February 10 and 11, 2014 will be an exciting two days for Westminster Dog Show contestants. Thousands of dogs from a wide variety of breeds will descend on New York City in preparation for one of the most popular dog shows in the world.
Would you like to find out how to enter our dog into next year’s show? If you’re considering your dog’s future in the Westminster Dog Show, there are several things that a handler or owner should be aware of in order for your dog to qualify for the show.
Is your dog a registered American Kennel Club breed? All breeds registered with the American Kennel Club are eligible to compete. That said, it is still very challenging to enter this competition. Owners and handlers of American Kennel Club dogs can submit an application if the dog has earned, as the AKC states, “at least one major of three points or more.” Dogs do NOT have to be American Kennel Club champions in order to enter the Westminster competition. The show entry limit has been increased to 3,200 dogs this year.
Dog categories for 2014 include sporting breeds, hound breeds, working breeds, terriers breeds, toy breeds, non-sporting breeds, and herding breeds. More than 3,000 dogs will be competing this year.
In 2013, two new breeds became eligible for the Westminster Dog Show: the Treeing Walker Coonhound and the Russell Terrier, as these breeds were “newly recognized” by the American Kennel Club. In 2014, three additional breeds will be eligible for the competition: the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, the Chinook, and the Rat Terrier. The Westminster Kennel Club states there will be 190 breeds competing at the 2014 show.
A dog’s personality goes a long way with the judges. In fact, it’s crucial, because dogs must be on display during the competition. Additionally, judges observe the dog’s gait, appearance and posture. A dog is compared to other dogs of the same breed. The judges do not compare one dog to all other dogs in the competition. Seasoned breeder/author Chuck Bessant states that Westminster is different from many other dog shows because of the nature of the show – it’s the Academy Awards for dogs. Bessant also states that throughout the competition, “your dog is either at its bench assignment, being groomed, taking a bio-break at one of the luxury cedar-chip facilities, or being shown.” Bessant adds that the flow of activity and the accessibility of competing dogs is a wonderful for spectators, judges, and fellow owners to become acquainted with all of the remarkable dog show contestants.
Westminster Kennel Club’s strict eligibility process differs from other dog shows. The organization prides itself on being the best of all dog competitions. 2014 will be its 138th show.
About dog shows: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/dogshows/aboutdogshows.html
America’s dog show: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/2013/show/info.html
America’s dog show draws: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/2014/show/news/entry_123013.html
Entry rules and procedures: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/2013/show/entry.html
How Westminster works: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-02-12/news/fl-westminster-dog-show-works-20120212_1_terrier-groups-akc-conformation-show
Show info: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/2014/show/info.html
Westminster dog show fast facts: http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/13/us/westminster-dog-show-fast-facts/
Westminster times: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/2014/show/news/wkctimes_issue7.html
WKC 101: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/aboutdogs/wkc101.html
WKC ticket information: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/2014/show/tickets.html