LOS ANGELES - Uggie, the trick-performing Jack Russell Terrier starring in silent film “The Artist”, was top dog at the first-ever Golden Collar awards recognising canine excellence in Hollywood films.

The veteran performer beat out Cosmo from “Beginners”, Denver from “50/50”, Hummer from “Young Adult”, and the doberman Blackie from Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo”. Uggie was also nominated for his role in “Water for Elephants”.

The award for Best Dog in a Theatrical Film adds to the long list of accolades garnered by “The Artist”, which has been nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture.

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Uggie’s trainer Omar von Muller accepted the award late Monday — a collar decked with Swarovski crystals with a bone-shaped pendant — and thanked the Dog News Daily website, which sponsored the awards.

“This is very important for all the trainers in the movie industry, because we have never been recognised before, and people just don’t understand that it takes hundreds and even thousands of hours to train a dog,” he said. He then paid tribute to Uggie, “my buddy forever,” saying: “He’s a great performer but at the same time he’s a great family member, he sleeps with us, and he’s getting kind of old and it’s overwhelming.”

Uggie, 10, has had a long career in film and television and retired following “The Artist”, for which he was also given the “Palm Dog” at the Cannes film festival, a prize echoing its top film honour, the Palm d’Or.

The Golden Collar awards attracted a diverse audience of two and four-legged viewers, and saw prizes awarded in five film categories, including Best Dog in a Foreign Film, Best Dog in a Television Series, Best Dog in a Reality Series and Best Dog in a Direct-to-DVD film. A special prize was also awarded to South African actress Charlize Theron — who was not present at the event — for her work on behalf of animal welfare.