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February 13, 2012
The 2012 Westminster Kennel Club dog show
NEW YORK (AP) -- Perched on his hind legs, peering over the top rail of his pen, Banana Joe wanted to play at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
He could afford to frolic. The prize affenpinscher -- a pooch with the distinctive little monkey face -- easily won his breed Monday at America's top dog show.
"He's beautiful," handler Ernesto Lara praised. "They're supposed to have a comic seriousness about them. He thinks he's all that. You can't help but laugh at him."
More than 2,000 dogs in 185 breeds and varieties are at the Garden. The top hound, toy, nonsporting and herding champions were to be picked Monday night, and the best in show will be chosen Tuesday evening.
(17 images)



Lorraine Shore, of Sequim, Washington, grooms Dazzle a 2-year-old Papillon at the Green Room Salon and Spa at the Pennsylvania hotel, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 in New York. There are 2,000 top dogs in town for Monday's start of the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel club show. AP / Mary Altaffer


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Banana Joe, an affenpinscher, owned by Zoila Truesdale and Mieke Cooymans, waits in the grooming table at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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Keith Paladino of Lodi, N.J., second from left, works with a 15 inch Beagle as they line up in the ring for competition at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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Ibizan Hounds are shown the ring at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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Sophie, a Standard Poodle, is groomed before her showing at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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Phil, a Bichons Frises, waits for competition at the136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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Elvis, a 4-year-old Bearded Collie works out on a dog tread in the Green Room Salon and Spa at the Pennsylvania hotel, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 in New York. AP / Mary Altaffer



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Owner and handler Anna Carlsson, of Sweden, kisses her Chinese Crested dog named Prefix while grooming at the136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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A group of keeshondens leave the ring after competing at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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Susie Oliver, of Phoenix, Az., handling a Harrier named Chet, works the ring during the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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Champy, a French bulldog, looks up to handler Heather Bremmer of Blandon, Pa. as they get ready to enter the ring at 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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Dottie, a maltese owned by Beverly Quilliam and Wayne Baker of West Chester, Pa., is groomed by Luke Ehricht of Toledo, Ohio at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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Breanna Uyeno plays with Wrigley, a 5-year-old Golden Retriever, at the Green Room Salon and Spa at the Pennsylvania hotel, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 in New York. AP / Mary Altaffer



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Jackson, a 6-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from Argyle, Texas, is photographed at the Spot Suite at the Affinia Manhattan hotel, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 in New York. AP / Mary Altaffer



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Jenna, a 4-year-old Great Dane from Japan takes advantage of the facilities at the Spot Suite at the Affinia Manhattan hotel, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 in New York. AP / Mary Altaffer



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Manchester, a bulldog owned by Eduardo Hernendez of Mexico City, gets comforting treatment after winning an award of merit in breed at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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Ibizan Hounds are shown the ring at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. AP / Craig Ruttle



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