OUR elected officials often struggle to reach out across party lines and find things in common with opposition politicians – but there's one beloved annual event that makes sure differences can be put to one side, even if just for an afternoon.

The Holyrood Dog of the Year event took place outside the Scottish Parliament earlier today, with 10 MSPs and their furry friends competing for the prestigious award.

According to the Kennel Club, which teams up with the MSPs to host the apolitical competition each year, the event "celebrates the unique bond between man and dog – and aims to promote responsible dog ownership". 

READ MORE: WATCH: BBC newsreader can't handle the puns in Holyrood Dog of the Year segment

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, added: "The competition itself is light-hearted and an entertaining day out – not least because of the unusual criteria on which the dogs are judged!"

This year, the MSPs participating included Tories Jeremy Balfour, Bill Bowman and Jamie Halcro Johnston, Labour's Iain Gray, Monica Lennon and Richard Leonard, the SNP's David Torrance and Christine Grahame, LibDem Alex Cole-Hamilton and the Greens' Alison Johnstone.

The Parliamentarians were able to bring their own woofers or team up with a Dogs Trust rescue dog for the event.

The MSPs showed off their dogs' agility in a series of high-impact obstacle challenges.

Balfour and his dog Sadie won the official title, while Johnstone and her Dogs Trust rescue dog Georgie came second, and Lennon and her pup Cuillin came third.

And even for the canines that didn't secure a place of the podium, there was some good news.

Bowman's incredibly fluffy rescue pup Doug has managed to find a new family to live with since taking part in the competition. 

But some dogs weren't too thrilled to have missed out on the title ... 

Until next time, four-legged friends ...