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Westminster Dog Show 2018: Many Good Dogs, but Only One Can Be the Best

“The idea was unanimously selected, we imagine, with the hoisting of a dozen drinking arms,” William F. Stifel wrote in his book “The Dog Show, 125 Years of Westminster.”

At its inception, the show had over 1,200 dogs entered. Last year, the show had close to 3,000 dogs from all 50 states entered in the competition.

‘Fame’ is fleeting, and agile as well.

Best in Show is still ahead, but Fame, a Border collie, has already been crowned a champion. Fame was named the winner of the Masters Agility Championship on Sunday. She beat 329 other dogs for the title, the kennel club said.

Watch Fame(US) win the 2018 Masters Agility Championship | FOX SPORTS Video by FOX Sports

In the agility competition, dogs and their handlers demonstrate concentration, athleticism, training and teamwork as they race through an obstacle course that involves a seesaw, jumps and an A-frame, something akin to a doggy high wire.

Fame shot through the obstacle course over the weekend like a furry, tongue-wagging bullet.

“I never keep up with her, I just let her go and try to tell her where to go and stay out of her way,” her handler, Jessica Ajoux, told Fox Sports after the event. “Famous has one speed, and that’s about it.”

On Monday night, Fame was brought into the ring at Madison Square Garden and clearly wanted to show her stuff again, leaping and barking the whole way out.

Patty Hearst is ringside, and on the small screen.

Patricia Hearst Shaw has picked up another prize at Westminster, an award of merit for a French bulldog she co-owns called Tuggy.

Her Frenchies have done well here in the past and often have been “in the ribbons,” as dog fanciers like to say.

Hearst Shaw sat ringside for the breed judging, a day after CNN debuted the start of “The Radical Story of Patty Hearst,” its documentary series on the famed heiress.

All breeds feed into seven groups.

Each of the thousands of dogs competing in this year’s show has been assigned to a group based on its breed: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, nonsporting and herding.

These groups shape much of the competition: a dog first competes against other dogs of the same breed, then against other dogs in the same group. The best dogs in each group then go head-to-head in a seven-way contest for Best in Show.

What group a dog ends up in has a lot to do with the history of its breed.

Breeds that were developed to help hunters are classified as sporting dogs. They might point out game, like a Pointer, or retrieve game that has been shot, like a Labrador retriever. They tend to be energetic but even-keeled.

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