Everyone loves their pets and we all know dogs quickly become a massive part of the family the minute we welcome them into our homes.

Whether your dog is a Crufts-worthy pedigree attracting attention on its daily walk, or a rescue with a special story who stole your heart at a shelter, most dog owners don’t know how they’d live without their beloved pet.

Lockdown restrictions brought into place as a result of the coronavirus crisis have left us relying more than ever on our vital support networks of family, friends and, in many cases, dogs.

We all know our four-legged friends have the unique ability to lift our spirits, put a smile on our faces and get us out and about in the fresh air.

In these tough and challenging times, our dogs can be vitally important in keeping us happy and feeling like we’ve got a bit of much-needed companionship and entertainment.

With the ECHO searching for Merseyside’s Lockdown Dog Hero, we decided to kick start our campaign by sharing a few of our own stories about our beloved dogs and what makes them so great.

But it's your stories we really want to hear which is why we're encouraging all Merseyside dog-lovers to enter our competition by filling in the form below.

We have teamed up with family-run food for dogs business Butcher's with Merseyside's Lockdown Dog Hero receiving a £100 Butcher's voucher.

He or she will then be entered into our grand final with the overall winner receiving a year's supply of Butcher's and £1,500 towards a dog-friendy break with their hero.

You can find all the terms and conditions in the article here.

Teddy and Paddy

Lizzi Olson shared this photo of her parents' dogs Teddy and Paddy

Lizzi Olson shared these adorable photos of her parents' dogs Teddy and Paddy, also known fondly as 'The Pups'.

They're twins and are absolutely inseparable. They do everything together and Lizzi says they often “use teamwork to get up to mischief”.

Lizzi said: “We've always had westies in our family, but never two at once - they're great because they're so funny and keep us constantly entertained.

“They love watching the TV together, especially when they see animals - they end up looking behind the TV for them.”

Tony

Joe Rimmer shared this photo of his dog Tony, who he described as "The Don of South Liverpool"

Plenty of dogs have their own social media accounts - but few have got the following of Tony the Daschund.

His recognisable look means he often gets spotted out and about on the streets of south Liverpool by his fans, much to the amusement of his owner Joe Rimmer.

Joe also shared a hilarious photo of Tony showing he’s the life and soul of every party, being hoisted above his adoring fans.

Sharing his pet’s special attributes, Joe said: “This is Tony. He's the doggy Don of South Liverpool, running St Michaels with an iron paw and a deafening roar.

“T likes nothing better than lying on his couch (yes, he does have his very own couch), under the covers and barking at anyone who dares cross his path.

“He can also be found outside, sunbathing like a lizard.

“Tony joined the family in 2016, losing his eye in a battle with a lion just months later. But he remains hugely popular and the girls love him.

“The dashing Dachshund also remains locked in a mortal battle with his greatest enemy, Henry the Hoover.”

Pip and Archie

Alastair Machray shared this photo of his dogs Pip and Archie

Liverpool ECHO editor-in-chief Alastair Machray shared a photo of his own dogs Pip and Archie relaxing at home in lockdown.

Beagle Pip and Greyhound Archie are big fans of a walk along the beach - although Archie’s racing heritage means he can often outrun his sister.

Alastair joked that his dog’s mischievous antics are one of the things that make them particularly special - including stealing bits of food they definitely weren’t entitled to.

Their naughty behaviour can mean Alastair is left having to clean up their path of destruction, while he’s supposed to be editing the UK’s biggest regional news publication.