Entries in Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (4)


Westminster Dog Show: Affenpinscher Wins Best in Show

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The winner of the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show got one howling retirement gift.

Banana Joe, a 4-year-old grand champion Affenpinscher and a crowd favorite, was crowned Best in Show at the annual dog show in New York City. It was the toy dog's last show, and the first ever Westminster Best in Show win for the breed.

Affenpinschers are notable for their monkey-like faces -- "Affe" means monkey or ape in German, where the breed originated. After beating out nearly 3,000 dogs Tuesday night, Joe will fly back to his home in the Netherlands.

Judge Michael Dougherty awarded both the Best in Show crown and the Reserve Best in Show, the second place title, to another major underdog and crowd favorite -- Swagger, a 20-month-old Old English Sheepdog.

Swagger, who was a "class" dog, meaning he did not have enough points to qualify for champion, pulled an upset when he was chosen best of the herding group on Monday, earning him a spot on the Best in Show ring. While almost every other contender in the herding group was a nationally-ranked show champion, this was only Swagger's fourth show.

The crowds went wild when Swagger pranced gracefully around the Best in Show ring. Westminster president Sean McCarthy had nicknamed the dog Rocky, a reference to the famous underdog boxer played by Sylvester Stallone.

His handler and owner, Colton Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colo., described Swagger as a "cool dog" and said the group win came as a "total shock."

"He's not even a champion yet, so he came out of the classes to win the breed, which is a huge deal, but then to go and win the group is unbelievable, just mind-blowing," Johnson said.

This was a year of firsts for Westminster. Usually staunch in tradition, this is the first year the dog show awarded a second place winner and the first time it allowed an "open competition," meaning it allowed dogs that were not of "champion" status to compete.

The event went seemingly smoothly, except during the Best in Show finals, when a PETA protestor with a sign was removed from the stands and escorted out of the arena. The incident did not seem to disrupt the show.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Dog Goes from Craigslist to Westminster

Dan Stallings(NEW YORK) -- The Westminster Dog Show is a celebration of canine entitlement. It is where purebreds are spritzed, shampooed, trimmed and blown dry, where they’re hand-fed steak, dressed in diapers and bowties and followed around with saliva zambonis, but Maverick is an exception. He was found on Craigslist.

“[He] was a rescue that was abused and neglected and in terrible shape,” Maverick’s owner, Dan Stallings, told ABC News.

Maverick’s previous owners kept him in a crate for years. He was so thin you could see his ribs. His nose was infected and he’d chewed his own tail raw, but Stallings nursed him back to health and their bond is now palpable.

Five months after rescuing Maverick, Stallings started entering him in shows, and Maverick started winning, making it to the biggest stage of all.

“I can’t even imagine [if he wins],” said Stallings. “That would really tear me up. I’d be so happy for him.”

As Stallings watched nervously, Maverick and his trainer paraded before the judge Tuesday. But in the end, the judge picked another dog.

“There’s my boy. There’s my boy,” Stallings said, petting Maverick after the defeat. “This is what it’s all about, every day.”

Stallings said he wasn’t disappointed because Maverick in a sense had already won. He had gone from forgotten to unforgettable.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Scottish Deerhound Takes Top Prize at Westminster Kennel Club Show

Photo Courtesy - Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A black haired Scottish deerhound named Hickory clinched the top prize Tuesday night at the second-longest running sports event in U.S. -- the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

The 5-year-old, 85 pound pooch was named best in show after beating out several other dogs from top breeds including a Portuguese water dog, smooth fox terrier and black cocker spaniel in the final round.

Hickory is the first Scottish deerhound to win the club's top dog title along with a long purple and gold ribbon and silver trophy.

Compared to golden retrievers and labradors, it's a breed not many people are accustomed to seeing in the U.S.

"Sure, not your common golden retriever…she loves unconditional no matter what, it's really hard to describe this dog, there are really no words for her," handler Angela Lloyd told ABC News after Hickory's win.

Bred for hunting, Scottish deerhounds are also the royal dog of Scotland.

More than 2,500 dogs from 179 breeds, including six new breeds, competed in the two-day event held at Madison Square Garden in New York.

This year's competition was an open field, with no clear favorite.  The 2010 best in show winner, Sadie the Scottie terrier, retired.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Westminster Dog Show Kicks Off Monday In New York

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Thousands of dog lovers, handlers, trainers and owners from around the world -- along with thousands of purebred pooches -- will descend on Madison Square Garden on Monday as the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show kicks off in New York.

From hounds to toys, terriers to sporting breeds, approximately 2,500 dogs from 179 breeds will compete at the annual event, which is the second longest-running sports event in the country, having been launched just one year after the Kentucky Derby.

With no clear favorite this year, the Best in Show title -- currently held by 2010's champion, Sadie the Scottie -- seems to be an open race.

Each of the competing canines have won some sort of smaller champion title -- to be invited to Westminster, a dog must be rated as top five in its breed category. This year 46 of the top 50 champions from last year will again be competing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

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