CJ the German Shorthaired Pointer Wins Westminster Dog Show 2016

Best of Toy Group: Panda, a black-and-white Shih Tzu who handler Kathy Bilicich-Garcia said, “... put every foot where it should be,” took the top prize in the Toy Group on Monday night. Before the Group took to the ring, one of the announcers talked about how it had taken hours to get Panda’s silky coat ready for the show. The 2-year-old, GCH Wenrick's Don't Stop Believing was bred in Canada and bested the General, a Pekingese whose grandfather Malachy won Best in Show in 2012. A fluffy Pomeranian named Danny who’s the top Toy in the country came in third in the Group, and an Italian Greyhound named Cal took fourth place.

Best of Non-Sporting Group: Even though her competition included Ricky, a Standard Poodle who won the prestigious Crufts dog show in England in 2014, a Bulldog named Annabelle stole the show for the Non-Sporting Group. The lumbering dog and her handler, Jean Hetherington, got a big shout-out from their friends in the stands. “The Garden always loves the Bulldog,” Frei commented. The Group also featured a 9-year-old American Eskimo Dog who’s among the oldest to be shown at Westminster. Three-year-old Annabelle, or GCH Imperious Hamitup Southern Bell, won the Group. In the excitement that followed, she paused to take a seat in the ring as if to soak it all in. Frei said she appeared to be looking up to catch a glimpse of herself on the big screen in the Garden. Behind her in the Non-Sporting Group were Flash the Dalmatian; Ricky the Standard Poodle; and Vinny, the top-winning Boston Terrier in the history of the breed.

Best of Herding Group: Rumor definitely had it Monday night. The 4-year-old German Shepherd from Wisconsin, who was heavily favored going into the competition, was a clear crowd favorite. As she eagerly took her turn around the ring, the audience erupted in applause as if they had been waiting for her all night. Frei anticipated the reaction to Rumor, saying, “Rumor will light up the crowd.” Another highlight of the Herding Group was the introduction of four breeds that are new to the competition. Among them was the Bergamasco, a 7-year-old male from New York who wasn’t breathing when he was born as the 11thpuppy out of 11 in his litter, the commentators revealed. He was brought back to life after 20 minutes. In the end, GCH Lockenhaus' Rumor Has It V Kenlyn, as she’s officially known, won the Group, followed by Grace the Australian Shepherd, Slick the Border Collie and a Puli named Preston. Asked what she loves most about Rumor, her owner, Pamela Buckles, said, “Her heart. … The love and affection she shows me. I just think she's beautiful,” USA Today reported.

Best of Sporting Group: The first to compete on Tuesday night, the Sporting Group showed off its ever-popular breeds, including Chloe, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever, and Sirus, a 2-year-old black Labrador Retriever. Neither breed has ever won Best in Show at Westminster, but the crowd adored them both. They also had huge cheers for Angus, a slobbery Clumber Spaniel who made a quick detour when he spotted a stray treat on the floor before making his way around the ring. The Group featured one new breed, a playful Lagotto Romagnolo named Mac who was only 11 months old. CJ, a 3-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer from California, won Best in Group. “That’s a beautiful dog,” Frei said of CJ, whose formal name is GCH Vjk-Myst Garbonita's California Journey. Much to the audience’s delight, he was followed by the Clumber, the Lab and a Brittany named Beckett from Colorado who’s won 63 Best in Show titles.

Best of Working Group: The Boerboel, a huge dog who was the last of the new breeds to make its debut this year, was represented by Oblio, a 17-month-old from Virginia. The crowd had lots of love for the massive dogs who make up the Working Group, including a drooling Dogue de Bordeaux from New Jersey; a 3-year-old Great Dane named Henry, who’s known for using the birch trees in his yard as a back scratch; and a lovable Leonberger, who spent his show time unrelentinglytryingto get more treats from his handler’s pocket as the audience erupted in laughter.But it was a teddy bear-like white Samoyed named Bogey who won the Group. The 5-year-old’s official name is GCH Pebbles' Run Play It Again Ham. He was followed by the Boxer, a Rottweiler named Indy and Gus the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.

Best of Terrier Group: The crowd was thrilled to see Charlie, the 4-year-old Skye Terrier from New York who was Reserve Best in Show at Westminster last year and won the National Dog Show in the fall. Charlie’s father also won the Terrier Group at Westminster, making them the only father-and-son duo to do so, Frei said. GCH Cragsmoor Good Time Charlie won the Group for the second consecutive year. Second place went to Border Terrier Leonard; third to Monte Cristo, a Wire Fox Terrier from Brazil; and fourth place went to Lakeland Terrier Jenny from Ohio.

CJ's owner hasn't yet revealed the 3-year-old pooch's plans for the future, but it's likely he'll spend his first day as America's Top Dog making appearances on morning shows and dining at Sardi's in New York, which is a traditional Westminster Best in Show celebration.

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