Westminster Best in Show goes to 'hard-working' Pekingese

A Pekingese won 'Best in Show' at the Westminster dog show in New York Tuesday night. The Pekingese beat a Dalmatian, a German Shepherd, and four other breeds for the best-in-show title.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Malachy, a Pekingese, poses for pictures after being named best in show at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012.

A placid Pekingese trotted to victory on Tuesday at the 136th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, beating a Dalmatian, a German Shepherd, a Dachshund and three other canines to become the first of his breed to win the prestigious annual event since 1990.

Malachy, a four-year-old dog formally known as Ch. Palacegarden Malachy, charmed the packed Madison Square Garden arena crowd his way to his 115th best-in-show title. Over the two days, more than 2,000 dogs representing 185 breeds have competed.

Handler David Fitzpatrick said the little dog would now retire to the life of a house pet, saying "he won't be doing commercials, he's been working hard enough for the past two years."

IN PICTURES: 2012 Westminster dog show

Dogs competing in the show came from as far away as China, Russia, Brazil and Japan, but the majority were from the United States, particularly New York, California and Pennsylvania.

Las Vegas odd makers had the Pekingese, at 6-to-1, as the favorite to win. Among the finalists, the Dalmatian was the long shot at 100-to-1.

Last year's winner, a Scottish deerhound named Hickory, was the first of its breed ever to win, defying the 60-to-1 odds against victory.

This year's Westminster dog show as also notable because six breeds competed for the first time this year -- the American English coonhound, the Cesky Terrier, the Entlebucher Mountain Dog, the Finnish Lapphund, the Norwegian Lundehund and Mexico's hairless Xoloitzcuintli.

On Monday a Chow chow owned by lifestyle guru Martha Stewart won the best-of-breed competition, but failed to place during the non-sporting group judging, which was won by the Dalmatian.

(Editing by Patricia Reaney)

IN PICTURES: 2012 Westminster dog show

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