[See Westminster dog show photos from Saturday’s action.]
When and where is the Westminster dog show?
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this year is in a tranquil setting (give or take something barking): the grounds of the Lyndhurst Palace in Tarrytown, NY, 30 miles north of the show’s normal home, Madison Square Garden. Lyndhurst was once owned by robber baron Jay Gould.
Sunday is the last day of the show, which happens much later in the year than usual. Pandemic concerns led organizers to hold the show outdoors, making June a more pleasant month than February.
How can I see?
You can not participate live this year: Spectators who are not directly involved in a competing dog are prohibited.
But it’s dogs, dogs, dogs on TV this weekend. Saturday’s coverage included preparations, the agility event and the first four group finals. Sunday, there are several preliminary tournaments (13:30 Eastern, FS1) and three more group finals and Best in Show (7:30 pm, Fox).
There will also be dog streaming on the Fox app and westminsterkennelclub.org. And The New York Times will have live comments from our experts beginning Sunday night at 6 p.m.
How does it work?
Thousands of dogs compete against others from their breed: collie against collie, Saluki against Saluki. The approximately 200 race winners advance to compete against similar races in the group finals. The seven group winners then fight for the grand prize: Best in Show, which this year will be judged by Patricia Craige Trotter from Carmel, California. The decision is hers and hers alone.
What is new?
Four new breeds are participating in the party this year: the barbet, a curly-haired bearded dog; the Belgian Laekenois, a shaggy shepherd; Biewer terrier, a long-haired, tricolor toy terrier; and Dogo Argentino, a white muscular dog with a smooth coat.
Who won Saturday?
Four group winners were selected:
The bourbon whippet won the dog group.
Wasabi the Pekingese won the toy group.
Mathew, the French bulldog, won the non-sporting group.
Connor, the old English sheepdog, won the shepherd group.
Who wins Best in Show?
Handicapping an exhibition field for dogs is a little harder than choosing the winner of the fourth race at Belmont. It is commonly said that terrier is the best choice and wire fox terrier has the most wins with 15. But terrier has only won two of the last 10 Westminsters so prediction is difficult. The last three winners were a standard poodle, a wire fox terrier and a bichon frieze.
Can I go into my mutt?
Unfortunately, the event is for the purebred only. So your Max, Jake or Buster can not win even though he is the best dog in the whole world.