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Irish Setter Clooney Wins the National Dog Show

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Call it the luck of the Irish: Irish setter Clooney claimed the title of Best in Show Thursday at the National Dog Show in Philadelphia. The 3-year-old, who hails from suburban Seattle, won his very first Best in Show crown at another dog show just last week.

Clooney beat out the more than 2,000 other dogs who showed at the NDS, which taped last weekend. In the finals, he was up against six worthy contenders: Scarlett, a Boxer who’s the No. 4-ranked dog in the country; an American Staffordshire terrier; a Scottish deerhound; an Australian shepherd; a Schipperke; and an Affenpinscher.

The Irish setter has long been a favorite of the National Dog Show’s co-host, John O’Hurley. “I think there’s nothing prettier than watching it run with that beautiful red coat,” he told PEOPLEPets.com last year. During the competition, co-host David Frei noted Clooney’s good looks and “rollicking temperament,” a trademark of the breed.

After the big announcement, Clooney’s handler Peter Kubacz told reporter Mary Carillo that the dog’s win was “totally unexpected.” In fact, the New Jersey resident – who breeds Irish setters – has only been showing Clooney for the past two months. “He’s what an Irish setter is,” Kubacz said. “He’s totally attentive, loves to show, loves the crowd, loves people. He’s what the breed calls for.”

Though Clooney probably doesn’t realize he won the big title, let’s hope he’s being thoroughly rewarded with some yummy Thanksgiving treats today. And perhaps we’ll see this top dog in February, when the Westminster Dog Show takes New York!

Read more about the National Dog Show on PEOPLEPets.com:
Former Champ Rufus Enjoying ‘Second Life’ As a Therapy Dog
5 Things to Know About the National Dog Show