Westminster Dog Show: “The creme de la creme”

 Many years ago, when I began watching the Westminster Dog Show on TV,  I wondered what qualifications the dogs needed for entry into this most prestigious of all dogs shows.  In 2000 I finally bought a computer for home use and I was able to research just about everything pertaining to Westminster Dog Show. But be aware that if you have the intention of getting into the business of showing or owning a registered dog the cost is s-t-e-e-p!  Lots of travel is involved and merely buying a dog with show dog qualities will cost thousands of dollars. Some dogs are owned by 2 are more people and some of the owners prefer to hire a professional to handle their dog for showing. Some owners are also breeders and show their own dogs.

A Best in Show at Westminster sends the breeding fee of the bitch (female dog) and the stud (male dog) way up there and I mean above what the average person would pay for a registered dog.

I’ll name the qualifications which will get you and your dog an invitation to participate in the event.. 1. The dog must be in the American Kennel Club stud book or other recognized pedigree registry. 2. Your dog must be among the top 5 dogs within a recognized breed with the most points earned from other shows of the past year. 3. If you did not get an invitation then you can complete an entry form and hope that your dog will be among the first 2,500 entries being accepted to the show.  4. Entries are accepted from other countries.

The first Westminster show was held in 1877. That just proves that  purebred dogs have been in man’s favor for quite a long time.  The actual judging began in 1907. The dog show is the oldest continuously held sporting event. I did not realize that a dog show was considered a sporting event but none the less this event seems to gain in popularity.

Each year this event is held in Madison Square Garden which is quite a large arena to accommodate so many dogs and their entourage of handlers, groomers, cages, owners, and media people wandering around with cameras and microphones. This year there were 2,500 entries. Literally the place had gone to the dogs –of all sizes, colors, and some with bodies that don’t seem to go with the rest of the dog. Lest you think I’m mocking the event- well, think not. Watching the show on TV sort of boggles my mind. The dogs are so clean, groomed to perfection, and well mannered.

There are seven classifications  (groups) in which a particular breed is placed. The groups are: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding. I garnered some interesting facts about the show’s winners. The Smooth Fox Terrier won best in show for three consecutive years: 1907, 1908, and 1909. And so it seems as if the Fox Terrier has been on a roll with the Wire Fox Terrier winning Best Of Show, 13 times.  Six dogs of various breeds have won Best in Show 2 times. It is interesting to note that no dog listed in the top ten of America’s favorite breeds has ever won. The Labrador Retriever has the distinction of the most dogs registered  in the AKC for a number of years.

Here’s a list of the  Best in Show winners  of the last ten years.

1998: Norwich Terrier  1999: Papillon   2000:  English Springer Spaniel   2001: Bichon Frise   2002: Miniature Poodle   2003:  Kerry Blue Terrier    2004:  Newfoundland   2005:  German Shorthaired Pointer   2006:  Bull Terrier (colored)  2007:  English Springer Spaniel    2008:  Beagle (15″)   2009:  Sussex Spaniel   2010: Scottish Terrier  2011: Scottish Deerhound.

Six new breeds were finally accepted into the AKC and they are: Boykin Spaniel (an American breed), Bluetick Coonhound (an American breed), Redbone Coonhound (an American Breed, Cane Corso, Leonberger, and Icelandic Sheep Dog.

Now to get to the 10 most registered breeds of dogs of the past year. These are listed according to popularity: 1. Labrador Retriever    2. German Shepherd   3. Yorkshire  Terrier   4: Beagle   
5.GoldenRetriever   6.Bulldog   7.Boxer    8.Dachshund                                                                                                                                        9. Poodle   10. Shih Tzu

Post by Yvonne Daniel     (My dogs are purebreds and mutts. All are rescues).    For the future:  posts re: my thoughts about purebred dogs versus mutts.

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