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Check out our behind-the-scenes pictures from the 2012 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.
Liz Ozaist, Vetstreet.com
Malachy, the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Best in Show champion, gets a brushing from his handler during the Pekingese breed judging. Although the Peke's coat isn't particularly high-maintenance, keeping it as perfect as Malachy's required quite a bit of care — both in and out of the ring.
Kristen Seymour, Vetstreet.com
A Bichon Frise looks to his handler for guidance during the breed judging. The Bichon Frise is one of the sweetest and most affectionate of dog breeds, so it came as no surprise that the Bichon Frise breed judging drew quite a crowd of admirers.
Australian Shepherd GCH Briarbrooks Former Affair, or Gala, looks adoringly at her clearly beloved handler.
Kato, a 4-year-old Vizsla, tries to play with the Weimaraner Best in Breed winner during the Sporting Dog judging.
A Toy Poodle gets in some groom time backstage. Although not all Poodles and Toy Poodles need to be coiffed quite this much, all dogs of the breed require considerable maintenance.
Bobby the fluffy Pekingese clearly relishes getting brushed backstage at the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Melanie Kramer, Vetstreet.com
This German Shepherd Dog shows off his impressive gait during the Best in Show judging. His loping run — and obvious athleticism — drew cheers from the crowd at Madison Square Garden.
A handler works with a dog backstage in the benching area. In this special section, the public is allowed to pet the canines, ask questions or just take in the frenetic energy of the area.
This Toy Poodle shows her handler a bit of affection during the breed judging. Poodles are intelligent people pleasers, with a great sense of humor.
Westminster presents an added challenge for the dogs — interaction with the public. Although most of the dogs eat up the attention, many are understandably sleepy by the end of the day. After winning Best in Opposite Breed, Golden Retriever Sydney takes a much-needed nap in the benching area.
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