During the day, almost 3,000 dogs representing over 200 breeds are narrowed down to a single best of each breed. There are 30 breeds in the Working Group. He attributed Aftin's success entirely to the dog.
After last year's disappointment, the dog didn't compete for nearly a year, while Boyles contemplated whether she was ready for motherhood.
The herding victor, Rumor, won the category for the second consecutive year.
"Puppies are in her future", he said. Boyles, from Wisconsin, described his dog as "really affectionate".
The 5-year-old dog Rumor is name for the Adele hit song "Rumor has It". For his win in the "Best in Breed" category, he will be moving on to the group competition.
Now comes the breed judging, and the much-anticipated Best in Show on Tuesday evening.
The victor is typically crowned after two days of competition-first competing within breeds in seven categories (Herding, Hound, Non-Sporting, Sporting, Terrier, Toy, Working), then in the finals.
Owners will spend well over $100,000 a year to present their prize pooches to the fans who dish out $40 to cheer on their favorite underdog.
The last dog to take two in a row at Westminster was an English springer spaniel in 1971-72. "It's just been great being able to see them".
"Love showing this dog", he said. The dog is the national breed of Israel. The sporting group, representing hunting and retrieving dogs, has the largest number of entries at more than 500. 2017 also marked the first year the competition showcased cats. The winners of the seven groups will compete for Best in Show. The grand champion of the event was Trick, a Border Collie, owned and handled by John Nys of Rhode Island.