THE COMPETITION is on for East Lancashire’s Crufts entrants who have spent the week bathing and grooming in preparation for the world’s largest dog show.

There are 17 entrants from the area, with breeds including Japanese Chin, miniature pinscher, Shetland sheepdog and the Hungarian wirehaired vizsla.

The Afghan hound is this year’s most popular breed, with five owners showing them at the Kennel Club’s Best in Show at Birmingham’s NEC from today until Sunday.

Pauline Metcalfe who lives in Burnley is taking two of her Afghan hounds, one-year-old Sylas and six-year-old Sienna, down to Birmingham on Friday, and has been showing dogs at Crufts for 25 years, having got her love for the breed from former Blackburn Rovers player brother, Stuart Metcalfe.

She said: “My brother got me into this particular breed and he has two of his own. They are a great dog but it has taken me all week to groom them. There’s a lot of maintenance and to bath and dry them alone can take two or three hours.”

The first Cruft’s show, held in 1891, was set up by the late Charles Cruft.