CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - He is among the rarest dog breeds in America and he is very good at competing against others of his kind, so much so he's heading to New York to compete for the most coveted title in the dog world: Best in Show.
You may not know it to look at him, but Mateo is getting a reputation in the ring as a force to be reckoned with and he's one step away from canine immortality.
Meet Mateo, who in just two weeks could become a household name. The Spinone Italiano has been making a name for himself in competitions around the country and he's heading to the Big Apple to compete in the Westminster Dog Show, which is the Super Bowl of competitive dog events.
“He’s going into Westminster as the number one Spinone in the country. We are actually almost 100-points ahead of the next dog in the competition,” said Mateo’s owner Lindsay Stanton.
When he's not competing in Chicago and around the country, Mateo's owner and mom says he lead .a pretty normal life. He loves a good chew toy as much as the next dog and he loves ‘Take Your Dog to Work Day.’
But don't let Mateo's playful demeanor fool you. In the ring, this dog has been a dominant force since he was just six months old and is currently ranked number one in the country in his sporting group, and he's loved competing from day one
“Each time he went into the ring he won...and he just loved it. He was like strutting he won a toy and you can clearly tell he loves his toys,” Stanton said.
Outside of the ring, competitive dog owners are often asked to describe their dog's personality. But with Mateo, what you see is what you get.
“They have a very clownish side even though I think they're one of the most soulful breeds. You can almost see into these guys soul when you look into their eyes,” Stanton said.
The 140th Westminster Dog Show kicks off Monday, February 15.