Pekingese wins Westminster dog show

Champion canine Wasabi has
Champion canine Wasabi has "that little extra something" that sets a dog apart, his handler says.

A Pekingese named Wasabi has won best in show America's most prestigious dog event.

Wasabi nabbed the top prize at the Westminster Kennel Club show after winning the big American Kennel Club National Championship in 2019.

Sunday victory was the fifth-ever win at Westminster for the unmistakable toy breed.

The event's finalist pack also included a whippet, a French bulldog, an old English sheepdog, a German short-haired pointer, a Samoyed and a West Highland white terrier.

"He has showmanship. He fits the breed standard. He has that little extra something, that sparkle, that sets a dog apart," said Wasabi's handler and breeder, David Fitzpatrick, who guided the Peke's grandfather Malachy to the title in 2012.

How will Wasabi celebrate?

"He can have a filet mignon. And I'll have champagne," Fitzpatrick, of East Berlin, Pennsylvania, said with a laugh.

Altogether, 2500 champion dogs entered the show. It underwent big changes this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, moving out of New York City for the first time since its 1877 founding.

This year's show was held outdoors in suburban Tarrytown, and it happened in June instead of February.

Australian Associated Press