Lifestyle & Belief

Affenpinscher Banana Joe is Westminster's Best in Show (PHOTOS)


Best in Show went to Banana Joe, an Affenpinscher, shown here with his handler Ernesto Lara and judge Michael Dougherty.


John Moore

And Best in Show 2013 goes to... Banana Joe the Affenpinscher.


Banana Joe V Tani Kazari, or Joey to his proud handler Ernesto Lara, is the first Affenpinscher ever to win the Westminster Dog Show. And you can see why.

The Affenpinscher, which means literally "monkey pinscher" or "monkey dog" in German, is one of Germany's oldest breeds. Originally kept to catch rats, the breed is now a toy dog similar to its funny-faced ancestor, the Brussels Griffon. They're pretty darn cute when they're shaggy, but clip that coat and they look, well, like a monkey.

But don't listen to us: we're just bitter because the Old English Sheepdog lost out (see how he runs!).

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And what do we know? The judges at Westminster aren't looking for adorableness (or a Labrador Retriever would have won by now, am I right?). Instead, they're looking for how well each pooch conforms to the established standards of its breed.

And Banana Joe couldn't be better at being what he is, according to those who know.

"He's a fantastic Affenpinscher, with a fantastic face, a great body," judge Michael Dougherty enthused to the New York Times. "I've never had my hands on a better Affenpinscher. Ever."

Besides, Banana Joe has more than just looks. The 9-year-old pup can apparently understand four languages, owner Mieke Cooijmans told the Associated Press, "German, Dutch, Spanish and English."

Banana Joe will, like many a champion, retire after his victory at Westminster. Cooijmans will take him and his trophy back to the Netherlands, where he can, should he and his owners choose, earn a fortune as a stud for a whole new generation of the most monkey-dog-like of monkey dogs.

Oh... good.

Check out the six other pups Banana Joe beat to become America's top dog in our slideshow above, and hear the judges talk about what makes him an ideal Affenpinscher in this video: