Eyes On The Prize: Meet The Westminster Dog Show’s Real Hero

Dario the Leonberger. Photo Credit: Brad Barket/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

(WESTMINSTER DOG SHOW) A German shorthaired pointer named C.J. was crowned winner at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday, but many would argue it was actually Dario the Leonberger who stole the show.

The two-year-old fluff ball became an instant sensation after incessantly gnawing at his handler Sam Mammano’s suit pocket in search of treats as he romped around the ring.

It seems after two days of being constantly groomed and paraded around, the prestigious pup decided he deserved some extra treats for his hard work and paw-tience.

Sam Mammano shows Dario, a Leonberger, in the ring during the working group competition at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, at Madison Square Garden in New York. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Sam Mammano shows Dario, a Leonberger, during the 140th Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Tuesday. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

While he may have missed out on winning an award in his Working Group showing, which was won by a Samoyed named Bogey, Dario delighted a packed crowd at Madison Square Garden and certainly earned a place in our hearts–not to mention, a mass of fans across the World Wide Web.

Michelle Collins, a co-host on The View, took to Twitter:

“‘Leonberger was robbed. Truly every person I know incl myself has attacked a man’s pocket for snacks.”

Dario’s handler Mammano of Rochester, New York was also among the many who enjoyed Dario’s charm.

“Good comic relief,” Mammano said. “He’s a young, silly dog and was just having fun.”

But apparently Dario’s attempts to grab a snack were in vain as there was nothing inside the pocket. According to Mammano, “the food was on the other side.”

Take a look at Dario’s adorable antics in the GIF below.

— Alisa Manzelli, exclusive to Global Animal