How to Watch the Westminster Dog Show Like a Pro, Even When You're Not Your Guide to the Ins and Outs

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The Westminster Dog Show is wildly popular among dog breed enthusiasts. For a detailed guide of everything you might want to brush up on before this yearโ€™s show, look no further.

If you want to see some of the best specimens of hundreds of different dog breeds, The Westminster Dog Show is the one to watch. A breeding club with roots in New York for over 135 years, the Westminster Kennel Club hosts this elite dog show once a year, giving recognition to dogs who best exemplify the hallmark traits of their breed. The Westminster Dog Show has breeders the world over clamoring for a shot at the title, "Best In Show."

While everybody thinks that their dog is the most perfect example of the canine form and temperament, the Westminster Kennel Club has a very rigid set of specifications that need to be met before a dog can enter the show. Take a look at what it takes to have a show dog.

What Makes a Westminster Dog?

A valid question, considering the litany of rules and regulations required for even an application to participate. Beyond making sure your pooch is eligible, there is also the showtime preparation. Do you think your dog has what it takes? Why not first take a backstage look at those in the thick of it.

Westminster Dog Show Winners

Just because any breed is eligible for the Best In Show title doesn't mean that the judges don’t have some preferences. See which breeds are historically the most likely to walk away with this most prestigious of dog breeding awards.

Could Your Dachshund Make The Dog Show?

If you have one of these wiener dogs and think that they are ready for the show, here are some key pieces of information to have before you hit the pet show circuit. Certain traits that you might find endearing could actually have your pup disqualified. Learn what characteristics make for a prize-winning Dachshund here.

Could Your German Shepherd Be A Show Dog?

The German Shepherd is already a regal, dignified breed. It makes sense that you might consider entering that big, beautiful dog in a show. However, before you start filling out the paperwork, check here what characteristics might make your pooch ineligible right out of the gate.

Could Your Beagle Make The Show?

Being a breed very entrenched in the idea of upper-crust breeding (having been used by wealthy Englishmen on their fox hunts for generations), it comes as no surprise that this breed has a very specific set of standards that need to be met if they are going to be considered a show dog. Think your Beagle has what it takes?

Could Your Bulldog Make The Show?

Almost the definition of the phrase “a face only a mother could love,” it can be difficult to imagine what could possibly make any Bulldog less qualified for a show than another. However, just like every breed, there are dozens of various physical and temperamental traits that need to be met to be considered show-ready. Know what to look for in your Bulldog.

Could Your Lab Make The Show?

Though they are the most popular breed in America, a Lab has never taken home the coveted “Best in Show” title. However, that does not mean that all is lost for these much loved dogs. Could yours be the first? Check here to figure out what your Lab needs to make it to the big show.

Is The Westminster Dog Show Still Relevant?

While it's fun to see all the exotic dogs paraded around, is it right to be judging dogs? Also, does the historic exclusion of mixed breed dogs propagate the myth that purebred dogs are in some way superior to mixed? Is this show simply a time-honored tradition that rewards excellence in a field? Does it place too high a value on the importance of pure breeding and the cultivation of certain characteristics, detrimentally affecting the way we, as a society, view mixed breed or non-show dogs?

Mixed Breed Dogs Welcomed to Westminster

Breaking with 138 years of history, the Westminster Dog Show has acknowledged the potential for excellence in a mixed breed dog, allowing them to compete in the new Agility Trail portion of the show. While mixed breeds are still not permitted to compete for the much-sought-after Best In Show title, this change marks a notable break with tradition.

More on Dog Training and Grooming

Agility Training for Australian Shepherds
Grooming Styles for Pomeranians
Grooming a French Bulldog for the Show Ring
Training Your Shetland Sheepdog

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