Westminster Dog Show 2012: Pekingese wins Best in Show

Breed Doris Cozart | Group Tim Catterson
Best In Show Cindy Vogels

Malachy, a four-year-old Pekingese, was named Best in Show at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb. 14.

“He saved all his energy for the ring today,” handler David Fitzpatrick said.

The 4-year-old Malachy won his 115th overall best in show title. The crowd clearly was on his side, “roaring” his name at Madison Square Garden. His eyes sparkling like black diamonds as he soaked in the cheers.

“No other dog moves like this,” Fitzpatrick said. It’s true, as a Pekingese is supposed to move with a “slow and dignified” gait.

In dog shows, breeds are judged against the breed standard, a written description of the ideal dogs of that breed, written by the breed’s national club. The winner is the dog that best fits the mold that its own breed has set.

The Pekingese Club of America, established in 1909, offers up a long description of what makes an ideal Pekingese, a breed that dates to ancient China. “The Pekingese is a well-balanced, compact dog of Chinese origin with a heavy front and lighter hindquarters. Its temperament is one of directness, independence and individuality. Its image is lionlike, implying courage, dignity, boldness and self-esteem rather than daintiness or delicacy,” says the club.

Malachy exemplifies the breed standard with his wide skull, heart-shaped ears that lie flat against his head, wide nostrils, “moderately bowed” forelegs, coarse coat and “unhurried, dignified, free and strong” gait.

This was the pinnacle of Malachy and David’s career and they were happy to share this great occasion with owners Sandra Middlebrooks and Iris Love.