Top dogs vie for blue ribbon at New York show

Feb 13 (Reuters) - More than 2,800 dogs, from tiny Chihuahuas to massive Great Danes, converged on New York City on Monday to compete for the top prize in the storied Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Westminster, the second-oldest sporting event in the United States behind the Kentucky Derby, drew entries from 200 breeds this year, the kennel club said. It will announce the final winner on Tuesday evening.

Dogs from 49 states and 16 foreign countries are in this year's show, where they are judged on characteristics specific to their breeds.

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Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 2017
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Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 2017
A Boxer named Devlin wins the Working group at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, in New York City, U.S. February 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
A Brussels Griffon relaxes on its owner's lap backstage at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, in New York City, U.S. February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: An English Setter competes in the sporting category during the final night at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden, February 14, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
A Boxer named Devlin wins the Working group at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, in New York City, U.S. February 14, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: A Cocker Spaniel competes during the sporting category on the final night at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden, February 14, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A Bichon Frises is seen in the benching area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017 .

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Adrian, an Irish Setter and his handler Adam Bernardin celebrate winning the Sporting Group judging at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, U.S., February 14, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is seen in the benching area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017 .

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

A Bichon Frise is groomed backstage at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A Chow Chow is seen in the benching area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017 .

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

A Bulldog is seen in the benching area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017 .

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

An Old English Sheepdog is seen in the benching area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017 .

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi waits to compete at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A Standard Poodle competes at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

An Italian Greyhound competes during the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A French Bulldog runs during competition at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A Yorkshire Terrier runs during competition at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A bulldog rests before competing at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Italian Greyhounds compete during the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A Toy Poodle is groomed backstage before competing at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Borzoi dogs prepare to take the field to compete at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

An Italian Greyhound competes during the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Maltese dogs prepare to take the field for competition at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A Lhasa Apso is seen in the Benching Area area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017.

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

A group of Pembroke Welsh Corgis wait to compete at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Beagles line up in the judging area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017.

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

A Beaucerons is seen in the judging area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017.

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

A handler is seen with a Dalmatian in the judging ring during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017 .

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Dogs are seen in the benching area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017.

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

A Chinese Crested Powder Puff rests with Kristen Riddley in the benching area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017 .

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

A Beaucerons is seen in the judging area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017 .

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

An Afghan is seen in the benching area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017 .

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are seen in the benching area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017 .

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

A Standard Poodle is seen in the benching area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017 .

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

Half sisters Elsa (2) and Faith (5) represent the South Carolina State dog, the Boykin Spaniel, at the 'Meet the Breed' Day ahead of the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, on February 11, 2017 in New York City.

(Photo credit should read Julie McGuire/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Acela, a three year old Papillon from Long Island, NY, waits to take part in the Masters Agility Championships at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, on February 11, 2017 in New York City.

(Photo credit should read Julie McGuire/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

11 year old Bergamasco Alpine Sheepdog, D'Artagnan, takes a break during the 'Meet the Breeds' day ahead of the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, on February 11, 2017 in New York City.  

(Photo credit should read Julie McGuire/Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Cessie, a Coton De Tulear from Beverley Hills, California, sits on the shoulders of owner Jessica Macintire after competition at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City, U.S., February 13, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

A Boxer is wrapped in a blanket after competition at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City, U.S., February 13, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Sky Guy, an Italian Greyhoud, stands with its handler before competition at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City, U.S., February 13, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Diamond, a Standard Smooth Dachshund wears a coat and jewels before competition at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City, U.S., February 13, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

A Standard Poodle is groomed in the benching area by his handler before competition at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City, U.S., February 13, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

A Lhasa Apso competes at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A Yorkshire Terrier rests in the Benching Area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017.

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

The Pulik is seen in the judging area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017.

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

A Maltese sits in the benching area during Day One of competition at the Westminster Kennel Club 141st Annual Dog Show in New York on February 13, 2017.

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

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Individual breeds are judged during the day, with the winners of each moving on to group competitions on Monday and Tuesday evenings. The winners of seven groups then compete for the final "Best in Show" award on Tuesday.

Monday's four groups are hounds; herding dogs; toy dogs, which are the smallest breeds; and the non-sporting dogs, a group largely made up of those bred for show or as pets.

Sporting dogs, working dogs and terriers will be judged on Tuesday.

The sporting group, representing hunting and retrieving dogs, has the largest number of entries at more than 500. The most popular breed in this year's show is the golden retriever, with 65 entries.

There are three new breeds in this year's competition: the American Hairless Terrier, which was bred in the 1970s to hunt rats and other vermin; the Pumi, an ancient Hungarian herding breed, and the Sloughi, a North African sighthound.

An additional 330 dogs competed in an agility competition on Saturday, a separate event from this week's judged show. It featured several winners, grouped by size.

(Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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