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. Justmy2cents

    He is a cutie putie..
    though he does look like one of my house shoes...

    February 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cali girl

    my favorite was a staffordshire bull terrier. She opened her mouth to breathe and it looked like she was smiling! It was so cute.
    Congrats to Malachy, very beautiful and deserving of Best In Show.

    February 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. nancy

    I'm a basset hound owner and was, of course rooting for the breed. But, I must admit, little Malachi certainly has stage presence! He was on the "Today" show this morning, and was well-behaved and didn't even growl when Matt Lauer was being annoying! All kidding aside, it was nice to see something else on the news this morning besides rude politicos, speculation about Whitney Houston, the Kardashians' hijinks and weird perverts hurting kids! Thanks for making us smile little puppy!

    February 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gullah Gal

    If another of these damned caterpillars wins again I will not be in the audience. There is nothing about them that even hits of a dog underneath. Horrible!!!!!

    February 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gunnydafoxx

    It's a DOG, people! Spewing hatred over a Pekingese winning just shows how full of misery you haters are! Sucks to be you!

    February 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Carol

    He's a cutie! But, then they're all cuties to me.

    February 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. PErickson

    Of course it's a dog, but that doesn't mean everyone has to like it. Some folks love Pekingese and others don't. Don't take it so personally. If everyone liked the same type of dog, there would only need to be one breed.

    February 15, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nature's Awe

    What's terrible about seeing a dog like this bred win, is that this isn't what that dog should look like. Breeders have deformed dogs all for the cause of "because I can" and people gobble them up at big $$. The list goes on and on of aliments with joints, eyes, and one of the worst...not being able to breath properly because breeders have swished the muzzles to the point of non existance. Shame on all of you who think this is cute!

    February 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mr.HowdyDoody

    For me to p00p on.

    February 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tracy

    I truly believe all the finalists were beautiful examples of their breeds and deserved to be there. However, I was so disapointed that that stunning German Shepherd Capt Crunch-who's form and gait which was nothing short of beautiful and powerful lost. His handler, the awesome GS guru, Jimmy Moses,handled him to perfection and sadly it was not to be. I firmly believe that favortism is too ingrained in the judge's mind. It's all about personal preference and say, if you don't care for larger breeds you will choose a small breed. You cannot be impartial because everyone has a favorite breed, so I say stop at the 7 choices and let them all leave "best in Show"!

    February 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • BigMowma

      I loved that German Shepherd too. He was beautiful. Maybe next year....

      February 15, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. happypuppy

    That's either a really bad picture of the dog...or it really is...so uncute.

    February 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jan

    Go TrickyWoo!!!

    February 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dana

    Pekingese to dog = Barbie doll to live little girl.

    February 15, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim p.

    Are you sure that's the correct end of the dog? That is one ugly face. Breed standards are so far removed from reality as to be frightening sometimes.

    February 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff Y

    This dog looks like a shrunken head. It belongs on the cover of National Geographic.

    February 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
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