The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is one of the most anticipated events of the year. Dog lovers from across
the country come to the big show to see if their favorite breed will be crowned the winner. The first show was organized in
1877, and handlers, owners and their dogs have come to the Big Apple every year since, hoping to take home the big prize.
The show just celebrated its 137th annual all breed dog show, with an affenpinscher, named Banana Joe, winning Best in Show.
The Westminister Kennel Club was actually created specifically for this event, and the club has been putting on this star-studded
show for more than a century.
If you're a dog lover, or you just love cutthroat competition, then you'll love this dog
show. Come and see which breed has what it takes to become Best in Show. The two-day event takes place in February at the
iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City. Don't miss a moment of the doggie delight.
Kennel Club Dog Show has become a part of American history, and one of the most exciting events of the year. With such a large
crowd and a TV-viewing audience in the millions, there has to be someone to keep the audience glued to the show or their TV
set. "The Voice of Westminster," Roger A. Caras, has been narrating the show for decades until his death in 2001. After this
iconic announcer's death, the job was taken over by Michael J. LaFave, who was later replaced by Jim Fagan.
The first Westminster show took place in the spring of 1877. Because of its long run, it is considered the
second-longest continuously held sporting event in the United States. The event was first created to showcase the strength
and beauty of the gun dogs—Setters and Pointers. This showing of hunting dogs was the brainchild of a group of hunters
who met periodically at the Westminster Hotel on Sixteenth Street in Manhattan. The group decided to make their "club" official
and name it the Westminster Kennel Club, with the sole purpose of hosting an annual dog show. The prizes for Best in Show
were much different than they are now. Prizes were usually hunting related, like a pearl-handled pistol. The first show was
hosted at Gilmore Gardens, which later became the Hippodrome. The show drew dogs from all over the area—more than 1,200
dogs—and proved to be a hugely popular event. The event that was supposed to take just three days, was stretched to
four because of the large turnout. The proceeds from the fourth day were donated to the ASPCA to help stray and disabled dogs.
of the success of the event, it became a yearly endeavor. The kennel club was the first of its kind, pre-dating the American
Kennel Club by seven years. The AKC—after forming in 1884—helped the Westminster Kennel Club come up with a set
up rules and standards for the judging of the dogs at the show. These breed standards are still in use today. Dogs who are
closest to these breed standards receive the highest scores. Some of the attributes judges look for are color, eye shape,
tail carriage and the performance of the dog according to its breed. Although most of the dogs that are entered in today's
show are not fulfilling their original purpose—hunting, fishing, ridding homes of vermon—they still must possess
and perform some of their breeds innate characteristics of their breed in order to receive a high score. The number of dogs
entered grew exponentially after the first year, and in 1992, the kennel club limited the entries to 2,500 dogs, which includes
the top-five dogs in each breed.
Each dog must win Best of Breed in order to move on and be considered for Best in Show.
Once they have advanced past Best of Breed, they are included in one of seven categories that are eligible for Best in Show.
The seven categories are: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding.
The show that is broadcast
in more than 170 countries has been aired on live television since 1948. Today, the first night of the broadcast airs on CNBC,
while the Tuesday night broadcast airs on the USA Network. More than 700 members of the press attend the event from more than
20 countries. This global event is one of the most exciting happenings in the world, and you won't want to miss your chance
to be a part of it.
Who wouldn't love to watch dogs parade around Madison Square Garden,
prancing and pawing their way to a victory? When you come out to the historic Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, you will get
the chance to see all of your favorite breeds compete for Best in Show. This event is the cutest competition show on television,
and you can have the chance to be there in person when the "top dog" is crowned the winner.