Everything Families Need To Know About The Westminster Dog Show
For starters, two new dog breeds will be shown at the Westminster Dog Show from June 18 to 22.
Dog-lovers are in for a treat this weekend because the Westminster Dog Show returns! The 146th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is taking place at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York, on June 18 to 22. This prestigious event is for American Kennel Club (AKC) champions, as they show off their incredible skills for a chance to win Best of Breed and other awards. It’s a serious competition — but it’s also super fun to watch! Dog tricks, prancing, grooming, obedience, and more are on full display. So here’s everything you need to know about watching the dog show with your family.
The Westminster Dog Show is the longest nationally televised live dog show.
Established in 1877, the Westminster Kennel Club is America’s oldest organization dedicated to dogs. Fans have been watching its famous dog show on TV since 1948, making it the longest nationally televised live dog show and the second-longest, continuously held sporting event in the U.S. The Westminster Dog Show is a conformation competition for purebred dogs, and its Masters Agility Championship and Masters Obedience Championship are open to dogs from all backgrounds. Fans love seeing the fastest agility dogs, most obedient dogs, and cutest junior handlers at these events.
There will be two new breeds this year.
Nearly 3,000 dogs from around the world come to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, with 211 breeds and varieties entered this year. Two new dog breeds are welcome for the first time this year: the Russian Toy and the Mudi.
“We are very excited to welcome two newly AKC-recognized breeds, the Russian Toy and the Mudi to this year’s show,” Gail Miller Bisher, Westminster’s resident expert, tells Romper. “For the owners of these breeds, showing at Westminster for the first time is a historical event.”
She goes on to explain that the Russian Toy is “a small, squarely built toy dog.” This dog is “elegant and cheerful was a favorite breed of the Russian Aristocracy,” says Miller Bisher. It will be joining the Toy Group at the show.
Additionally, the Mudi is “a medium-sized, versatile farm dog from Hungary.” The Mudi “is a loyal protector of property and family and will be joining the Herding Group,” Miller Bisher explains.
Kids will love watching the dogs compete.
“For children at home who simply love dogs and enjoy tuning in each year to see them compete, Westminster hopes that the show can provide an opportunity for breed education, even for young children,” Miller Bisher says. “Not only does the show itself provide an opportunity to learn about the variety of breeds but can help children understand the time and effort that goes into properly raising and taking care of dogs.”
In addition to the delight that comes from watching dogs, kids will also get to learn more about the sport of dogs.
“Participation in the sport of dogs also keeps the tradition of dog shows, agility trials and obedience competitions alive and thriving in today’s world,” adds Miller Bisher. “Our hope is that the show introduces people, young and old, to the sport itself.”
One event in particular that will be fun to watch with littles is the Junior Showmanship competition, on June 21 to 22. This competition assesses “the handling skills of children 9-18 years of age independent of the traits of the dog,” Miller Bisher says. “The competition promotes proper training and care to prepare future generations for responsible dog ownership, sportsmanship, and future success in the sport.”
Fans can watch the show in person once again.
For the first time since the pandemic, fans can watch the Westminster Dog Show in person this year. “We are also excited to welcome back spectators to this year’s show in a small capacity,” Miller Bisher says. “Having spectators at the show provides an opportunity for breed education and we look forward to providing the public with a relevant, trusted source of history and information on dog breeds.”
If you want to see the show in Tarryton, tickets are available for the Conformation/Obedience daytime events and Agility Preliminaries for $25 for adults, and $12.50 for kids 5 and older. Kids 4 and under are free. Tickets for the Agility Finals are $30 for adults and $15 for kids 5 and older.
You can stream the Westminster Dog Show online for free.
Tune into the dog show from anywhere in the country by streaming it from home or catching it on live TV. Live streaming is available at the westminsterkennelclub.org, the WKC App, and Fox Sports App, and live coverage will take place on FOX, FS1, FS2, and FOX Deportes, the largest Spanish-speaking channel in the U.S. The full Westminster Week Schedule is available here.