Westminster's Best in Show: Banana Joe

Affenpinscher speaks 4 languages, says owner

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 13, 2013 6:33 AM CST

(Newser) – This year's winner at the Westminster dog show in New York: A multilingual 5-year-old affenpinscher named Banana Joe, the first of his breed to take the top prize. "He speaks German, Dutch, Spanish, and English," says one of his owners. This victory marks Banana Joe's 86th best in show award, though he's never won it at Westminster. It's clear he knows what he's doing: Judge Michael Dougherty said Joe "was on the minute he walked in." And "he's in perfect condition, perfect body."

His full name is Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, and his favorite toy is a squeaking mouse, the AP reports. He was one of 2,721 entrants, who spanned 187 breeds and varieties. One of the most popular was Swagger, a 20-month-old Old English Sheepdog who won runner-up. He'd only been in four shows before—unusual at a show that typically requires entrants to accumulate many victories beforehand. This year, however, there was more space, so more dogs were allowed in.

Ernesto Lara celebrates 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.
Ernesto Lara celebrates 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)
Ernesto Lara runs with Banana Joe Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Ernesto Lara runs with Banana Joe Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Ernesto Lara shows off Banana Joe as they are introduced for Best in Show during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Ernesto Lara shows off Banana Joe as they are introduced for 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)
Colton Johnson shows off Swagger, an Old English Sheepdog, with the herding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.
Colton Johnson shows off Swagger, an Old English Sheepdog, with the herding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Swagger, an Old English Sheepdog, is posed for photographs after winning the herding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.
Swagger, an Old English Sheepdog, is posed for photographs after winning the herding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Handler Ernesto Lara poses for photographers with Banana Joe.
Handler Ernesto Lara poses for photographers with Banana Joe.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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