A total of 2,845 dogs are competing to be Best in Show at America's biggest dog show.

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held over two days at Madison Square Garden in New York, was first held in 1877. It is second only to Crufts as the world's most prestigious dog show.

IBTimesUK goes backstage as dogs are primped and groomed for their moment in the spotlight.

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Yorkshire terrier Jimmy is made ready for the showGetty
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Standard poodle named Paris gets ready for the dogwalkGetty
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Jordan, a Yorkshire terrier, backstage during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New YorkAP
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Abbs the Afghan hound waits in the penning areaReuters
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An Irish wolfhound is groomedReuters
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A contestant is prepared to compete in the Teacup divisionGetty
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A backstage portrait of a Shih Tzu named JasperGetty
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A Maltese named Jewels gets ready for the showGetty
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Kholoe, an Australian shepherd, nuzzles handler Maureen GrentusAP
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A competitor gives TLC tominiature poodleGetty
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A handler strokes an Otterhound on day one of the 2014 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New YorkReuters
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Bill Harrington sits with his Old English sheepdog named Swagger during the 138th annual Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New YorkGetty
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A Brussels griffon waits to compete in the 138th annual Westminster Dog ShowGetty
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Mojo, an old English sheepdog, gets a dusting of talc backstageReuters
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Raquel, a Rhodesian ridgeback, waits for the contest to beginAP
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A nervous cigar outside the Hotel Pennsylvania in New YorkReuters
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Reseda and Dash, both papillons, exercise on a dog treadmill at the Affinia Hotel in New YorkReuters
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Cydonia, a Neapolitan mastiff, gets a massage from therapist Diane Cohen at the Hotel PennsylvaniaReuters
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The paw of a Standard Poodle is seen as it takes a nap in the penning areaReuters
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A Havanese named Saber is given a bathGetty
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A man sleeps next to his dog backstage at Madison Square GardenReuters
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A tense moment for the handlers as their dogs are judgedGetty
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An Afghan competes in the Hound group during day one of judgingReuters