Pekingese, a runner-up from 2011, wins Westminster
Malachy the Pekingese, a breed once favored by Chinese royalty, is top dog at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
February 15th, 2012
12:19 PM ET

Pekingese, a runner-up from 2011, wins Westminster

The second time was the charm for Malachy the Pekingese at Westminster.

Malachy, a Best in Show finalist at last year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, won the top prize Tuesday night at this year’s installment at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The squat and hairy 4-year-old from Pennsylvania became the fourth Pekingese - and only the 10th dog from the toy group - to win Best in Show in the 105-year history of the award.

“I’m still in shock,” Malachy’s handler and co-owner, David Fitzpatrick, told USA Network seconds after the prize was given. “It’s such a thrill, and I’m just so proud to have a dog that’s of this quality that could win a show like this and have an opportunity to exhibit him here. It’s the thrill of a lifetime.”

Malachy won the toy group - for the second straight year - a day earlier, and vied for Best in Show with the winners of six other groups. The last toy to win Best in Show was a papillon, in 1999.

Judges are instructed to evaluate dogs on how well they fit the written standards - the ideal appearance, movement, temperament and other traits - of their breed. Judge Cindy Vogels of Colorado made her decision after inspecting the seven group winners in front of a crowd that cheered its favorites.

Besides Malachy, the other group winners - and Best in Show finalists - were:

- Hound: A dachshund named Playing With Fire.
- Nonsporting: A Dalmatian named Ruffian.
- Herding: A German shepherd named Captain Crunch.
- Sporting: An Irish setter named Caught Red Handed.
- Terrier: A Kerry blue terrier named Chelsey.
- Working: A Doberman pinscher named Veni Vidi Vici.

Terriers have won 45 of the 105 Westminster Best in Show titles. About 2,000 dogs, representing 185 breeds, were competing in this year's show.

Last year, a hound - Hickory the Scottish deerhound - became the first of her breed ever to capture Westminster’s Best in Show, and only the fifth dog from the hound category to win.

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Filed under: Animals • Dogs • New York
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Dee

    I am also a pekingese owner and he is the best dog that I have ever owned. He is wonderful and loving. High maintenance yes, but I wouldn't trade him for any other breed.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Solitaire

    Aww, that's one cutie dog! Congratulations, buddy!

    February 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gro

    The Doberman should have won. This dog looks like a spider.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • MCW

      I sooo agree. The Doberman was drop dead gorgeous and I'm not a Doberman fan. This dog was sooo not cute and I got so tired of the handler constantly brushing it. Why pick the ugly dog?

      February 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      I was so disappointed in this choice. "It" doesn't even look like dog.

      February 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • happypuppy

      I agree also that the Doberman should have won. So beautiful, elegant, noble-looking. What a show-stopper.

      February 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Danny

    that dog is so cute... I think i will use it when my Swiffer breaks

    February 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. heyheyhey69

    I would hit that thing with a shovel if I saw it in my house.

    February 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neelia

      LOL.. now THAT'S FUNNY

      February 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • hmmm

      You have a shovel in your house?

      February 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. snaporaz

    They really need to have two separate shows: one for dogs, one for fashion accessories.

    February 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jennifer

    This deformed little monster sums up everything that is wrong with dog breeding and dog shows.

    February 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • L

      this breed existed way before dog shows existed. dog shows didn't create this "monster".

      February 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Jeez Jennifer...lighten up. That breed has been around alot longer than you have. Somebody loves him. Go find a gerbil to step on!!

      February 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DW

    The berner's are the best !

    February 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MCP

    That's a dog? I thought it was Fizzgig from The Dark Crystal!

    February 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jill

    What a great looking dog! Congradulations! And to all the haters......jealousy is a very in attractive trait:)))

    February 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. rad666

    Funny, it don't look Chinese.

    February 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gro

    We should have known when we saw the judge's outfit that she had bad taste!!

    February 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Susan

    I am the proud owner of 2 great Pekingese dogs and am so pleased that Malachy won! However, I can see from the comments here that it hasn't increased the breed's popularity. Too bad – they are really nice little dogs.

    February 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. GIUK

    I saw something that looked a lot like Malachy growing on a dead chicken under my barn.

    February 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. eugenia

    I am shocked at the Judge's decision and I could sense the crowd was also not in agreement as well. Either the Doberman or the Dalmatian should have won. The Doberman was drop dead gorgeous and the Dalmatian too as well as the Irish Setter. I am sure that little dog is very nice and sweet but.......it's not a pleasant to look at.

    February 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
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