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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Top Dog: Day Two at Westminster 2014

The 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show wrapped up on Tuesday night with the crowning of Best in Show for 2014.  But, before an overall champion could be crowned, Best in Group had to be awarded in the Sporting, Working and Terrier groups.

Riley (John Minchillo/AP)
Sporting Group:  The sporting group is comprised primarily of gun dogs bred to assist in hunting fowl.  This group includes retrievers, setters, pointers and spaniels.  As usual, the Golden Retriever got a lot of cheers from the Madison Square Garden crowd.  But, it was Riley the Irish Water Spaniel who was chosen to represent the group in the Best in Show competition.

Working Group:  This group features big, strong, brave dogs.  Most of these dogs were bred to guard animals, people or homes.  Others are draft dogs and rescue dogs.  Matisse the Portuguese Water Dog was one of the smallest dogs in the group, but he was named Best in Group and advanced to the finals.

Terrier Group:  The terrier group is my favorite group at Westminster.  These are little dogs with big personalities.  And, although there has been a drought lately, the terrier group has produced more Best in Show winners at Westminster than any other group.  Coming into Westminster, there was a lot of buzz surrounding Sky the Wire Fox Terrier.  And, it was indeed Sky who was crowned Best in Group.

Sky, Best in Show (AFP/Getty Images)
Best in Show:  The Best in Show competition at Westminster Kennel Club has all the pomp and circumstance of a coronation at Westminster Abbey.  This year's judge, Betty Regina Leininger, was dressed to the nines as she strode onto the Garden floor to select the champion dog of 2014.  Riley, Matisse and Sky were joined in the Best in Show competition by Nathan, Classy, Ally and Coco, the group winners from Monday night.  After careful examination, Ms. Leininger named Sky the Wire Fox Terrier as Best in Show for 2014.

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