The Kennel Club has announced the winners of the 2019 Dog Photographer of the Yearcompetition, revealing a selection of heartwarming images that celebrate man’s best friend. Now in its 14th year, the international, annual competition received almost 7,000 entries from over 70 different countries around the world, including Brazil, Canada, USA, China, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. The fantastic winning dog photos were chosen from 10 categories—Portrait, Man’s Best Friend, Dogs At Play, Dogs At Work, Puppy, Oldies, Assistance Dogs, Rescue Dogs, I Love Dogs Because… (for entrants aged between 12 and 17 years old), and Young Pup Photographer (for entrants aged 11 and under).
Swiss photographer Denise Czichocki was chosen as the Overall Winner and 1st Place Winner in the Oldies category for her image, Dreaming Merlin. Her photo beautifully captures the 14-year-old rescue Podengo, sat amongst a pink-flowered magnolia tree. “It wasn’t easy to take photos of him because of his absolute deafness,” says Czichocki. “So I couldn’t work with noises to get his attention…afterwards it wasn’t necessary. He gave me so many beautiful moments as you can see in this picture. This is Merlin, beautiful, dreamy and kind of wise. A wonderful old dog with so much charisma.” Czichocki will receive an original oil painting of her image by award-winning artist Sara Abbott.
Anne Geier from Austria won 1st Place in the Rescue Dog category for her sweet photo, Finntastic, capturing the unbreakable bond between her and her loving rescue pup, Finn. The winner of the Assistance Dogs category was German photographer Angelika Elendt for her image, Soul Comforter. Showcasing an affectionate canine character cuddling up to an elderly woman, it visualizes the important role dogs can play in helping people with mental, emotional, and/or physical disabilities. The Kennel Club Charitable Trust will donate £500 (about $623) to the charities of both winners’ choice.
One of the best parts of the Dog Photographer of the Year competition is that kids can also apply. This year, 11-year-old Northern California Sabine Wolpert won 1st Place in the Young Pup Photographer category for her image titled Sea Dog, which features her pet Havanese (named Georgie) at the beach. “I took this picture on a beach near my home,” Wolpert reveals. “Georgie had been running around. She brought a clump of seaweed to me and I put it on her head. I expected her to shake it off but she seemed to like it so I took her picture.”
All of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winning images for each category will be on display at The Kennel Club, London from July 5th until October 3rd, 2019. You can find out more about the competition on the Dog Photographer of the Year website.