Tags: affenpinscher | banana joe | wins | westminster dog show

Affenpinscher Dubbed 'Banana Joe' Wins Westminster Dog Show

Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013 10:07 AM

By Michael Mullins

A 5-year-old Affenpinscher dubbed "Banana Joe" took home the gold at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday night.

Banana Joe, short for Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, is a fluffy, football-sized black pooch. The dog, which one observer said resembles a furry gremlin, was named Best in Show at the 137th annual dog show.

The news prompted Banana Joe's owner, Ernesto Lara, to scream out "We did it!"

"It's almost indescribable. I think it's just a wonderful thing as a tribute for a small breed with such a big heart," Lara told ABC News.

Banana Joe beat out nearly 3,000 other dogs for the top honor at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which is held annually at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In the final round, the pint-sized dog defeated six other top competitors, including a 20-month-old sheepdog named Swagger and a Portuguese waterdog who was a crowd favorite.

Two of Banana Joe's biggest contenders were Matisse, the nation's number one show dog, and Oakley, a 6-year-old German wirehaired pointer who has won more dog show competitions than any other dog in the country.

No stranger to the competitive world of dog shows, Banana Joe has won Best in Show 86 times prior to Tuesday's win at other dog shows across the country.

"He's won big shows but none like this one," Lara said while holding Banana Joe in his arms. "[The dogs] have a comical seriousness about them. He doesn't think he's funny. He doesn't know his size or know that he has a pushed-in face. He thinks he's Mr. America."

Banana Joe will receive no prize money for winning Westminster. The pooch gets a silver bowl, a lifetime of prestige, plus lucrative breeding fees for its owners, The Associated Press reported.

The wire-haired Affenpinscher breed, which translates from German to "monkey terrier," is one of the oldest breeds of toy dogs, originating in central Europe where they received the nickname "little devil with a moustache."

Like most terriers, Affenpinschers were used to kill rats over the centuries and were eventually bred down in size to become household companions, according to the American Kennel Club.

Banana Joe's runner up is a 7-year-old, Old English sheepdog named "Bugaboo's Picture Perfect."

Related links:

2012 Westminster Dog Show Photos

Obama 2009 Income Includes $1,600 Pet Dog, Bo

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