Animal lovers from East Renfrewshire aim to prove their four-legged friends are ‘top dog’ as they compete at this year’s Crufts.

Barrhead woman Alison Gibson is among those heading to the world’s best-known dog show.

Barrhead News: Alison Gibson with her cute pooches Akira and NovaAlison Gibson with her cute pooches Akira and Nova

She will be there with six-year-old Akira and his 15-month-old sister Nova, who are a pair of Japanese Spitz that hope to follow in their dad Kai’s paw prints.

He won Best of Breed in 2019, much to Alison’s delight.

That was her first win at Crufts and she is hoping for more success this year, after the 2021 contest had to be scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Alison told the Barrhead News: “I’m so excited to get back out there competing again.

“When Kai won, I was so elated I couldn’t believe it and I’m hoping I can experience that again.”

Also heading to the NEC in Birmingham for the big event are Barrhead man Bob Lennox and his seven-year-old yellow labrador Maya.

She will be competing in the veterans class for the first time and, although she currently suffers from pancreatitis, Bob is in confident mood.

He said: “Maya loves competing and always gets so excited with all of the people and other dogs.

“I’m hoping we will be successful again this year.”

Almost 20,000 dogs will be on show at Crufts, which is organised by The Kennel Club.

It starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday, with parts of the event being live-streamed on YouTube.

A spokesperson for The Kennel Club said: “Pedigree dogs from all over the globe will compete across four days to be awarded the coveted Best in Show prize.

“The UK’s top crossbreeds will vie for the judge’s attention to be named Scruffts Family Crossbreed Dog of the Year, the crowds will find out which four-legged hero has been voted the winner of The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award and dogs from around the world will battle it out in agility, flyball and obedience competitions.

“As well as enjoying watching the many different events and competitions at the show, visitors can also browse hundreds of stalls selling everything from pet portraits to the latest must-have doggy accessories.”

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