NEW YORK, Feb 12 (Reuters) - For the nearly 3,000 dogs converging on New York City on Monday for the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, “Good Dog!” is a dreaded assessment but “Best Dog!” is a dream come true.
This year’s two-day event draws challengers from all 50 U.S. states and 16 other countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Russia, Australia and China, Westminster Kennel Club said in a statement.
It is the second-oldest U.S. sporting event, and some view it as the canine version of the Olympic Games, which coincidentally are taking place simultaneously in South Korea.
A total of 2,882 dogs are set to compete with the top dog picked as Best of Show on Tuesday, organizers said.
Last year, the world-renowned contest for purebred canines drew 2,798 competitors.
The competition features dogs from 201 breeds and varieties, from muscular French bulldogs to butterfly-eared papillons.
Dogs are divided into seven groups: hounds, toys, nonsporting, herding, working, sporting and terrier. The dogs crowned champion of each of the seven groups then vie for the Best of Show trophy.
Rumor, a female German shepherd, was named Best in Show at last year’s competition. (Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jonathan Oatis)