Monday, February 16, 2015

Westminster Dog Show Day 1

Presently I'm in New York attending the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Monday was the first of two nights of the formal group competitions, as well as the first of two televised broadcasts of the venerable Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.  I don't intend to provide a complete summary by breed or group here-- there are plenty of other blogs who will do a much better job than I would anyway. Although I am no longer actively working within the pet industry, Westminster has been my passion for the past 18 years, so I made the trip once again to enjoy all the festivities with the dog show community.

Over the past 18 years, some of my dear friends have been in either in dog rescue, shelter groups, dog show judges, groomers, dog handlers, trainers and responsible dog breeders who share the passion for various breeds. It is such fun to be around "pet people" and the actual dogs themselves, naturally. 

Additionally, I'm old friends with the folks at Purina Pro Plan brand dog food, who is now the title sponsor of the Westminster Dog Show, so it is nice to be back to cheer on the sport of show dogs once again this year. Sadly, we've lost a few of our old show dog friends over the years...time marches on I'm afraid, and such is life. But I remember all those we've lost fondly.  Being at Madison Square Garden this evening was a thoroughly enjoyable event. The event is always first class- well produced and organized to perfection. Everyone in the audience are passionate dog lovers, cheering on their favorite breeds and cordial to one another. It is an exhilarating experience I recommend to all dog lovers!

It was also fun to participate in the live social media conversation, from those in attendance to those at home. Using hashtags #WKCDogShow made it easy. I also added on the #PetChat hashtag to connect to my pals there as well. It made it more fun for everyone. One tip: the WKC has a really good smartphone app worth downloading to follow along the show.

If you are not familiar with the Dog Show world, each breed is classified into a type, and the breeds compete within their groups. You can learn all about dog shows from WKC by clicking here.

image credit:Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show social media post
The breed types, in the USA are defined and/or utilized by both the American Kennel Club and Westminster Kennel Club, and are as follows:
1. Working
2. Terrier
3. Hound
4. Toy
5. Sporting
6. Non-Sporting
7. Herding
As a proud poodle parent, I was cheering on the poodles Monday night at the show. There are three types of poodles: 1. Standard Poodle 2. Miniature Poodle and 3. Toy Poodle. Believe it or not, despite their size differences they are all considered the same breed type. My two poodles, Sheldon and Duncan are the "Standard Poodle" size, so naturally, I was very happy when the Standard Poodle won the Non-Sporting Group. Once all the other individual groups complete their judging, the Best in Show competition is the final judging event tomorrow night. I'll be rooting for the Standard Poodle to win Best in Show.  The Westminster Dog Show is televised live on the USA network and CNBC. For streaming and Broadcast info click here.

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