The 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show kickstarted on Monday, at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The Westminster Kennel Club, established in 1877, is America's oldest organisation dedicated to the care, promotion and sport of raising purebred dogs. The dog show organised by the Kennel, first held in the same year as the club was formed, is officially the country's second-longest continuously held sporting event, ranking behind only the Kentucky Derby.

Judges pronounced winners in 4 categories on the opening day - All Hound, Toy, Herding and Non-Sporting. The second day, Tuesday, will see competition in the Sporting, Working and Terrier breeds.

The prestigious show will feature 2,077 dogs and 105 Junior Showmanship entries. Dogs come from 47 states across the United States, with the most entries coming from New York, California and Pennsylvania. From the over 2,000 competitors, 185 will win Best of Breed awards and seven will be Group winners of the Best in Show competition, to be held later on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, check out the photographs from Monday's action...