A black-haired Scottish terrier, Sadie, made it to the top by winning the Westminster Kennel Club's Best in Show prize.
The four-year-old with the breed's trademark beard and antenna-like tail was the bookies' heavy favorite in New York after having already amassed 111 other competition titles.
She beat six hungry competitors in the last round -- a Doberman Pinscher, a Brittany Spaniel, a Toy Poodle, a Puli, a Whippet and a French Bulldog.
The Westminster Kennel Club dog show, the canine world's cross between the Oscars, Olympics and Fashion Week, featured some 2,500 pooches of every size, shape and hair type competing to be declared America's best friend.
Although Sadie had been widely expected to triumph, the tense last stages of the competition are often unpredictable.
Handlers run around a pen before a sell-out crowd in the noisy Madison Garden arena while the judge scrutinizes the dog's movement and grooming.
Last year, an elderly Sussex Spaniel named Stump was the surprise winner, his case possibly aided by an unscheduled pee stop by one of the other competitors.
The Westminster Kennel Club show is considered by many to be the most prestigious of all dog beauty contests.
The show, in its 134th year, was broadcast live on USA Network television.