Dog show

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Four dog breeds are newly eligible to compete in this year’s Westminster Dog Show. They are (from left to right) a Barbet, a Biewer terrier, a Belgian Laekenois and a Dogo Argentino.

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Four dog breeds are newly eligible to compete in this year’s Westminster Dog Show. They are (from left to right) a Barbet, a Biewer terrier, a Belgian Laekenois and a Dogo Argentino.

John Minchillo/AP

The 145th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show is taking place this weekend and there’s a lot to talk about.

For the first time, due to the pandemic, the show moved 28 miles from the interior of Madison Square Garden in Manhattan to the exterior grounds of the 67-acre Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, NY

Spectators and vendors will not be permitted at the event per state COVID-19 regulations. You can watch it or stream it on Fox. But don’t worry, the show isn’t definitely in the niche: the competition has already planned a return to its usual New York location in 2022.

This year’s show will feature 2,500 dogs from all 50 states and Puerto Rico, as well as 10 other countries. Two hundred and nine breeds and varieties will be in competition, including four newly eligible breeds: the Barbet, the Biewer terrier, the Belgian Laekenois and the Dogo Argentino.

All will be able to compete and make history in the Best in Show competition, which will be held on Sunday. Here, we’ll reunite you with past winners and meet the new competing races. so what are we waiting for? Let’s meet dogs.

These new breeds are eligible this year

Now recognized by the American Kennel Club, four breeds are eligible to compete at the Westminster Dog Show. Competing for their first chance in history to appear on the green carpet are:

A Barbet is shown at a press conference ahead of the Westminster Kennel Club’s 145th annual dog show. Barbets are French water dogs whose name comes from the French word “barbe”, which means “beard”.

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A Barbet is shown at a press conference ahead of the Westminster Kennel Club’s 145th annual dog show. Barbets are French water dogs whose name comes from the French word “barbe”, which means “beard”.

John Minchillo/AP

The barbet: A French water dog, the American Kennel Club describes the Barbet as “a Muppet that comes to life.” He is medium in size and fully covered in a dense, long, curly coat. The breed will be classified in the Sporting Group. Six barbets will compete this weekend.

The American Kennel Club describes Biewer terriers as carefree dogs with energetic personalities.

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The American Kennel Club describes Biewer terriers as carefree dogs with energetic personalities.

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The Biewer terrier: Pronounced as “beaver”, the Biewer terrier is a long-haired tricolor toy breed that will join the Toy group. These dogs are small but full of energy, and 10 will be competing this weekend.

A Laekenois is the rarest of Belgium’s four native dogs.

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A Laekenois is the rarest of Belgium’s four native dogs.

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The Belgian Laekenois: This dog is the rarest of the four native Belgian breeds (which also include the Malinois, Shepherd and Tervuren) and will join the Herding group. The Laekenois is protective and has a rough red, brown or gray coat. Six will face off this weekend.

Dogo Argentinos are easily identified by their distinctive all-white coat.

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Dogo Argentinos are easily identified by their distinctive all-white coat.

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The Dogo Argentino: A pack hunting dog, the Dogo Argentino has a short, all-white coat. Smart and powerful, 14 Dogo Argentinos will compete as part of the working group.

Here are the recent Best In Show winners

As we prepare for the next top dog to wear the laurels of Westminster, let’s check out the past winners from the past five years:

The Westminster Kennel Club dog show takes place this weekend. Here, last year’s winner, the standard poodle Siba, competes.

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The Westminster Kennel Club dog show takes place this weekend. Here, last year’s winner, the standard poodle Siba, competes.

John Minchillo/AP

2020: Siba

Siba, a standard poodle, became the first of his breed in nearly three decades and the fifth standard poodle to win Westminster’s Best in Show last year. The competition was heated when Siba edged out Daniel, a fan-favorite golden retriever who fans had hoped would become the first of his breed to win the award.

King, a wired fox terrier, poses for photos after winning Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

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King, a wired fox terrier, poses for photos after winning Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

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2019: King

With royalty already to his name, Wire Fox Terrier King was awarded the title of Best in Show two years ago. He had been selected from an original field of 2,800 as the dogs fought their way through the three-day show to the final competition.

Flynn, a bichon frize, won the Best in Show competition in 2018. Here, Flynn is competing.

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Flynn, a bichon frize, won the Best in Show competition in 2018. Here, Flynn is competing.

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2018: Flynn

Flynn, a bichon frize, shocked viewers when he was named Best in Show at the 142nd Westminster Dog Show. The white furball had previously won best of breed for non-sporting dogs before winning the purple ribbon.

German Shepherd Rumor poses for photos after winning Best in Show at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

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German Shepherd Rumor poses for photos after winning Best in Show at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

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2017: Rumor

German Shepherd Rumor (named after Adele’s hit song “Rumor Has It”) was named Westminster Champion in 2017. Second of his breed to win the top prize, Rumor had actually come close to retiring a year before, when she narrowly lost the show.

Valerie Nunes-Atkinson and CJ, a German Shorthaired Pointer, pose for photographers after CJ won Best Show at the Westminster Kennel Club’s 140th Dog Show.

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Valerie Nunes-Atkinson and CJ, a German Shorthaired Pointer, pose for photographers after CJ won Best Show at the Westminster Kennel Club’s 140th Dog Show.

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2016: JC

CJ, a 3-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer, won Westminster’s 140th show. Owner Valerie Nunes-Atkinson said she’s known CJ had “that extra something” since he was a puppy. CJ won against more than 2,700 entries at the 2016 show.

In a show like no other this 145th year, may the best pup win. But of course, we all know that the best dog of all is your dog.

Josie Fischels is an intern at NPR’s News Desk.