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."

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