The Best Dogs and Bitches: Behind the Scene Photos at the Westminster Dog Show

The Dogs of Westminster
Massimo, a Yorkshire Terrier, won second place in the Toy Group Monday night. Bows are allowed on some toys. (Michael Nagle/The New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster
Grand champion Forestcreek Louisiana Lagniappe, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is bathed in the benching area. (Michael Nagle/The New York Observer)
The dogs of Westminster.
The Bull Terrier's handler told visitors the dog was unfaze-able. Children were welcomed to approach. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster.
"This was mommy's first dog!" cried a woman, pointing at the Samoyed. The father clarified that Mommy had a dog like this one, not this exact dog. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
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The Dogs of Westminster
This Komondor, Chauncey, who won best in breed, weighs 160 pounds according to his owner. She does not recommend dirt backyards with the breed. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster.
GCH Flessner's International S'Cess, a Bloodhound, took home second place in the hound group. The hound victor, Miss P., went on to win Best of Show. (Michael Nagle/The New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster
And a little affection never hurt. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
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The Dogs of Westminster.
The Akita seemed to be one of the few breeds who enjoyed grooming. Rather than a hair dryer, handlers used what looked like a vacuum with the airflow reversed. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster
"Swagger rocks!" exclaimed a woman in a Jagermeister hat at the site of the Old English Sheepdog, who won best of the herding group and was a favorite to take Best in Show. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster.
The Irish Setter took fourth place in the sporting group. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
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The Dogs of Westminster.
A Cocker Spaniel leaves the show table. Cocker Spaniels are judged as three different breeds, dependent on color. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
Dogs of Westminster
A Red and White Spaniel gives an energetic performance during the best of sporting group competition. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster.
Janice Hayes shows LIz, an English Springer Spaniel, who won both best in breed—a rarity for a Springer Spaniel Bitch—and best of sporting group. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
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The Dogs of Westminster
"She does everything right, she strikes a pose everytime," said Ms. Hayes. Alas, Liz did not take home Best in Show. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster.
Chauncey competing in the ring later that night. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster.
Matisse, the Portuguese Water Dog (the same breed the Obamas own) was a favorite to win Best in Show. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
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The Dogs of Westminster.
Earlier in the night, Matisse's owner said this was likely the dog's last all-breed competition. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster
Matisse will once again enjoy the koi pond of his handler's home after the show. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster.
A handler grooms a Scottish Terrier in the few, final moments before the judge approaches. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
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The Dogs of Westminster
Miss P., the Westminster champion, in the show ring Tuesday. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster
The Best in Group winners prepare to enter the ring for the Best in Show competition. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster
Charlie, the Skye Terrier, who won best of group, competes in Best of Show. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
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The Dogs of Westminster
"He loves the crowd, he really turns on with the crowd," said Mr. Cornelius. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster
Miss P. sits like the champion she is after winning Westminster. (Ljubica Popovic/New York Observer)
The Dogs of Westminster
Her handler Will Alexander said that Miss P. was almost quivering with anticipation in the seconds before the judge pronounced her the winner.

Last night, Miss P., an elegant 15-inch Beagle took top honors at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, somewhat eclipsing the other very fine dogs and bitches who competed alongside her. But Monday and Tuesday evening were full of great performances—Swagger, the Old English Sheepdog’s crowd-pleasing poses, the Welsh Terrier’s mugging for the camera, the veritable bounce of the Portuguese Water dog in the ring.

And for those who don’t frequent the dog show circuit all year round, it was also a chance to see enormous working dogs like the Dogue de Bordeaux or Komondor, not often spotted within the close confines of New York City apartments, or breeds like the Afghan Hound and Skye Terrier, whose floor-sweeping hair styles only a show dog could keep.

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