C.J., when he won, remained calm, looking out at the crowd as if he might have expected the outcome.

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NEW YORK — As each of the seven competitors for best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show approached Richard Meen, the judge, Tuesday night, he told them, “Relax.” But you wonder if any one of the four-legged champions, let alone the handlers, could heed such advice, even if they were aware of his noncanine work is psychiatry.

Whatever anxiety existed dissipated quickly because Meen quickly sized up the finalists before heading straight to the judge’s table to write down his decision:

He chose C.J., a 3-year-old male German shorthaired pointer.

C.J. appeared to have grasped Meen’s advice to relax. When he won, he was impassive, looking out at the crowd as if he might have expected the outcome. Or maybe his serious demeanor was another way to show his shock. His handler, Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, was more emotional, kissing Meen and rival handlers and then dropping to her knees to hug and kiss C.J.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said afterward. “For us in the sport, this is the pinnacle. This is what we strive for, what we shed tears over. The best dogs come here. This is the show to win.”

Nunes-Atkinson said she was thrilled to have won the sporting group earlier in the night and was apparently aware that odds in Las Vegas were against C.J., whom she calls her “heart dog.”

She was not intimidated that other dogs were favored over hers.

“You couldn’t go wrong with any of them,” Nunes-Atkinson said. “But I believe in my dog 100 percent. He’s a great German shorthaired pointer.”

Earlier in the evening, after winnings C.J.’s group, she said: “He loves it here. He was born this way. At 6 weeks, he walked across the living room floor and we said, ‘Oh, my.’ He has that sparkle that makes you stop and look at him. He’s my heart dog.”

She added: “We expected great things from him from the start.” Every victory confirmed he was moving into rarefied territory. His bloodline is strong, most notably his grandmother, Carlee, who won best in show in 2005.  Nunes-Atkinson herself started young, winning Westminster’s award for best junior showmanship when she was 15.

Winning Westminster as an adult was “exactly as I expected it would feel when I was 10.”

C.J. defeated Rumor, a German shepherd who entered the show as the top purebred dog last year; Lucy, a borzoi, who was the best dog in all breeds in Japan last year; Annabelle, a bulldog who was one of the crowd’s favorites; Bogey, a smiling Samoyed; Panda, a shih tzu; and Charlie, a Skye terrier who lost Best in Show last year to Miss P, a beagle.

Meen, who breeds Borzois, said that C.J. passed his ultimate test.

“For me, it’s very important that every dog take me back into the past to what they were bred to do,” Meen said. “They were bred to point in the field, and they have to move well. He never stopped looking, focused in front of him, and he floated around the ring.”

Meen said his advice to relax was simply to remind the handlers to take a breath after the intensity of the competition. He laughed when he was asked if he mixed his vocation and avocation to treat dogs.

“Dogs take care of themselves,” he said. “It’s humans that are a mess.”