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Posted at 1:46 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Westminster Dog Show 2011: Pooch prep time

By Melissa Bell
westminster dog
Leo the Afghan hound. (Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images)

That day is upon us when there are so many collective exclamations of love and adorableness, it's enough to give everyone a toothache.

No, I'm not talking about Valentine's Day. I'm talking about the onslaught of primped and pretty dogs at Madison Square Garden in New York, where the 134th Westminster Dog Show is well underway. Will it be Jack the Yorkshire terrier, Sparkle the standard poodle or Leo the Afghan hound who takes the top spot?

The show airs live at 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. This year, the surprise guest will be the notoriously ugly Xoloitzcuintli dogs, who have finally made the American Kennel Club's list of 170 recognized purebreds.

The cameras all may be turned on the green field where the dogs take their award-deciding walks, but the real fun -- as Christopher Guest's brilliant film "Best in Show" showed us -- takes place behind the scenes, where the dogs undergo beauty treatments on par with those in the best Hollywood salons. From hair trimming to fur curling, to teeth cleaning to paw manicuring, and from puppy massages to five-star hotel rooms, these dogs undergo a rigorous routine.

Check the full gallery of dogs preparing for their big moment. And If your dog doesn't live up to Westminster standards -- but you still think she's a winner -- submit your photo to our pets gallery and we'll ooh and ahh over her just the same.

westminster dog
Jack the Yorkshire terrier. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)
westminster dog
Parker the standard poodle. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)
westminster dog
Sparkle the standard poodle backstage. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

By Melissa Bell  | February 14, 2011; 1:46 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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possums, it takes a lot of work to look like Dame Edna !

Posted by: pejochum | February 14, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Read more about Parker's breeder at:

Posted by: angelsun | February 14, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

More working dog pictures!
"Best in Show" is one of my all time favorites. I cannot watch dog shows now without thinking of it. I often wonder if that poor chocolate Weimeraner had lasting anxiety issues. If you look closely you can tell he's not acting.

Posted by: hebe1 | February 15, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

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