FOX SPORTS

Many winners in Day 1 of dog show

Malachy the Peke at Westminster Kennel Club dog show (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Malachy the Peke won best in show last year. Who will take top honors tonight?
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NEW YORK (AP)

Banana Joe has this little quirk. The affenpinscher with the monkeylike face shakes his oversized head so hard, he sometimes loses his balance.

westminster kennel club dog show

DOGGIE UP-DO

Canine stylists get their most creative at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

That's OK. At this level of competition at the Westminster dog show, having a big head helps.

"He has a huge impression of himself," handler Ernesto Lara said.

Ditto for Jewel, the American foxhound that likes vanilla milkshakes. While her entourage fussed over her early win Monday night, she looked around Madison Square Garden for more action.

"Right now, in her mind, she's thinking this is exactly how it should've happened," said John Miller, son of co-owner Lisa Miller. "She knows she's awesome."

A little ego can go a long way at America's top pooch pageant, especially heading into the best in show pick Tuesday night.

Banana Joe won best of breed for the third straight year, then took the toy group. Jewel was the top hound and Honor the bichon frise won the nonsporting group — Ellen Charles co-owns both dogs.

"My lucky night," she said.

westminster kennel club dog show

KISSES

What better way to prepare for Valentine's Day than competing at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show with the one you love?

An old English sheepdog earned herding honors. It was quite a surprise by Westminster standards — 90-pound Swagger is just 20 months old and had only entered three previous dog shows.

"Such a cool dog," breeder-owner-handler Colton Johnson said.

The top working, sporting and terriers come Tuesday, and judge Michael Dougherty was set to choose the best in show shortly before 11 p.m. on the USA Network. A Doberman playfully called Fifi and a big-winning wire fox terrier called Sky were among the favorites to walk off with the prized silver bowl.

There were 2,721 entries this year, though some missed out after getting stranded by the recent blizzard that hit the Northeast. The 137th Westminster features dogs in 187 breeds and varieties with a pair of newcomers, the treeing Walker coonhound and the Russell terrier.

Sophie left without any ribbons. But with perfectly trimmed pompoms and fluffed out fur, she was the very essence of poodle pulchritude.

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