Affenpinscher Number 9, GCH Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, known as "Banana Joe," won Best in Show at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Manhattan's Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night, February 12, 2013.
This marks the second consecutive year that a member of the American Kennel Club's Toy Group has won the coveted Best in Show title at Westminster. Last year the honor went to Pekingese Palacegarden Malachy. In New York City, where toy breed dogs are very popular, it is almost impossible to tune into any form of news media without seeing or hearing about Banana Joe's win every few minutes. It's a great day!
Affenpinchers are relatively rare as dog breeds go, rated in popularity by the American Kennel Club (AKC) 138 out of 175. Labrador Retrievers are rated number one in popularity by the AKC.
The Affenpincher Club of America's website is rich with information about the breed's history, health, grooming requirements, breeder referrals and other helpful information. For anyone curious about Banana Joe's breed, it is definitely worth a visit.
The breed is a bit of a mystery in that its fanciers are not clear about exactly when the first dogs arrived here. Here is what the Affenpincher Club has to say:
"Many breeds have a detailed history of their breed’s arrival in America. The Affenpinscher is not so fortunate. All we have is a tantalizing article published in the April 1950 issue of the AKC GAZETTE that says the breed was imported in the mid-thirties and wide coverage was given to the event in the rotogravure sections of the newspapers and in the newsreels of the day."
If you missed the show or could not attend the Breed Judging on Monday at the Piers, the Westminster Kennel Club website has video available online. It works well on iPhones and the iPad as well as on notebook computers. But I must admit, nothing beats a ringside seat.
This article is dedicated to Bobby, my little Affenpinscher student who passed away shortly after I met him. He was a clever, fun loving little guy and quickly learned to sit quietly on the steps in the foyer instead of barking when people came to the front door. I think of Bobby often and I am so very glad that an Affenpinscher like him has won this high honor.