Westminster Dog Show: What Is It? Where Can You Watch It?
Never heard of the Westminster Dog Show? You’re in luck — here’s your guide to the prestigious competition.
What is it?
The Westminster Kennel Club hosts an annual dog show in New York City that has gained the club recognition “as the symbol of the purebred dog,” according to its website. The Westminster Dog Show started in 1877, and dogs and their breeders can enter different competition categories, with Best in Show being the most highly prized award.
Thousands of dogs from all over the world enter in the Masters Agility Championship, Masters Obedience Championship and the Dog Show. The Dog Show is judged by breed groups — Hound, Toy, Sporting, Non-Sporting, Herding, Working and Terrier — over the span of two days. After each breed group is judged, the Best in Show is chosen from among the winners.
The Westminster Kennel Club also hosts the Junior Showmanship, in which kids can compete with their dogs. About 100 juniors compete every year, according to the WKC website.
To qualify, dogs must “work to earn championship titles, qualifying wins and top rankings,” the website said. “Stops on the road to Westminster” include the Atlanta Kennel Club Dog Show, the Ladies Kennel Association of America in Oyster Bay, New York and the World Series of Dog Shows in Houston.
This year’s show will start with the Masters Agility Championship on Saturday, Feb. 10, and the Masters Obedience Championship will be on Monday, Feb. 12. The Dog Show will take place from Monday, Feb. 12 to Tuesday, Feb. 13.
Where can you watch it?
FOX will broadcast the Masters Agility Championship from 2-4:30 p.m. EST on Saturday.
FOX Sports GO and the Westminster Kennel Club website will broadcast the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding breed judging, Junior Showmanship preliminaries and Masters Obedience Championship for free from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. EST on Feb 12. Nat Geo Wild will have selected live coverage of the breed judging and Masters Obedience Championship from 1-4 p.m. EST as well. Dog Show Group Competitions for Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding breeds will air on Fox Sports 1 and FOX Sports GO from 8-11 p.m. EST.
Breed judging for Sporting, Working and Terrier breeds as well as the Junior Showmanship preliminaries will be shown for free on the WKC website and FOX Sports GO from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. EST on Feb. 13. Nat Geo Wild will also show selected live coverage of the breed judging and Masters Obedience Championship from 1-4 p.m. EST. Dog Show Group Competitions for Sporting, Working and Terrier breeds will air on Fox Sports 1 and FOX Sports GO from 8-11 p.m. EST, and Best in Show will also be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.