A SOUTH Lakeland vet is competing with two of her 'versatile' dogs at a world famous dog show today (March 7).

Elizabeth Ayrton, from Stainton, near Kendal, has been showing at Crufts with her Bearded Collies for the past nine years.

This year, all four of her dogs have qualified for their breed category but she will only be taking two to Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre.

"The two entered are Aoife and my homebred Fleur," Mrs Ayrton, 55, said. "They are all Bearded Collies which were originally bred as droving dogs who could work both cattle and sheep.

"Mine go out on the fells - they are not kept clean all the time and they certainly loved the recent snow this winter but they can look good too!"

To qualify for the show, the dogs had to place at a championship event - both Aoife and Fleur achieved this at the South Wales Kennel Association Championship Show.

Preparation for Crufts involves ensuring the dogs maintain a good diet throughout the year, undertake regular exercise and are bathed and well groomed before the show.

Mrs Aryton, who is in the process of completing a Master’s degree in animal behaviour, said that she loved that the Bearded Collies were able to be both active and presentable.

"They are definitely characters," she said. "They do not just do what you want, you have to work with them."

Mrs Aryton said that it will be a 'treat' to attend the show and does not mind if she comes away empty handed.

"I think there are usually over 300 Bearded Collies there," she said. "So it's very much about going to enjoy the day and if you get anything it's a bonus."