Who will be the top dog at this year's 139th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show?

The competition is tough. From cute and cuddly to big and hairy, owners showed off an array of dogs and breeds ahead of the prestigious contest, which draws more than 2,700 competitors from around the world.

The show will feature 192 breeds this year. The two newest to join Westminster are the Coton de Tulears and the Wirehaired Vizsla.

Spokesman David Frei said that this year's show will be even more spectacular than that of years past.

"Last year for the first time we did agility. We had our own Master's Agility Championship at Westminster. We're doing that again this year. More dogs, tougher entry qualifications so that will be bigger and better. And we're also partnering with the American Kennel Club on their popular Meet the Breeds presentation, where people can see dogs in every booth and talk to people that are involved with those dogs on Saturday, at the same time as the agility," he said.

Westminster is the second-longest continuously running sporting event in the United States behind the Kentucky Derby. It runs from 16-17 February at Madison Square Garden, New York.

Some dogs are here just to have fun, although their owners concede anything else would be a "dream come true".

At Westminster this year, Golden Retrievers have 56 entries, the most for any breed, followed closely by Labrador Retrievers and Australian Shepherds.

To be included in the show, a breed must meet rules set by the American Kennel Club, including having sufficient numbers in the United States, a certain geographical distribution and a parent club that regulates breeding.

After competing within their breeds and categories, Westminster competitors vie for the top honour of "Best in Show", won last year by Sky, a Wire Fox Terrier from California.

Mixed breeds are eligible to compete in an agility contest ahead of the show.