Frank Franklin II / AP
A wire fox terrier named King took the crown on the 143th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. He is the 15th wire fox terrier to win the "Best in Show."
"You know, I love you all," says Best in Show judge Peter Green as he stands in front of the finalists. "Each one of you." After Green, who spent the year honing his own craft as a professional dog handler on the terriers, raised his arm and pointed at the dog he seemed loved the most. "He's best for the show."
7-year-old King is "as good as this," Green said, according to USA Today. "The head, the expression Everything is really, it's really as good as it is then the handler has him in perfect condition."
"I looked at the King, he was like a beautiful painting, a piece of art," King's handler, Gabriel Rangel, said earlier that day. "The way he is standing and practicing, he's the whole package."
Within two days, judges were winnowed on the field from 2,800 dogs to 203 breeds, up to seven – the best specimens from each race. Then, late Tuesday, the field dropped to six when a Michigan schipperke named Colton was ruled out unworthy due to a conflict of interest. (One of its owners has a "distant working relationship" with Green judge, written by the dog handler.)
Judges decide which dog is "best" by comparing the dog against the standards of its own race. "Dogs were originally included to make specific jobs if hunting, guarding, tracking, or joining," Westminster Kennel Club explains its website. "The standard illustrates how a dog should look to carry out its work."
A wire fox terrier, originally enlarged to aid the horoos, should be "alert, quick action, enthusiastic expression, fingers of hope in the smallest provocation," reads official standards of the American Kennel Club. The standard goes on to describe, in detail, what the dog's body looks like and how hard the coat should be.
The identity of the Terriers helps them better deal with the competitive tension of a national dog show, terrier breeder Diane Orange is explained. "They are very large and are full of themselves that they are not tired," he said. "And they do not emphasize the way some more sensitive breeds are. Very few things concern a terrier."
Bono the Havanese won the second place. Also in the finals burns the longhaired dachshund, a fan favorite. Burns has earned 26 best show titles on various dog shows, but never in Westminster, the New York Times reported. "I think one of the reasons why some breeds do not make it to the end is that they are not just the breeds of those who are very attractive in the group," says Walter Jones, a vice president of the Dachsund Club of America . the Times.