Bill McFadden shows Flynn, a bichon frise, in the ring during the non-sporting group during the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. Flynn won best in the non-sporting group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

A Westminster wow: Bichon frise becomes America’s top dog

NEW YORK — Flynn the bichon frise was picked as best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club on Tuesday night, a choice that seemed to surprise almost everyone in the crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Fans who had been loudly shouting for their favourites fell into stunned silence when judge Betty-Anne Stenmark announced her choice.

No matter, the white powder puff was picked and walked off as America’s top dog.

Guided by expert handler Bill McFadden, Flynn beat out Ty the giant schnauzer, Biggie the pug, Bean the Sussex spaniel, Lucy the borzoi, Slick the border collie and Winston the Norfolk terrier.

The giant schnauzer, who was the nation’s No. 1 show dog last year, was chosen as the runner-up.

The 142nd Westminster event drew 2,882 entries in 202 breeds and varieties.

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