LIVERMORE -- Ogee Saltus Ze Zahrabske, who prefers to go simply by "Ogee," brought home an impressive prize from the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Show in New York on Tuesday.

The 4-year-old standard schnauzer was chosen as Best of Breed. The designation let him advance to the working dog group competition. But, beaten out by a Portuguese water dog for that prize, he wasn't able to advance to the Best in Show competition -- taken by Sky, a wire fox terrier.

But Ogee wasn't too upset.

"Ogee didn't care; he was ready to take a nap," said Ellen Yamada, who owns Ogee, along with her friend Carol Davis-Earle and her son and daughter-in-law, Brad Yamada and Cornelia Cheng. Davis-Earle lives in Livermore, and the others in Southern California.

"Ogee spends time with all of us, though right now he's living with his handler, Oscar Quiros, getting ready for upcoming shows in 2014," Ellen Yamada said.

Perhaps there's something in the Tri-Valley air that breeds champion standard schnauzers.

In 2013, Max, a standard schnauzer from Danville, also walked off with the Best of Breed award at the Westminster show, but didn't get Best of Show. Like Ogee, he wasn't overly upset.

"(Max) just fell right back into being a regular dog," after the show and his retirement from competition, owner John Adiletti said after last year's event.

Ogee is a recent immigrant to the United States. Davis-Earle, who has owned Sudsy Dogs grooming in downtown Livermore since the 1970s, saw photos of him on the Internet when he was just a puppy and purchased him from a breeder in Croatia.

"You don't usually buy a puppy sight unseen, but when Carol saw his pictures, she was just blown away," said Yamada. "He turned out to be just as good as he looked."

Davis-Earle said she could tell the minute Ogee arrived that he was a really great dog.

"I feel a great sense of pride in Ogee; he's a fabulous, fabulous dog," said Davis-Earle. "He's a showman from the get-go."

Yamada said Ogee has just the right combination of Schnauzer good looks and show dog temperament.

"Ogee's a very easy dog to show because he never has any fear; he's always in charge," said Yamada. "He has that working dog temperament. If he likes you, he'll do anything for you. Working dogs like to be doing something, so they like the excitement of a show and the sound of the crowd clapping."

She said a top show dog must have a stable temperament, be somewhat of an extrovert and have the right body structure.

"You put it all together, and you have a champion," said Yamada.

The standard schnauzer is the oldest of the three schnauzer breeds (the others are giant and miniature), originating in Bavaria in the 15th century.

According to the Westminster Kennel Club Website: (The standard schnauzer is) "highly intelligent. This medium-sized, sturdy dog was the working companion of the common man, a drover's dog, rat catcher and guardian. They were first imported to the U.S. in the 1920s. Now primarily family companions, their versatility is still in evidence. In addition to agility, obedience and tracking, they excel in such diverse activities as bomb detection, search and rescue and therapy."

The Westminster Kennel Club lists 25 breeds considered "Working Dogs," including ones that really do work for a living, protecting house and home, such as Dobermans and Rottweilers. Others are rescue dogs, including the St. Bernard and Bernese.

Although she was a little jet-lagged Thursday from her trip to New York and the wintry weather there, Davis-Earle wasn't resting on her, or Ogee's, laurels.

"The show must go on," she said. "I'm off to another dog show in San Jose today to show my Japanese Chin!"