Crufts 2020: Best behind-the-scenes pictures from the iconic dog show

We celebrate the funny, touching and frankly exhausting-looking images from the world's top dog show, Crufts 2020.

The past few days at the NEC in Birmingham has seen some of the most well-cared-for dogs in the world gathered together for Crufts.

The Kennel Club’s annual dog show has been running for over a century, and winning the title of Best in Show is the crowning achievement of the career of any dog breeder.

This year, the supreme champion was a Wire-Haired Dachshund named Maisie — the delight on the face of owner Kim McCalmont is plain to see… even if Maisie seems supremely chilled out about the whole thing.

Maisie the Wire-Haired Dachshund with owner Kim McCalmont from Gloucestershire celebrate after winning Best in Show on the last day of Crufts Dog Show at the National Exhibition Centre on March 8, 2020

As fascinating as what happens in the arena, however, are all the other things which you often don’t see: the nuts and bolts of getting thousands of dogs in and out of the arena, the hours spent waiting backstage  and the efforts that go in to grooming and preening to make sure everything is perfect.

Those efforts deserve to go on the record, so we’ve picked out some of our favourite pictures from the weekend.


A man grooms his Old English Sheepdog on the third day of the Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, central England, on March 7, 2020. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 06: An American Cocker Spaniel is prepared for day 2 of the Cruft’s dog show at the NEC Arena on March 6, 2020 in Birmingham, England. The annual four-day show will see around 20,000 pedigree dogs visit the centre, before the ‘Best in Show’ is awarded on the final day. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 06: Owners arrive with their dogs for day 2 of the Cruft’s dog show at the NEC Arena on March 6, 2020 in Birmingham, England. The annual four-day show will see around 20,000 pedigree dogs visit the centre, before the ‘Best in Show’ is awarded on the final day. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

A Border Collie performs in the main arena on day one

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 05: A Border Collie performs in the main arena on day one of Crufts 2020 at the National Exhibition Centre on March 5, 2020 in Birmingham, England. Crufts, the world’s biggest dog show got under way this morning. The annual event has restrictions in place due to the coronavirus outbreak however is still expected to attract thousands of dogs and their owners to the four day event. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 08: A woman rests next to her dog on day 4 of the Crufts dog show at the NEC Arena on March 8, 2020 in Birmingham, England. The annual four-day show will see around 20,000 pedigree dogs visit the centre, before the ‘Best in Show’ is awarded on the final day. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

A young woman grooms Afghan hound “Way Up 2Pac Shakur” on day 3 of the Crufts dog show at the NEC Arena on March 8, 2020 in Birmingham, England. The annual four-day show will see around 20,000 pedigree dogs visit the centre, before the ‘Best in Show’ is awarded on the final day. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: A woman kisses an Alaskan Malamute named ‘Arctictreks Black Sheep’ during grooming on day 3 of the Crufts dog show at the NEC Arena on March 7, 2020 in Birmingham, England. The annual four-day show will see around 20,000 pedigree dogs visit the centre, before the ‘Best in Show’ is awarded on the final day. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: A woman talks to a Welsh Corgi on day 3 of the Crufts dog show at the NEC Arena on March 7, 2020 in Birmingham, England. The annual four-day show will see around 20,000 pedigree dogs visit the centre, before the ‘Best in Show’ is awarded on the final day. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images).

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: A row of Old English Sheepdogs are judged on day 3 of the Crufts dog show at the NEC Arena on March 7, 2020 in Birmingham, England. The annual four-day show will see around 20,000 pedigree dogs visit the centre, before the ‘Best in Show’ is awarded on the final day. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: A woman arrives with two dogs on a trolley on day 3 of the Crufts dog show at the NEC Arena on March 7, 2020 in Birmingham, England. The annual four-day show will see around 20,000 pedigree dogs visit the centre, before the ‘Best in Show’ is awarded on the final day. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 07: A Bull Mastiff named “Keepersguard Ragnar’s Wrath” looks at owner Helene Amor as she reads the show guide on day 3 of the Crufts dog show at the NEC Arena on March 7, 2020 in Birmingham, England. The annual four-day show will see around 20,000 pedigree dogs visit the centre, before the ‘Best in Show’ is awarded on the final day. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

 

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 08: A Cirneco Dell’etna “Kinabula Forlani of Kushka” looks up in the judging ring on day 4 of the Crufts dog show at the NEC Arena on March 8, 2020 in Birmingham, England. The annual four-day show will see around 20,000 pedigree dogs visit the centre, before the ‘Best in Show’ is awarded on the final day. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

A woman runs with a Great Dane dog as it is judged on the third day of the Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, central England, on March 7, 2020. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

A Dogue de Bordeaux rests in its pen on the third day of the Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, central England, on March 7, 2020. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)