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Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Top Dogs Compete At Madison Square Garden

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Competitors line up at the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden
Westminster Kennel Club
The Westminster Kennel Club's famous All Breed Dog Show will take place on February 13th and 14th, 2012 at Madison Square Garden. The dog show has been a tradition since 1877, making it America's second longest continuously held sporting event.

Over two days, approximately 165 breeds and varieties of dogs will be judged and Best In Show will be awarded on Tuesday evening. Dogs will be judged based on movement, temperament and specific physical traits such as height and weight, coat, eye color and shape, ear shape and placement, feet, tail and more.

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Viewing Guide

  • When: Monday and Tuesday, February 13-14, 2012


  • Where: Madison Square Garden, Pennsylvania Plaza, Seventh to Eighth Avenues and 31st to 33rd Streets


  • See It Live: General admission seating tickets are $45 ($25 for kids under 12) for a one-day pass and $80 for a two-day pass. Order tickets online or by calling Ticketmaster at 866-858-0008. A limited number of tickets will be available at Madison Square Garden on the morning of the show, but are likely to sell out early.


  • Watch It On TV: See the judging live on the USA Network.


  • Watch Show Highlights Online: Check out the highlights of each day's breed judging on the Westminster web site

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 101

Competition at Westminster is held in three different rounds. The first level of competition is in the Breed categories. One dog in each category is selected as Best of Breed or Best of Variety and advances to the next level of competition, the Group.

There are seven Groups:
  • Sporting: Gun dogs that assist the hunter.
    Examples: Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Irish Setter.


  • Hound: Hunters that bring down the game, hold it at bay or track it by scent.
    Examples: Greyhound, Beagle, Basset Hound.


  • Working: Intelligent and powerfully built to perform a variety of tasks.
    Examples: Boxer, Rottweiler, St. Bernard.


  • Terrier: Determined and courageous dogs that pursue their quarry (rats, foxes and other vermin).
    Examples: Airedale, Scottish Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier.


  • Toy: Companions for people, full of life and spirit and often resembling their larger cousins.
    Examples: Maltese, Pomeranian, Papillon.


  • Non-Sporting: Dogs with a great diversity of traits.
    Examples: Standard Poodle, Bulldog, Chow Chow.


  • Herding: Athletic dogs that serve ranchers and farmers by moving livestock.
    Examples: Collie,German Shepherd, Puli.
The top dog in each group advances into the final round of competition. There, the judges selects one final winner for the ultimate prize, Best In Show.

See photos of previous Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show competitions and the backstage puppy prep.


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