NEW YORK — Banana Joe didn’t monkey around this time.
The little affenpinscher with the bouncy step and shiny black coat walked off as America’s top dog Tuesday night, winning Best in Show at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
Affectionately called a monkey dog because he looks just like one, Banana Joe made up for near misses the last two years at Madison Square Garden.
The 5-year-old wagged his tail a mile a minute after earning his 86th best-in-show title overall. It was a timely win, too, coming a day before he was set to fly back to The Netherlands with his owner.
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An old English sheepdog only 20 months old was picked as the runner-up on the green carpet of the Garden. Swagger the sheepdog drew the most cheers, but judge Michael Dougherty picked Banana Joe.
Also in the best-of-seven final ring were a German wirehaired pointer ranked as the nation’s No. 1 show dog, an American foxhound, a Portuguese water dog, a bichon frise and a smooth fox terrier.
Handler Ernesto Lara kept hoisting Banana Joe after the victory at the country’s premier dog show. The playful pooch enjoys tugging at his squeaky mouse toy — now he’ll be able to put it in the prized silver bowl he won.
There were 2,721 entries in the 137th Westminster.
Often a sellout, the crowd was down this year as the show split the day and evening sessions between exhibition space along the Hudson River and the Garden.