Westminster Dog Show: 4 new breeds join the club
The American Kennel Club has welcomed four new dog breeds that will compete in the 145th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
STAFF VIDEO, USA TODAY
The 145th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show ends on Sunday evening when an accomplished dog walks away with the coveted title of Best in Show.
More than 2,500 dogs from over 200 breeds are competing this year to be named Best in Show. Also on the primetime schedule tonight, the band judging in the Sporting, Working and Terrier bands.
For the first time in its history, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is not taking place in New York and at its traditional home in Madison Square Garden. Instead, this year’s event is taking place at Lyndhurst, a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in Tarrytown, New York.
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The event is not open to spectators due to New York State COVID-19 regulations.
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s event:
How can I watch?
Tonight’s live stream begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX TV, streaming on the FOX NOW app and the FOX Sports app.
How does judgment work?
There are seven different breed groups in Westminster: Herding, Hound, Non-sporting, Sporting, Terrier, Toy and Working. Breeds are evaluated according to the standard set by their parent club, which means that competing dogs are not compared to other competitors, but to ideal proportions, weight and height, shape of the head, gait and other qualities of the breed.
Once a dog wins its breed, it is judged within its group. The group winners then advance to the Best in Show category.
What new races have been added?
Joining the 2021 competition are four breeds newly recognized by the American Kennel Club: the Barbet, the Biewer Terrier, the Belgian Laekenois and the Dogo Argentino.
While the Barbet and the Dogo Argentino were recognized in December 2019, neither was eligible to compete until 2021. The Barbet (pronounced “bar-bay”), a French water dog, joins the sporting group and the Dogo Argentino, a pack hunting dog developed in the 20th century in the Argentine province of Cordoba, will compete in the working group.
The long-haired, ponytailed Biewer Terrier (pronounced “beaver”) joins the toy group. Rounding out the pack is the Belgian Laekenois (pronounced “lak-in-wah”), a rare Belgian breed competing in the herding group.
To be recognized by the AKC, a breed must have a significant population in the United States and a national club of breeders.
Where is he standing?
Lyndhurst, once owned by railroad tycoon Jay Gould, is located 25 miles north of New York’s Madison Square Garden, which Westminster commonly calls home. The estate was designed in 1983 by architect Alexander Jackson Davis and has been dubbed America’s finest Gothic Revival mansion.
While this may be the first – and potentially only – time the estate will host Westminster, the property has a long history of hosting dog shows. Several members of the Gould family took part in Westminster around the time of its inception; breed, own and exhibit four of the top five recognized breeds.
What dogs to watch out for?
Westminster fans last year will be delighted to hear that Daniel, a golden retriever who won Sporting Group – and the hearts of many viewers – will be competing again. Siba, the defending champion, will also be back. Other dogs to watch include Bourbon, a Whippet who won the 20th AKC National Championship in January, and Pequest Wasabi, the Pekingese who was a Toy Group runner-up and winner.