NEW YORK, N.Y. - Banana Joe, a little affenpinscher with a bouncy step and shiny black coat, walked off as America's top dog Tuesday night, winning best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club.

Affectionately called a monkey dog because he looks just like one, Banana Joe made up for near misses the last two years at Madison Square Garden.

The 5-year-old wagged his tail a mile a minute and stuck out his pink tongue after earning his 86th best in show title overall.

It was a timely win, too, coming a day before he was set to fly back to the Netherlands with his owner. That trip has been postponed for his victory lap.

"He's won a lot of big shows, but not like this one," handler Ernesto Lara said.

A class clown, this champion also is pretty bright.

"He speaks German, Dutch, Spanish and English," co-owner and breeder Mieke Cooijmans offered.

Story continues after slideshow.

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  • Ernesto Lara, Banana Joe

    Ernesto Lara celebrates with Banana Joe, an affenpinscher, who won Best in Show, during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Teddy, a Gordon Setter, is groomed before judging at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 12, 2013 in New York. STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

  • Cash, an English Setter, gets a blow dry from BJ Parsons, with other English Setters before judging at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 12, 2013 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

  • Barry, a Komondorok, at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 12, 2013 in New York. STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

  • Cole, a Komondorok, is groomed by Val McNellis at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 12, 2013 in New York. STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

  • US-ANIMALS-WESTMINSTER-DOG SHOW

    Cash, an English Setter, gets a blow dry from BJ Parsons before judging at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 12, 2013 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A St. Bernard takes a nap at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 12, 2013 in New York. STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

  • Great Pyrenees Sky (L) and Gem (R) with Joan Hanover (C) at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 12, 2013 in New York. STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

  • A row of Samoyeds are groomed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 12, 2013 in New York. STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

  • US-ANIMALS-WESTMINSTER-DOG SHOW

    Paisley, a Wheaten Terrier, sits on a grooming table before judging at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 12, 2013 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Colton Johnson shows off Swagger, an Old English Sheep Dog with the hearding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Colton Johnson shows off Swagger, an Old English Sheep Dog, with the hearding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • A Pembroke Welsch Corgi is judged with the hearding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Swagger

    Colton Johnson shows off Swagger, an Old English Sheep Dog and winner of the hearding group, during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • A rough collie waits to compete in the hearding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Honor

    Honor, a Bichon Frise, and winner of the non-sporting group, is held by handler Lisa Bettis during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Fiona, a 2-year-old Red Dilute Brush Coat, waits in the benching area before competing in the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Caroll Geiser, of Rochester, N.Y., grooms Eva, a 3-year-old Old English Sheep dog, during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • A Smooth Coat Chihuahua looks up at it's handler while being displayed in the ring during competition at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • A Bichon Frise rests before competing in the The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Angel, a 2-year-old Toy Poodle from Houston, is groomed prior to competition during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • A Shih Tzu is inspected by a judge during competition of the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Craig Garcia grooms Fire, a 2-year-old Shih Tzu from Cape Town, South Africa, during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Michelle Ridenour, of Novi, Michigan, grooms Tigger, a 3-year-old Pomeranian, during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Linda Scott, of Odessa, Texax, grooms Pink a a 2 year-year-old bulldog during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Jewel

    Jewel, an American Foxhound and winner of the hound group, leaves the competition area during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Banana Joe

    Banana Joe, an Affenpinscher and winner of the the toy group, is shown by Ernesto Lara during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • A Yorkshire terrier is judged with the toy group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Banana Joe

    Banana Joe, an Affenpinscher and winner of the toy group, is shown by Ernesto Lara during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Banana Joe, an Affenpinscher and winner of the toy group, is shown by Ernesto Lara during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • A handler places a smooth coat Chihuahua on the table for inspection during competition at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • A smooth coat Chihuahua waits in his cage in the benching area during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Colton Johnson shows off Swagger, an Old English Sheep Dog, with the hearding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Honor

