The winners of the Kennel Club’s Dog Competition of the Year have been announced, with Denise Czichocki from Switzerland named overall winner for her image “Dreaming Merlin” (which was also placed first in the ‘Oldies’ category). Merlin, shown below, is deaf but clearly loves flowers.

There were almost 7,000 entries from over 70 countries, including Brazil, Canada, USA, China, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. “My passion for dog photography started when I had my own,” explains Denise. “I wanted to create lovely memories of all of them. Over the years I have developed my photography to become more emotional.”

Other category winners included last year’s winner, Monica van der Maden from the Netherlands, who won both the ‘Puppy’ category with an image of two Weimeraner puppies (above) and the ‘Dogs at Play’ category with a photo of Waylon the Australian Shepherd. Meanwhile, the Young Pup Photographer’ category winner was named as 11-year-old Sabine Wolpert from the United States, and the ‘Assistance Dogs’ category was won by Angelika Elendt from Germany for her portrayal of the important role dogs play in helping people with mental, emotional and/or physical disabilities. Anne Geier from Austria was also named the winner of the ‘Rescue Dog’ award. The Dogs at Work award was won by Dornine Scherpel from Canada, for her image of two collies enjoying a ride from a farmer (below).

The overall winner gets an original oil painting of their image by award-winning artist Sara Abbott. All category winners will have their images on display at the Kennel Club in Mayfair, and get a year’s membership to Flickr Pro, a SmugMug photography website, a one day photography course at Nikon School UK, and a trophy and exhibition print from Loxley Colour. This year’s competition judges included top canine photographer, Elke Vogelsang, and AP editor, Nigel Atherton.

All of the winning images plus the photos that placed second and third for each category are on display at the Kennel Club in London from 5th July until 3rd October. The exhibition is open to the public and free to visit by appointment, by emailing artgallery@thekennelclub.org.uk

To view all the winning images see here