Banana Joe may have been named best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show – and landed a Broadway gig – but there’s another furry face who’s emerged as the competition’s breakout star: Swagger.
The Old English sheepdog was named reserve best in show (essentially runner-up) on Tuesday and remained a fan favorite throughout the final rounds of judging, drawing cheers from the crowd as he made his laps around the ring at Madison Square Garden.
Much like viewers at home and in the audience, we can’t get enough of the energetic furball. So here’s what you need to know about Swagger:
Swagger isn’t his real name.
Like most show dogs, Swagger has a formal name used in competitions: Bugaboo’s Perfect Picture.
He’s only competed three times before.
Due to a rules change at Westminster, Swagger was allowed to compete despite minimal experience, pitting him against dogs with far more ribbons to their names. “For him to win the group is unbelievable,” owner Colton Johnson said. “This is a hard show for dogs that are seasoned, let alone dogs that have showed just four times.”
He still has his puppy fur.
At only 20 months old, Swagger is a young entrant into competition, and as a result, has not even shed all of his white and gray baby fur yet. But, “he’s a natural,” said Johnson.