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Giorgio Armani, Xoloitzcuintli, Named Best Of His Breed At Westminster Dog Show

AP    
First Posted: 02/13/2012 3:02 pm Updated: 02/14/2012 11:16 pm

By BEN WALKER, The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Wobbling the whole way, a people-pleasing Pekingese made quite a walk down the green carpet at Madison Square Garden.

A Dalmatian and a German shepherd were in more of a hurry to win at America's most prestigious dog show.

Malachy the Peke drew cheers that grew louder with every tiny step Monday night and repeated as the top toy at the Westminster Kennel Club event. Pink tongue peeking out from his black face, he beat a prize affenpinscher called Banana Joe in a most competitive group.

"He doesn't run. He has a dignified Pekingese gait," handler David Fitzpatrick said.

Malachy also has 114 best in show ribbons on his resume, and is aiming to add this title. His early work done here, he rested on a cool pack after competing.

A lively Dalmatian with black spectacle markings around his eyes took the nonsporting group. In well over 101 years, no Dalmatian has ever won Westminster's top honor.

"That's what they just told me," handler Michael Scott said.

Captain Crunch the German shepherd romped to victory in the herding group. Handled by old pro James Moses, his champion attracted ample applause, as German shepherds always do at the Garden.

"The crowd really had him up," Moses said. "He handles the carpet well."

A wire-haired dachshund called Cinders led the hounds, then wanted to sit rather than stand for her victory picture.

"She's a clown," handler Cheri Koppenhaver said.

More than 2,000 entries in 185 breeds and varieties were at the 136th Westminster. The best in show will be chosen Tuesday evening.

Still to come: a wire fox terrier who won the National show and a standard poodle who took the Eukanuba event. There's also a black cocker spaniel who was the No. 1 show dog last year - he's named Beckham, maybe a good omen since a 12-story ad featuring soccer star David Beckham posing in his underwear is painted on a building that overlooks the Garden.

Beckham the dog, by the way, beat out Malachy as the country's top-winning show dog in 2011.

Oh, and a Valentine's Day treat on tap, too: A couple from Washington state with a Tibetan mastiff plans to hold their wedding among all the pooches.

Breed winners included a chow chow co-owned by Martha Stewart and a xoloitzcuintli called Giorgio Armani, a nice start for the alphabetically challenged contestant during Fashion Week in New York City.

A Brussels griffon named Tina Fey, a barking petits bassets griffons vendeen and a sprightly Chihuahua were among the fan favorites. Also getting noticed was a Manchester toy terrier, a breed that can live to be 20 years old.

Banana Joe was among the top contenders to be standing in the coveted silver bowl at the end. Nearly 5, he was a big winner in Europe before coming to the United States.

Affens and Brussels griffons are related way back. They're similar in size and stature, but Banana Joe's handler, Ernesto Lara, drew a distinction.

"Griffons are wonderful dogs," he said. "Affenpinschers are wonderful people."

Celebrities are fairly common at Westminster - Glenn Close, Kristin Davis and Mary Tyler Moore have made appearances - and Stewart made her presence known with her dog called GK.

"Ghenghis Khan did it!" she tweeted. "Best of Breed at Westminster!!!! Big deal."

The xoloitzcuintli (shoh-loh-eets-KWEEN'-tlee), formerly known as the Mexican hairless, is among six new breeds at this year's show. They're called a "show low" (SHOH'-loh) for short and Giorgio Armani drew cheers from the fans crowded around the ring when he was picked as the best of his breed.

"They're wonderful, they're an ancient breed, it's like a best-kept secret," Lara said.

In a few years, there could be up to 240 breeds at Westminster. But there won't be a puggle, labradoodle or Maltipoo among them. A "designer dog" is more than OK for the White House - President Barack Obama and his family considered a labradoodle before getting a Portuguese water dog - but they're absent at the Garden.

To get to Westminster, a breed must meet American Kennel Club criteria - there has to be an ample population with a three-generation pedigree, a geographic spread of those dogs and a parent club to establish breed standards.

"All dogs are lovable," said the AKC's Lisa Peterson. "But a crossbreed is not a breed."

Check out the slideshow below for Westminster Dog Show photos:
Loading Slideshow...
  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Pekingese Malachy poses for photographers after winning Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Samoyed Grand Champion Mcmagic's Candied Ham of Pebblesrun competes in the Sporting Group at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Pekingese Malachy carried by David Fitzpatrick, co-owner and handler, are congratulated by runners up after they win Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • A handler holds down the tail of a Portu

    A handler holds down the tail of a Portuguese water Dog in the judging ring during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012 in New York. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Irish Setter Grand Champion Shadagee Caught Red Handed, winner of the Sporting Group, is handled by Adam Bernardin at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • Malachy, a Pekingese, after winning Best

    Malachy, a Pekingese, after winning Best in Show during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Doberman Pinscher Grand Champion Protocal's Veni Vidi Vici (R) wins the Working Group in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • Malachy, a Pekingese, after winning Best

