Barking to the end, Josh, the irrepressible Newfoundland, won Best in Show at the 128th annual Westminster Dog Show.
Josh was an early winner in the Super Bowl of dog shows, winning Best in Breed and Best in Group on Monday night. Josh, a member of the Working group, started his ascent with barks that boomed around Madison Square Garden. His barking ended this year's contest as well, as judge Burton J. Yamada selected the 4-year-old Newfoundland as Best in Show.
This year, 2,624 dogs divided into 162 breeds and varieties competed for the coveted title. Josh may have had a bit of an advantage – Yamada had selected him as Best in Group the previous year. With many dogs returning from last year's Westminster, there were few surprises.
Last year, history was made when a Kerry Blue terrier captured the Best in Show title, becoming only the second dog to win both Westminster and Crufts. This year, with so many star dogs, it was difficult to predict who would win.
The Newfoundland is a working dog and is comfortable on land and in the water. The breed is extensively used in water rescues and to carry heavy packs. The American Kennel Club accepted the Newfoundland as a breed in 1979. Newfoundlands are massive dogs. Josh weighs in at 155 pounds and dwarfed many other breeds and even his handler, Michelle Ostermiller.
Competition and judging were tough, with a number of dogs returning to the show ring. Here are the results for Best in Group:
The Westminster Dog Show, in its 128th season in 2004, is the second-longest continuously running sporting event in the United States, next to the Kentucky Derby.