Kennel Club announces winners of Dog Photographer of the Year contest

(Image credit: Senise Czichocki)

As a much-needed reminder that there are good things left in the world, Kennel Club has unveiled the winners of its annual Dog Photographer of the Year contest.

The images are, as ever, absolutely stunning, and the stories behind them are just as enjoyable. Kennel Club says that more than 7,000 photos were submitted to the competition from more than 70 countries, and from these, the judging panel has selected its winners for each of the ten categories, as well as an overall winner.

The categories for the awards are as follows: Portrait, Man’s Best Friend, Dogs At Play, Dogs At Work, Puppy, Oldies, I Love Dogs Because… (entrants aged between 12 and 17 years old), Young Pup Photographer (entrants under 11), Assistance Dogs and Rescue Dogs.

The best pet camera

The overall winning image this year is at the top of this post. It was snapped for the Oldies category by Swiss photographer Denise Czichocki (, and the central subject is her dog, Merlin. The image was shot on the Canon EOS 6D with the Sigma 105mm f1.4 ART lens attached, and as you can probably see, it makes full use of that f/1.4 maximum aperture.

Denise said, “I was lucky to find this beautiful magnolia tree near my home in Switzerland. And still more lucky to get the chance to take photos of wonderful dogs in these magnolia. Merlin was one of them. He is a 14 years old Podenco rescued from a shelter who is happy to live his life since two years in a lovely home in Switzerland.”

According to Denise, Merlin is deaf, so getting his attention wasn’t always a simple matter, however he gave her plenty of special moments and expressions, including the one that would ultimately see her crowned Dog Photographer of the Year 2019.

Take a look at the gallery below to see the images of the other category winners, and head to the Dog Photographer of the Year website for lots more triumphant canine images.

Read more:

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Jon Stapley

Jon spent years at IPC Media writing features, news, reviews and other photography content for publications such as Amateur Photographer and What Digital Camera in both print and digital form. With his additional experience for outlets like Photomonitor, this makes Jon one of our go-to specialists when it comes to all aspects of photography, from cameras and action cameras to lenses and memory cards, flash diffusers and triggers, batteries and memory cards, selfie sticks and gimbals, and much more besides.  

An NCTJ-qualified journalist, he has also contributed to Shortlist, The Skinny, ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, The Guardian, Trusted Reviews, CreativeBLOQ, and probably quite a few others I’ve forgotten.