The westminster dog show
The Westminster Dog Show is a two-day extravaganza featuring more than 2,600 dogs and 165 breeds. You may be interested to know that the Westminster dog show is one of the oldest annual sporting events in the USA, second only to the Kentucky Derby.
Today, the Westminster dog show is not just for hunting dogs, but includes all kinds of different breeds and has turned its focus from working dog’s performance in the field, to it’s appearance as well. The Westminster Dog Show is now in its 132th year, and only champions, which are vetted through a series of lesser contests, are allowed to participate in the Nobel prize of the canine world.
The first Westminster dog show was held in 1877 when a group of hunters decided to get together at the Westminster Hotel in Manhattan to compare their purebred dogs, and it eventually grew over time to what it is today. The Westminster Dog Show features different breeds of dogs and their owners performing in a nerve-racking competition that’s as intense as it is old.
Every February, thousands of AKC dogsand their exhibitors make their way into Madison Square Garden for two intensive days of showing that, when all the barking is over, will crown the best dog in the country. Dogsare judged on their general appearance, condition and carriage, with special attention being paid to the dog’s head (including the eyes, ears, skull and muzzle).
Until 1992, this event was a full show, meaning all classes were included from dog and bitch competition for Winners, to Best of Breed, Group, and Best In Show. From 1992 onward, only the creme de la creme of the dogworld were deemed eligible for the greatest show in the country, and entries were limited to finished champions as mentioned earlier.
Currently, the show is limited to a total entry of 2,622 champions in all from over 165 AKC recognized dog breeds. When not being groomed, exercised or shown, all dogs are to be displayed in their assigned bench spot, this gives the public aisle upon aisle of the best purebred dogsin the country to view. It also gives the public the chance to connect with breeders, most of whom are only too happy to share their knowledge of all things dog, and in particular, the wonderful attributes of their breed. In the past, this show was extended to a four day event due to it’s immense popularity with the public and exhibitors alike, but currently the show has been packed into two full days of dog showing.
Presently, all dog breeds are divided into one of seven groups, including: Toys,Non-Sporting,Sporting,Working,Herding,Terrier, and Hound. Although it may appear that dogs of different breeds are competing with each other, it is actually the judge’s job to choose which of the dogsis the best representative of their breed standard. The dog who is the most turned on, moving energetically and totally in tune with his handler can’t help but catch the judges eye, and usually winds up with a Group first placement.
With the awarding of the Group 1 placements, the field of over 2,500 deserving champions is narrowed down to the top 7, and from this elite company the highly coveted Best In Show dogis selected, and after a few moments of excruciating suspense, the judge presents the winning dog/handler team with a huge BIS rosette ribbon, and the Westminster show trophy.
The Westminster dog show is still the greatest dog show on earth, and undoubtedly the most famous of all American shows. Are you aware that the anniversary of the first Westminster Dog Show is May 8th. Can I just say that watching the Westminster Dog show is in my top 5 sporting events every year, including Olympic years.
The Westminster dog show is comming on TV next week (on the cable channel USA) And will be aired tomorrow and Tuesday night. Westminster Dog Show tickets are available, and this event is a tradition that dates back longer than almost every other sporting event in the United States. Although a few corporate sponsored shows have tried to usurp the Westminster Kennel Club dog show of it’s pride of place in recent years, for true dog show aficionados, this show is, and always will be, the Holy Grail of all dog shows.