Westminster's Newest Dog Breeds Strut Their Stuff

A German shepherd took best in show at the annual event—and cats made a buzzworthy appearance.

Forget Fashion Week. Supermodels of a different breed—make that breeds—have been strutting their canine stuff in New York since Sunday, delighting onlookers with their jaunty gaits, perfectly coiffed coats, and heart-melting charisma.

They’ve been in town for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the crème de la crème of canine competitions, whose Best In Show winner was announced last night: A five-year-old female German shepherd named Rumor. (See "Dogs Are Even More Like Us Than We Thought.")

The annual Madison Square Garden event—at which dogs are judged for their agility, temperament, physique, and overall exemplification of their breed—has understandably been a longtime favorite for dog lovers.

But this year, the appearance of several cats garnered the show a little extra buzz.

Felines were included as a novel addition to the non-competitive “Meet the Breeds” portion of the event, where people can pet and take photos with the animals and learn about their countries of origin.

To be clear, the cats were not there to be officially judged, says Westminster’s director of communications, Gail Miller Bisher.

“They were brought in for educational purposes only.”

America's Favorite

Back in the ring, three new dog breeds became eligible to compete this year: The American hairless terrier, known for its intelligence, trainability, and friendly demeanor; the pumi, an ancient Hungarian herding dog characterized by curly hair and high spirits; and the sloughi (pronounced SLOO-ghee), an alert, elegant hound from North Africa. (Related: "The Fast and the Furless: Explaining Newly Recognized Dog Breeds.")

Though the German shepherd took top prize, it’s the Labrador retriever that continues to win the popular vote.

For the last two decades straight, the American Kennel Club—which is the governing body for the Westminster Kennel Club—has pronounced the friendly, people-loving lab America’s favorite dog.

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