Spectator's Guide to America's Dog Show, 15-16 February
Everything* you always wanted to know about dog shows but were afraid to ask!
All About Westminster
A choreography of grapely-purple and sparkly-gold on a backdrop of a rich green carpet. A cacophony of canines amidst a murmuring of voices and sporadic cheering.
And so begins another premier dog show, the Westminster Kennel club Dog show, a February TV tradition, a seemingly out-of-reach dog show but, yes, you CAN walk in off the street and, luck permitting, sit in the first row ringside and theoretically ‘reach out and touch’ the dogs competing in the ring during the day (a faux pas – but you CAN meet them ‘backstage’ with their owners’ permission – champions all!) for only $35 a day.
You’ve watched it (live breed judging videos available starting Monday and Tuesday on the Westminster website, www.westminsterkennelclub.org) on TV (this year, 8-11pm Monday on CNBC and 8-11pm Tuesday on the USA Network). The Westminster website also has the exact time your breed will be competing.
Monday night the Hound group finals are aired as well as the Toys, the Herding dogs and Non-Sporting group. Tuesday you will watch the Sporting dogs, the Working group, the Terriers and, finally, Best in Show!
In Canada, check out the Animal Planet channel and, for repeat showings, check out this Westminster webpagewhich includes information on digital live streaming: Fox Sports 1 will air the Agility finals on Saturday, as well.
But this year is the year to attend in person. It’s in nearby New York City, so you have no excuse for staying home! Read on for all the information you need to have a grand ol’ time at the show! Then you can always say, “I was there!” - one of thousands of in-person spectators.
Last year, Champion Tashtins Lookin For Trouble (Miss P), a 15-inch Beagle, was declared America’s Dog, winning over 2752 dogs in two days. The excitement was electric. Dogs competed first by breed or variety, then the 7 group finals were held in the evening with winners from the daytime breed shows, and the ‘final final’ on Tuesday evening pitted one finalist from each of the 7 groups of dogs (Toy, Terrier, Working, Sporting, Non-Sporting, Herding, and Hounds) ‘against’ the 6 others.
*Unfortunately, the Westminster Kennel Club does not permit blogs to use their photos. For photos, go here.