WATCH: The Prestigious Westminster Dog Show Is In Full Swing in New York with Over 2,800 Dogs in 203 Breeds

A Lhasa Apso named Eric (left) and a Chow Chow named Davy (right) wait in the benching area on Monday

Affenpinschers, Yorkshire terriers, Pyrenean shepherds, Pembroke Welsh corgis and pugs are among the pooches currently rounding the rings at the Westminster Kennel Club illustrious dog show in New York.

The 143rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show began judging on Monday morning.

More than 2,800 dogs in 203 breeds and varieties are signed up to compete over two days, leading up to the televised Best in Show award at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

Judge Peter J. Green is expected to make his pick for best in show at about 11pm.

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Pip, a Yorkshire Terrier breed, is among the 2,800 dogs competing over two days at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York starting Monday
Anwar Ebn Benazir Von Haussman, an Afghan Hound breed, has his hair straightened on Monday at Madison Square Gardens
A Bloodhound is misted as it waits during the Daytime Session in the Breed Judging across the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups at the 143rd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Standard Poodle named George yawns during the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Arya the Standard Poodle poses for a photo during the competition on Monday in New York
An Afghan Hound named Anton (left) and a Shih Tzu named Khloe (right) are groomed ahead of the show
An Afghan Hound named Anton (left) and a Shih Tzu named Khloe (right) are groomed ahead of the show

Monday’s judging includes dogs in the herding, hound, non-sporting and toy groups.

One closely-watched contestant is expected to be Whiskey, a whippet that notched big wins in shows televised on Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day.

‘He does his best at these high-profile rings,’ owner-breeder-handler Justin Smithey said. ‘He knows how to turn it off, lay down and wait till it’s his turn. And then he just goes.’

Crowd-pleasing Biggie the pug is back after drawing a big cheer at the Garden last year, Grant the black cocker spaniel is the nation’s top-ranked show dog and Billy the Lhasa apso comes from Hawaii, where he surfs with his owner.

Also vying for the title of top dog is GCH Haystac’s Montgomery The Spartan General – or Monty, for short.

The Old English Sheepdog is named after British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, who fought in World War I and II.

Alan Waterman grooms a Standard Poodle on Monday before the annual competition got underway
A Welsh Terrier stands in the benching area during the Daytime Session in the Breed Judging across the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups
A handler uses hairspray to style her Old English Sheepdog as they prepare in the benching area
Madison the Shih Tzu (left) is groomed before Breed Judging during Monday’s competition
Madison the Shih Tzu (left) is groomed before Breed Judging during Monday’s competition
An Old English sheepdog named Bugaboo’s Let It Go Blu Mtn gets her fur brushed during the Best of Breed event
A handler puts the finishing touches on her Old English Sheepdog on Monday prior to the competition
Bichons Frises gather in the judging ring during the Daytime Session in the Breed Judging across the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups
Handlers and their Beagles are seen in the judging ring during the Daytime Session on Monday
Donald, a Bichon Frise breed, is groomed ahead of the competition on Monday in New York
Eve the Pomeranian is groomed during the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

He was spotted taking a pre-show snooze on the on the groomer’s table at a recent competition in Canada, slumbering away while handler Virginia Goscinak brushed out his puffy white coat. Goscinak woke up the 3-year-old dog shortly before the competition, and Monty went into the ring and came out a Best in Breed winner.

A few hours before competing at Westminster, Monty was back in top form, lazing away while two groomers brushed and sprayed his fur. Goscinak had to pull back the tufts on Monty’s face to confirm his eyes were still open.

‘He loves this,’ Goscinak said.

This year’s Westminster show features two new breeds, the grand basset griffon Vendeen and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje.

The show also featured an agility championship on Saturday and is holding an obedience competition on Monday.

Flynn, the fluffy Bichon Frise, was named top dog at last year’s Westminster dog show. He has since retired.

The Westminster Kennel Club is the oldest organization for the sport of purebred dogs in the U.S.

It was established in 1877 and the dog show has been held every year at Madison Square Gardens for more than a century.

A dog can only participate in the dog show if the breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Shih Tzu’s compete in Breed Judging in New York on Monday
A Bergamasco Shepherd breed is judged during the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York on Monday
Connor the Great Pyrenees receives a bath from his trainer ahead of the show
Lindsey Grispin gives her whippet named Lizzy a massage before they compete in the Best of Breed event
A Lhasa Apso named Eric (left) and a Chow Chow named Davy (right) wait in the benching area on Monday
A Lhasa Apso named Eric (left) and a Chow Chow named Davy (right) wait in the benching area on Monday
A Maltese named Stella sits on her bed before competition during the 2019 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
A handler runs with a Miniature Australian Shepherd breed during judging in New York on Monday
Kadence Addison runs with her Spanish Water Dog in the judging ring (left), while a handler and her Beagle walk in the judging ring during the Daytime Session (right)
Kadence Addison runs with her Spanish Water Dog in the judging ring (left), while a handler and her Beagle walk in the judging ring during the Daytime Session (right)
The Bulldog breed is judged during the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York
Monty, an Old English Sheepdog, is groomed ahead of competing at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York on Monday

SOURCE: Daily Mail, Emily Crane