Who will be the top dog at this year's Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York? The competition is tough. Now in its 140th year, the prestigious contest draws thousands of dogs from around the US. This year's show features 199 breeds, including seven new ones: the Bergamasco, Berger Picard, Boerboel, Cirneco dell'Etna, Lagotto Romagnolo, Miniature American Shepherd and Spanish Water Dog.
Westminster is the second-longest continuously running sporting event in the United States behind the Kentucky Derby. The first show was held in 1877.
Judges select the best of each breed and group, divided into seven categories – hound, toy, non-sporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier. The seven dogs selected as the best in their groups compete for the ultimate Best In Show prize. The winner gets a trophy and embarks on a media tour. In last year's show, a beagle named Miss P won Best In Show.
Before the dogs can be judged, they undergo a great deal of grooming. IBTimes UK takes you backstage at Madison Square Garden as pampered prima donnas are given a last-minute cut and blow-dry before they walk the runway.