A DOG owner who has been taking part in the world's 'greatest' dog show since the late 70s is returning to the competition again this year.

Helen Lister, from Windermere, will be taking her three Italian Greyhounds to Crufts - an event which features a wide range of dog competitions.

Established in 1891, Crufts takes place over four days and will be held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham.

The event attracts thousands of dogs with their owners and handlers, displaying their dogs' skills and abilities to the crowds.

One of Helen's dogs, Florita Tuelletta, is taking part in the veteran class and has previously won Best of Breed at Crufts on four occasions.

Her other Greyhound called Revillo Amorosso is also participating in the veteran class. She is the mother to Revillo Campanella, Helen's youngest at two years old who is also taking part in the competition.

When asked about her reasons for taking part in the event for almost 50 years, she said: "It is held in high regard, and now we have dogs that come from all over the world to attend. 

"You meet friends that come from the Netherlands and America.

"I am looking forward to this year's competition because our judge is the daughter of a famous breeder who sadly has passed away so it will be very interesting to see what she thinks of the breed."

Ms Lister said it would be 'nice' to win but explained that all she can do is 'go and try her best.'

"I don't know what the competition is. There are 77 in our breed being shown. I did win a year when they had a record entry of 115," she said.

Due to her passion for the breed, she set up her rescue charity for the breed 20 years ago, The Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity.

Ms Lister said: "We are one of the oldest toy breeds and it needs safeguarding to protect it for the future. You can look back at paintings going back to 1500, and the breed hasn't changed that much, whereas some breeds are unrecognisable from what they used to be."

Crufts, organised by The Kennel Club, will take place from March 7 to 10 2024.