5 things to know about the Westminster dog show

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5 things to know about the Westminster dog show
Tommy the Poodle runs the weave poles during the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster staged at Pier 94, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in New York. The first annual agility championship is part of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Panda the All American Dog, otherwise known as mixed breed, takes a jump during the first annual Masters Agility Championship the Westminster Kennel Club staged at Pier 94, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in New York. The competition marks the first time mixed-breed dogs have appeared at Westminster since early in the show?s 138 years. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
In this photo taken Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, and provided by Dan Huebner, Uno, the only beagle to ever win best in show at the Westminster Kennel Cub, plays on the ranch where he now lives in Austin, Texas. Uno won Westminster in 2008 and will be 9 in May. (AP Photo/Dan Huebner)
Spectators watch as Abbie, a rat terrier, and her handler Gayle Capen navigate the jumpers course during the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster staged at Pier 94, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in New York. The competition marks the first time mixed-breed dogs have appeared at Westminster since early in the show's 138 years. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Henry, a French Bulldog, scales the A-frame obstacle during the Masters Agility Championship the Westminster Kennel Club staged at Pier 94, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in New York. The competition marks the first time mixed-breed dogs have appeared at Westminster since early in the show's 138 years. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Martha Gurney hugs Dillon, the cocker spaniel, after completing the jumpers course during the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster staged at Pier 94, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in New York. The competition marks the first time mixed-breed dogs have appeared at Westminster. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Diego, a miniature poodle, stops on the pause table alongside Stephanie Fleming during the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster, held at Pier 94, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in New York. The competition marks the first time mixed-breed dogs have appeared at Westminster since early in the show's 138 years. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
FILE - In this May 24, 2014 file photo, Gery Keszler, left, organizer and founder of the Life Ball, former U.S. Olympian diver Greg Louganis, center, and Daniel McSwiney pose at the Vienna International Airport in Austria. Louganis will be part of the broadcast crew covering the Westminster dog show events in February 2014, and will work for Fox Sports 1 at the agility competition on Feb. 8. (AP Photo/Hans Punz, File)
Ernesto Lara runs with Banana Joe, an affenpinscher, who won best in show during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
FILE - In this April 13, 2013 file photo, former Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis arrives at the "Saving Tails" event honoring songwriter Diane Warren in Los Angeles. On Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, Louganis will be honored in Chicago in the first class of inductees of what organizers say is the first-of-its-kind National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
Alfie, a mixed breed, demonstrates his mastery of an agility test during a news conference in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014. For the first time ever, the Westminster Dog Show will include an agility competition, open to mixed breeds as well as purebred dogs. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Ernesto Lara presents Banana Joe, an affenpinscher, during the Best in Show competition at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Gustavo Jimenez grooms 3-year-old Clumber Spaniel Seymor during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2013 file photo, Swagger, an Old English Sheep Dog, is posed for photographs after winning the herding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden in New York. Swagger is a contender for the best in show during the 138th Westminster Kennel Club dog show. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
Honor, a Bichon Frise, and winner of the non-sporting group, is shown before competing in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
An Ibizan hound competes with the Hound group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
A Bichon Frise rests before competing in the The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Caroll Geiser, of Rochester, N.Y., grooms Eva, a 3-year-old Old English Sheep dog, during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Michelle Ridenour, of Novi, Michigan, grooms Tigger, a 3-year-old Pomeranian, during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Handlers sit in the benching area with their dogs while they wait to compete during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
A pair of Neopolitan Bull Mastifs named Paparazzi and Ruben ride the elevator with their owners after checking into the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in preparation for the Westminster Dog Show, which is Monday and Tuesday. The hotel is located directly across from Madison Square Garden, where the show is held. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Curt Willis goes nose-to-nose with his Treeing Walker Coonhound during a news conference in New York, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. Treeing Walker Coonhounds are one of two breeds competing for the first time this year in the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which is scheduled to begin on Feb. 11. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2013, file photo, Aristocrat, a St. Bernard, attends a news conference about the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York. Caring for a large dog has demands not associated with having smaller breeds. Large breeds eat more, need more living space and can have health issues not seen in smaller breeds. Although they can require more of a commitment that their smaller counterparts, large breeds remain popular among dog owners and the general public alike. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
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NEW YORK (AP) - Barks, blow dryers and black Russian terriers will abound at the 138th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, America's most prominent pooch pageant. Judging begins Monday morning and the winner will be picked Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. Things you'll see (and not see) this week:

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TALE OF THE TAPE: 2,845 dogs are entered in 190 breeds and varieties, coming from all 50 states and from as far away as Australia, Japan and Brazil. There are Swedish vallhunds, Chinese shar-peis and spinoni Italiani. Do they understand different languages? Well, the handler of reigning champion Banana Joe the affenpinscher says he responds to German, Dutch, Spanish and English.

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UNLUCKY DAWGS: In the park or backyard, Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers and Dalmatians and Dachshunds and Chihuahuas are pretty popular. But at Westminster, they're all in the doghouse. They've never won, not once. Why no love? Many of them are considered "honest dogs," meaning they don't rely on a fancy cut to impress. Rather, neatly trimmed terriers and preening poodles often take the top honor.

Mutts Allowed Out of the Dog House for the 138th Annual Westminster Dog Show___

MOCKUMENTARY ... OR DOCUMENTARY? Cult classic "Best in Show" is often hailed as a perfect parody of big-time dog events. But if anyone who enjoyed Christopher Guest's film happened to wander into Westminster, they might think it's way more truth than fiction. Rich owners, mom-and-pop outfits and the backstage scramble are all part of the scene. So was Parker Posey last year - star of the 2000 movie with her "Busy Bee" toy, she came to the Garden to see the real thing.

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CLASS FAVORITES: The best in show winner gets a silver bowl (small dogs are usually coaxed to jump right in) and a ribbon. There's no cash prize - owners often make a lot of money by breeding the champion. The prime contenders: Sky the wire fox terrier, Matisse the Portuguese water dog, Swagger the old English sheepdog, Riley the Irish water spaniel and the Fifinator, a Doberman who has her own Facebook page. Judge Betty Regina Leininger will pick her winner shortly before 11 p.m. EST on the USA Network - she's isolated from the whole show until walking into the best-of-seven final ring and pointing to America's new top dog.

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OFF CAMERA: Every breed winner gets a close-up on the Westminster telecast while judges examine their teeth, coat, gait and most everything else. Dogs are checked for how close they come to matching the purebred standard. The real action often is before and after they've paraded on the green carpet. Handlers try every trick to keep them still - teasing with liver treats, playing with stuffed frog toys or combing their fur. Tucked inside in the distinctive gold-and-purple breed boxes on the floor are water spray bottles, ice packs and brushes. Then again, sometimes all the dogs need are each other for a rollicking romp and an entertaining sideshow.

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