updated 11/23/2011 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/24/2011 AT 5:00 PM ET
Meet the new top dog.
A wire fox terrier walked off with the Best in Show title at this year’s National Dog Show, which aired Thursday. The 4-year-old bitch, whose call name, Eira, means snow in Welsh, beat out nearly 1,500 dogs at the 10th anniversary show that took place Nov. 19 in Philadelphia.
Eira, formally known as Ch. Steele Your Heart, began her winning day by taking top honors in the terrier group. Later, she outshined the English springer spaniel, the affenpinscher, the Australian shepherd, the Dalmatian, the Bernese mountain dog and the whippet to be crowned Best in Show.
“She is a spectacular show dog, the epitome,” said judge Karen Wilson, who selected the canine. “She has a superior coat.”
According to announcer David Frei, wire terriers are supposed to have a harsh wire coat with a coconut matting. “You can’t part the coat and see the skin,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve seen this dog in person, and she’s every bit that I’ve heard about her.”
Eira and her handler Gabriel Rangel are no strangers to success. This is the dog’s 17th Best in Show title and Rangel led beloved Scottish terrier Sadie to a win at the dog show two years ago.
“She looks beautiful and she moves beautifully,” said Rangel, who lives with Eira in Rialto, Calif. “Eira moves as well as she stacks.”
While she may pause for a few treats this Thanksgiving day, the prized pooch has set her sights on yet another win: Westminster. In February she will attempt to become the third dog ever to win both championships in the same season.
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