    Malachy, a Pekingese, after winning Best in Show during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Doberman Pinscher Grand Champion Protocal's Veni Vidi Vici wins the Working Group in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Irish Setter Grand Champion Shadagee Caught Red Handed, winner of the Sporting Group, is handled by Adam Bernardin at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Irish Setter Grand Champion Shadagee Caught Red Handed, winner of the Sporting Group, is handled by Adam Bernardin at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Pekingese Malachy carried by David Fitzpatrick, co-owner and handler, are congratulated by runners up after they win Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Irish Setter Grand Champion Shadagee Caught Red Handed, winner of the Sporting Group, is handled by Adam Bernardin at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Pekingese Malachy is held for photographers by David Fitzpatrick, co-owner and handler, after winning Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • Raaza, a Komondorok, waits to go into the ring during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012 in New York. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CJ, a Newfoundland, in the backstage area during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A Dogue de Bordeaux waits to go in the

    A Dogue de Bordeaux waits to go in the judging ring during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Jackson, a 6-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from Argyle, Texas, is photographed at the Spot Suite at the Affinia Manhattan hotel, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 in New York. There are 2,000 top dogs in town for Monday's start of the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel club show. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Elvis, a 4-year-old Bearded Collie works out on a dog tread in the Green Room Salon and Spa at the Pennsylvania hotel, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 in New York. There are 2,000 top dogs in town for Monday's start of the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel club show. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Westminster Kennel Club Director of Communications David Frei, right, leads a dog procession across 7th Ave with last years' champion Hickory, a 5-year old Scottish Deerhound, ahead of a news conference, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 in New York. The Westminster Kennel Club introduced six new breeds in advance of the Westminster Dog Show.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Hoss, a 5-year old Entlebucher Mountain Dog, is photographed during a news conference, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, in New York. The Westminster Kennel Club introduced six new breeds in advance of the Westminster Dog Show. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Lorraine Shore, of Sequim, Washington, grooms Dazzle a 2-year-old Papillon at the Green Room Salon and Spa at the Pennsylvania hotel, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 in New York. There are 2,000 top dogs in town for Monday's start of the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel club show. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Jenna, a 4-year-old Great Dane from Japan takes advantage of the facilities at the Spot Suite at the Affinia Manhattan hotel, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 in New York. There are 2,000 top dogs in town for Monday's start of the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel club show. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Sitting in the lap of her costumed owner Gena Oddo, of Carriere, Miss., Sophia Oddo, a white pomeranian, attends the 2012 Pre-Westminster Fashion Show Friday Feb. 10, 2012 in New York. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)

  • This undated photo courtesy of Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show shows a Cesky terrier. Six breeds will make history this year as the newest breeds eligible to compete at Westminster. (AP Photo/Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show)

  • Dog Fashion Show Held Ahead Of Next Week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 10: Miu Miu, a Chihuahua, poses at the pre-Westminster Fashion Show at Hotel Pennsylvania ahead of next week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 10, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • Dog Fashion Show Held Ahead Of Next Week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 10: A dog rides in a stroller at the pre-Westminster Fashion Show at Hotel Pennsylvania ahead of next week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 10, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • Dog Fashion Show Held Ahead Of Next Week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 10: Sophia, white Pomeranian from Mississippi, sits on Jena Oddo's lap at the pre-Westminster Fashion Show at Hotel Pennsylvania ahead of next week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 10, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • Dog Fashion Show Held Ahead Of Next Week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 10: Grace Forester, who stars in a reality series 'Doggie Moms,' holds Rosie (L) and Portia (R) at the pre-Westminster Fashion Show at Hotel Pennsylvania ahead of next week's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 10, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • This undated photo courtesy of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show shows an Entlebucher mountain dog. Six breeds will make history this year as the newest breeds eligible to compete at Westminster. (AP Photo/Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show)

  • This undated photo courtesy of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show shows an American English coonhound. Six breeds will make history this year as the newest breeds eligible to compete at Westminster. (AP Photo/Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show)

  • This undated photo courtesy of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show shows a Finnish Lapphund. Six breeds will make history this year as the newest breeds eligible to compete at Westminster. (AP Photo/Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show)

  • Michelle Paulin and Storm,a Dogue de Bor

    Michelle Paulin and Storm,a Dogue de Bordeaux, in the judging ring during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012 in New York. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Ripley, a Golden Retriever, during the

    Ripley, a Golden Retriever, during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012 in New York. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Dillon, a Sealyham Terrier, during the

    Dillon, a Sealyham Terrier, during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012 in New York. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Bentley, a Cocker Spaniel, in the backs

    Bentley, a Cocker Spaniel, in the backstage area during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012 in New York. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Trinity, a Neopolitan Mastiff, waits to

    Trinity, a Neopolitan Mastiff, waits to go in the judging ring during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Champion Sandale-Paj Captain Barbosa, a Great Dane, rests at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Dogs go to the bathroom at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • World's Top Dogs Compete At Westminster Dog Show

    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 14: Dogs and their significant others ride in the freight elevator as they leave Madison Square Garden on the last day of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 14, 2012 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was first held in 1877, is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)

  • A young girl watches judging during the

    A young girl watches judging during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden February 14, 2012 in New York. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A "Dogs Against Romney" press event in f

    A 'Dogs Against Romney' press event in front of Madison Square Garden during the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show February 14, 2012 in New York. The protest is sponsored by Dogs Against Romney - and will seek to focus more public attention on the fact that US presidential candidate Mitt Romney forced his dog to ride for 12-hours on the roof of his car. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

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