    Lisa Bettis, shows, Honor, a Bichon Frise, of Indiana, and winner of the non-sporting group, during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • A Pembroke Welsch Corgi is judged with the hearding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Swagger

    Swagger, an Old English Sheep Dog, is posed for photographs after winning the hearding group during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Russell Terriers are held during a news conference in New York, on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. Russell Terriers are one of two breeds competing for the first time this year in the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which is scheduled to begin on Feb. 11. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • A pair of Neopolitan Bull Mastifs named Paparazzi and Ruben ride the elevator with their owners after checking into the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in preparation for the Westminster Dog Show, which is Monday and Tuesday. The hotel is located directly across from Madison Square Garden, where the show is held. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • Handler Ernesto Lara poses for photographers with Banana Joe, an affenpinscher who won best in show during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

  • Matisse

    Matisse, a Portuguese water dog and winner of the working group is shown during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Eddie Boyes shows Adam, a smooth fox terrier and winner of the terrier group, during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Oakley

    Oakley, a German wirehaired pointer and winner of the Sporting group, is shown during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2013, file photo, Aristocrat, a St. Bernard, attends a news conference about the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York. Caring for a large dog has demands not associated with having smaller breeds. Large breeds eat more, need more living space and can have health issues not seen in smaller breeds. Although they can require more of a commitment that their smaller counterparts, large breeds remain popular among dog owners and the general public alike. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

An old English sheepdog only 20 months old was picked as the runner-up on the green carpet of the Garden. Swagger the sheepdog drew the most cheers, but judge Michael Dougherty picked Banana Joe.

"He was presented in immaculate manner," Dougherty praised. "He was on the minute he walked in."

"He's in perfect condition, perfect body," he added.

Also in the best-of-seven final ring were a German wirehaired pointer ranked as the nation's No. 1 show dog, an American foxhound, a Portuguese water dog, a bichon frise and a smooth fox terrier.

Banana Joe had never gotten this far before. He entered the last two Westminsters with a lot of fanfare, yet didn't perform to perfection and finished second in toy group judging each time.

Lara kept hoisting the dog officially named Banana Joe V Tani Kazari after he became the first affenpinscher to win at the country's premier dog show. The playful pooch enjoys tugging at his squeaky mouse toy — now he can put it in the prized silver bowl he won.

There were 2,721 entries in 187 breeds and varieties at the 137th Westminster, including a pair of newcomers, the treeing Walker coonhound and the Russell terrier. The Russell terrier drew a cheer when it made the initial cut in the terrier group.

The old English sheepdog was clearly a crowd favourite. Maybe that's because fans knew his backstory — this was just the fourth dog show Swagger had ever entered.

In fact, Swagger didn't even come to Westminster as a champion. In past years, only dogs who had won a lot in the past were eligible. This time, with a larger exhibition space along the Hudson River during the day, more dogs were allowed.

Certainly, it was worth the $75 entry cost for Swagger's owners.

Banana Joe, meanwhile, gets no prize money for winning Westminster. Instead, along with the silver bowl, the Garden champion earns a lifetime of prestige, plus lucrative breeding fees for its owners.

The Portuguese water dog — the same breed that romps around the White House with President Barack Obama's family — also arrived at 20 months old. Matisse, who got his name because his owners are art lovers, showed well while Obama was delivering his State of the Union address.

Matisse beat out Fifi the Doberman in the working group. The Fifinator, as she's known by her thousands of Facebook fans, won the group last year and came in second this time.

Hours earlier, Fifi was sound asleep in her crate, a red rabbit stuffed toy at her paws, looking like the most docile dog in the world. Not exactly how many people see a Doberman pinscher.

"They can be intimidating," owner-breeder-handler Jocelyn Mullins said.

That's why her rooters hoped she could win best in show this time.

"It would humanize the breed," Westminster Kennel Club President Sean McCarthy said. "A win for the Doberman would be an acceptance of that breed."