Celebrities show off their paw-fect pooches to support the Great Guide Dogs Virtual Dog Show

As dog shows across the country continue to be cancelled or postponed, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Guide Dogs is giving people the opportunity to celebrate their canine companions and their talents, by hosting their first ever virtual dog show.

A host of celebrities are supporting the event, sharing their own pictures to inspire others to get creative with their canine friends.

Ainsley Harriott, who has submitted both video and photos of his dog Bobby, said: “The charity Guide Dogs does such fantastic work all year-round supporting people with sight loss, and that work is more important than ever now. I know I’m finding lockdown hard enough, but for people with sight loss, social isolation can happen every day.

“That’s why Bobby and I are so excited to support the Great Guide Dogs Virtual Dog Show. I hope many others will join us – so get those cameras out, get snapping and get entering!”

Ainsley Harriott and his dog Bobby
Ainsley Harriott and Bobby’s entry for the ‘Best Friends’ category.

The virtual dog show is open for entries now, via the Guide Dogs’ Facebook group: . Participants can submit a photo or video into one of the 12 following categories, with two categories being released each week for six weeks:

  • Happiest Hound photo
  • Scruffiest Lockdown Dog photo
  • Best Friends photo
  • Picture Perfect photo
  • Golden Oldie photo
  • Sleeping Beauty photo
  • Waggiest Tail video
  • Doggy Divas video
  • Dog Athletics Superstar video
  • Doggy Paddle video
  • Top Trick video
  • Patient Pooches video

Plus there’s a bloopers category for those moments when filming might not entirely go to plan!

Nicola Walker and her dog Dora
Nicola Walker and Dora’s entry for the ‘Best Friend’ category.

As well as giving Brits the opportunity to show off their four-legged friends, the event is also being held to raise vital funds to support the sight loss community.

Over the next six weeks, participants will be encouraged to get their friends and family to “like” their entries and donate. From mid-July donation-based voting will take place over the semi-finals and finals, hosted on Tiltify.

Best in show will be announced in the second week of August.

Beth Marsh, Fundraising Special Projects Manager at Guide Dogs said: “As we continue life in lockdown, we wanted to give our supporters an opportunity to come together and be a part of an event, while also making a difference to others. This is our first ever virtual dog show and we are really excited to see how creative participants get with their entries.

“The welfare of our 8,000 dogs is still of utmost importance in these unprecedented times and we rely on donations to fund our work. Each of our life-changing dogs costs £13 a day to support – that’s £100,000 every single day. Voting is open to all – dog owners or not – giving everyone the chance to help us raise funds to support those in the UK living with sight loss.”

For more information please visit guidedogs.org.uk/virtual-dog-show