Almost 22,000 dogs are heading to Birmingham to compete at Crufts 2016, the 125th anniversary of the world's biggest dog show. The Kennel Club says that 21,919 dogs will be taking part this year; 2% up on last year. The event has a truly international flavour, with 3,396 competitors coming to the UK from 47 different countries including, for the first time, Venezuela, Peru and the Philippines.

The number of breeds competing at Crufts continues to grow, adding to the diversity of the event, with the inclusion of two new breeds, the Lagotto Romagnolo and the Cirneco dell'Etna, which will have their own breed classes at Crufts for the first time.

Crufts 2016
Manchester terriers Betty and Mable arrive for the first day of Crufts in BirminghamDarren Staples/Reuters
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Betty (or Mable) the Manchester terrier shows off her hatJustin Tallis/AFP
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A dogue de Bordeaux, also known as a French mastiffJustin Tallis/AFP
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An owner arrives with four Japanese shiba inu dogsJustin Tallis/AFP
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A Tibetan mastiff owner and his dog arrive at Crufts by busJustin Tallis/AFP
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A man arrives with a couple of pugsJustin Tallis/AFP
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Dog owners arrive at Crufts with their 'babies'Darren Staples/Reuters
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Pug in a boxBen Pruchnie/Getty Images
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Poodle in leg warmersDarren Staples/Reuters
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A dog owner arrives with several papillons (also known as continental toy spaniels)Darren Staples/Reuters
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Italian greyhounds are reflected in a puddle outside the NECDarren Staples/Reuters
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Jeri Berg poses with Burns, her American rat terrierDarren Staples/Reuters
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A komondor, also known as a Hungarian sheepdogBen Pruchnie/Getty Images
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A puli, also known as a Hungarian water dogJustin Tallis/AFP
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A Cavalier King Charles spanielBen Pruchnie/Getty Images
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A Chinese crested dogBen Pruchnie/Getty Images
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A shih tzuBen Pruchnie/Getty Images
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A dog owner prepares her poodle for competitionBen Pruchnie/Getty Images
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A handler shows a standard poodleDarren Staples/Reuters
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A standard poodle jumps up to its handlerDarren Staples/Reuters
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A Yorkshire terrier waits to be shownDarren Staples/Reuters
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A handler shows a MalteseDarren Staples/Reuters
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(British) bulldogDarren Staples/Reuters
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A woman grooms a miniature poodle at CruftsBen Pruchnie/Getty Images
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A miniature poodle is groomed by its ownerBen Pruchnie/Getty Images
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A poodle sits next to its ownerBen Pruchnie/Getty Images
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A poodle is groomed by its ownerBen Pruchnie/Getty Images
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A Maltese is groomed backstageBen Pruchnie/Getty Images
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Every dog has its (bad hair) dayBen Pruchnie/Getty Images

Gerald King, Crufts chairman, said: "We are delighted that entries to Crufts' 125th anniversary show remain strong and steady. We feel honoured to welcome dogs from such a wide variety of breeds, representing all corners of the globe. The fact that people travel far and wide to enter this prestigious event is testament to the place it continues to hold in people's hearts and we intend to keep going from strength to strength.

"We thank everybody who has entered the show and look forward to welcoming all the dogs and their owners who make Crufts such a wonderful event, whether it is those who have been loyally returning year after year or those who are experiencing the show for the first time."

Best in Show at Crufts 2015 was awarded to a Scottish terrier named McVan's To Russia With Love, also known as Knopa. Last year's show was overshadowed by rumours that an Irish setter named Jagger was poisoned, but this was later shown to be untrue.

Crufts 2016 runs at Birmingham NEC from 10 to 13 March, and is broadcast on Channel 4 and More 4.