
A Mastiff sits on a Union Flag rug
great dane legs
A woman shows a Great Dane during the first day of Crufts at the NEC