Westminster dog show opens, and Banana Joe is back

Banana Joe, an affenpinscher, owned by Zoila Truesdale and Mieke Cooymans, waits in the grooming table at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Westminster Kennel Club dog show has begun, and a familiar face is an early winner again.

There are 2,721 dogs entered in America's most prestigious pooch event. The 137th Westminster features dogs in 187 breeds and varieties.

An affenpinscher called Banana Joe was picked Monday as the best of his breed for the third straight year. The three-peater known for its monkeylike face ranks among the nation's top show dogs.

The best in show will be chosen Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. A Doberman, a wire fox terrier and an American foxhound are among the early favorites to walk off with the prized silver bowl.