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Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
King of the show.
BEST IN SHOW

King’s realm: Behind the scenes at the Westminster Dog Show

By Johnny Simon

The 143rd Westminster Dog Show, the oldest one in the US, crowned King, a Wire Fox Terrier, as “Best in Show” in New York City last night (Feb 12).

While the pageant in which the top dogs are paraded before the judges under the lights of Madison Square Garden is the main event, the heart and soul of Westminster is seen away from the televised action. In the bowels of the arena, and at a separate locatios on the west side of Manhattan, dogs are primped and cared for backstage as they await their moment to shine.

Here’s a look at how these very good dogs get their signature looks on:

Reuters/Mike Segar
Lodi, a Curly Coated Retriever from New Jersey, in the benching area at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb. 12.
AP Photo/Jake Seiner
Monty, an Old English Sheepdog, is groomed ahead of competing at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in Feb. 11.
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An Afghan Hound named Lily is groomed on Feb. 11.
Justin Lane/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
Alan Waterman grooms a Standard Poodle on Feb. 11.
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
Cheslie Pickett Smithey reaches for a dog treat tucked in her competition identity tag as she handles her Whippet named Bourbon, during the Best of Breed event at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Feb. 11,
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
Jim Fredricks carries his Whippet, Kennedy, at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Feb. 11.
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
An Old English Sheepdog named Bagatelle Moonlight Drive has its fur brushed on Feb. 11.
Reuters/Caitlin Ochs
Waiting with a handler in the backstage area of Madison Square Garden on Feb. 11.
Reuters/Caitlin Ochs
Final grooming takes place backstage at Madison Square Garden before the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog show on Feb. 11.
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
Whippets wait at the side of the ring while waiting to compete in the Best of Breed event on Feb. 11.
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
A handler adjusts her Whippet’s stance during the Best of Breed event on Feb. 11.
AP Photo/Wong Maye-E
Siba, a Standard Poodle, is groomed on Feb. 11.
Justin Lane/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
An Irish Wolfhound named Thor is lead to competition during the 2019 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb. 11.
Justin Lane/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
A Beagle named Miranda is washed by Marcelo Charges, of Virginia before competition on Feb. 11.
Women pose with their dogs at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Feb. 11.
Justin Lane/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
Vicki Palinkas of Connecticut with her Australian Sheppard named Uno before competition on Feb. 11.
Justin Lane/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
Handler Aaron Wilkerson of Florida pets a Beagle named Logan while grooming him on Feb. 11.
Justin Lane/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
Peter Rousseau of Colorado holds a Norwegian Lundehund named Eva in the benching area on Feb. 11.
Justin Lane/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
Two Long Coat Chihuahuas Sapphire (left) and Hot Rod (right) await their turn in the judging ring on Feb. 11.
Justin Lane/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
A Standard Poodle is groomed on Feb. 11.