DPOTY Overall Winner © Maria Davison - The Kennel Club
Maria Davison

There's a Dog Photography Contest and the Winners Are Adorable as Hell

If you clicked on this story, I just want you to know exactly what you're getting into. Hold your breath. Prepare your body. The winners of the 12th annual Dog Photographer of the Year Awards for 2017 were announced this week by the Kennel Club, an international organization dedicated to dogs, dog owners, and people who work with dogs. What follows are probably the most adorable, most stunning, most poignant photos of dog photography you will probably look at this year. 

The overall winner of the awards was Maria Davison, for her portrait of her friend's dog for the "Man's Best Friend" category (see above). All of the winners and runners-up illustrate not just the intangible joy a great dog can provide, but also the power great photography can wield in telling their stories. Davison said as much in this statement about her photo, provided by the Kennel Club: "It is one of the photographs I am most proud of. It was not only a beautiful, real and candid moment I got to capture, but also a demonstration of the strong bond between one of my closest friends and her dog, Yzma."

Scroll though the photos of all the categories below (including not one, but two, categories just for puppies), and if you get home to your own dog tonight, scratch 'em a little extra behind the ears, just because.


DPOTY Dogs at Play 1st © Kaylee Greer The Kennel Club
Kaylee Greer

1st place: Kaylee Greer

DPOTY Dogs at Play 2nd © Rodrigo Capuski The Kennel Club
Rodrigo Capuski

2nd place: Rodrigo Capulski

DPOTY Dogs at Play 3rd © Will Holdcroft Kennel Club
Will Holdcroft

3rd place: Will Holdcroft


DPOTY Dogs at Work  1st © Sarah Caldecott The Kennel Club
Sarah Caldecott

1st place: Sarah Caldecott

DPOTY Dogs at Work 2nd © Lucy Charman The Kennel Club
Lucy Charman

2nd place: Lucy Charman

DPOTY Dogs at Work 3rd © Peter Steffensen The Kennel Club
Peter Steffenson

3rd place: Peter Steffenson


DPOTY Assistant  1st © Alasdair MacLeod The Kennel Club
Alasdair MacLeod

1st place: Alasdair MacLeod

DPOTY Assistant 2nd © John Ferrett The Kennel Club
John Ferrett

2nd place: John Ferrett

DPOTY Assistant 3rd © Julie Morrish The Kennel Club
Julie Morrish

3rd place: Julie Morrish


DPOTY Rescue 1st © Alexandra Robins The Kennel Club
Alexandra Robins

1st place: Alexandra Robins

DPOTY Rescue 2nd © Martin Tosh The Kennel Club
Martin Tosh

2nd place: Martin Tosh

DPOTY Rescue 3rd © Kaylee Greer The Kennel Club
Kaylee Greer

3rd place: Kaylee Greer


DPOTY Mans Best Friend 1st and Overall Winner © Maria Davison The Kennel Club
Maria Davison

1st place: Maria Davison

DPOTY Mans Best Friend 2nd © Emma Williams The Kennel Club
Emma Williams

2nd place: Emma Williams

DPOTY Mans Best Friend 3rd © Annemarie King The Kennel Club
Annemarie King

3rd place: Annemarie King


DPOTY Portrait 1st © Anastasia Vetkovskaya The Kennel Club (2)
Anastasia Vetkovskaya

1st place: Anastasia Vetkovskaya

DPOTY Portrait 2nd © David Yanez The Kennel Club (2)
David Yanez

2nd place: David Yanez

DPOTY Portrait 3rd © Noel Bennett The Kennel Club (2)
Noel Bennett

3rd place: Noel Bennett


DPOTY Puppy 1st © Mirjam Schreurs The Kennel Club (2)
Mirjam Schreurs

1st place: Mirjam Schreurs

DPOTY Puppy 2nd © Tracy Kirby The Kennel Club (2)
Tracy Kirby

2nd place: Tracy Kirby

DPOTY Puppy 3rd © Ruud Lauritsen The Kennel Club (2)
Ruud Lauritsen

3rd place: Ruud Lauritsen


DPOTY Young Pup 1st © Dylan Jenkins The Kennel Club (2)
Dylan Jenkins

1st place: Dylan Jenkins

DPOTY Young Pup 2nd © Jay Case The Kennel Club
Jay Case

2nd place: Jay Case

DPOTY Young Pup 3rd © Samantha Hung The Kennel Club (2)
Samantha Hung

3rd place: Samantha Hung


DPOTY I Love Dogs 1st © Julian Gottfried The Kennel Club
Julian Gottfried

1st place: Julian Gottfried

DPOTY I Love Dogs 2nd Summer Clark The Kennel Club
Summer Clark

2nd place: Summer Clark

DPOTY I Love Dogs 3rd © Kirsten van Ravenhordt The Kennel Club
Kirsten van Ravenhordt

3rd place: Kirsten van Ravenhordt


DPOTY Oldies 1st © John Liot The Kennel Club
John Liot

1st place: John Liot

DPOTY Oldies 2nd © Igor Mysenhevych The Kennel Club
Igor Mysenhevych

2nd place: Igor Mysenhevych

DPOTY Oldies 3rd © Tracy Kirby The Kennel Club
Tracy Kirby

3rd place: Tracy Kirby

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Eric Vilas-Boas is a writer and editor at Thrillist. Follow him @e_vb_.