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Round head wears crown

A colored bull terrier called Rufus used his head Tuesday night to become America's top dog.

The tan-and-white mix won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club, beating out six strong contenders and drawing a rousing ovation from the sellout crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Rufus' selling point?

His head - perfectly shaped like an egg.

"The classic profile of a colored bull terrier," judge James Reynolds said.

Rufus was the first dog in his breed to win at the nation's most prestigious show.

Handler Kathy Kirk said she was "ready to pass out" from the pressure, but her nearly 6-year-old dog that she playfully calls "Puppyhead" seemed to take it all in stride.

He stacked in style - holding his pose for the judge - and wagged his tail when he won. Later, he'll surely "hucklebuck" - that's how Kirk describes how he jumps up and bangs his behind into a door.

At a show that drew 2,622 entries in 165 breeds and varieties, Rufus really earned this victory. He beat out a favorite Norfolk terrier named Coco and a Dandie Dinmont co-owned by Bill Cosby just to reach the final ring.

When it got down to Best in Show, Rufus was picked over a popular golden retriever, a Rottweiler handled by former Florida State University linebacker Keith Carter, a prize pug and an alert Dalmatian. An old English sheepdog and a Scottish deerhound also made it to the last seven.

Terriers have dominated in 130 years of Westminster, now winning 44 of 99 times that Best in Show has been presented. But usually it's fancier kinds, such as the wire fox, that take home the silver bowl.

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