Five Fun Facts about the Westminster Dog Show - 2013

ABSTRACT: The 138th annual Westminster Dog Show will take place on Feb. 10 and 11 in New York. Here are five fun facts about the event.

Dog lovers the world over are gearing up to watch the annual Westminster Dog Show-the Super Bowl of dog shows. This year's contest will take place on Feb. 10 and 11 in New York, at Madison Square Garden and at Piers 92 and 94. Over 2800 dogs will compete in the show, with the winning canine (and its owners) achieving instant fame. Judges will rate the dogs based on the animals' appearances, movements, and demeanor.

Here are five fun facts about the Westminster Dog Show.

Japanese Akita Inu (1)
A Long History: The Westminster Kennel Club has sponsored this annual dog show every year since 1877. In fact, the Westminster Dog Show is the third oldest continuously running sporting event in the United States. Only the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks horse races, both of which started in 1875, have longer traditions. In fact, when the Westminster Dog Show began, one of America's most beloved sports, basketball, had not even been invented yet.

Terriers Reign Supreme: The Westminster Dog Show handed out its first best in show (overall winner) award in 1907. Since that time, terrier breeds have won the award an astounding 45 times. To put that in perspective, the closest contenders, the sporting dogs (which include breeds like spaniels, pointers, and setters), have only won the best in show award 19 times.

Hard to Repeat: A smooth fox terrier, Ch. Warren Remedy, won the Westminster Dog Show's first three best in show awards (1907, 1908, and 1909). Amazingly, that dog is the only one to ever win three of these coveted prizes. In fact, only six other canines have won the award twice in their careers. No dog has won two best in show trophies in over 40 years.

One Person Gets to Pick the Winner: When the Westminster Dog Show added the best in show award to the list of prizes in 1907, it selected a panel of 10 judges to help choose the winner. In 1912, the show reduced the number of judges from 10 to three. In 1929, it eliminated the panel altogether, opting to use one person to judge the canine finalists. That tradition continues to this day.

Championship Caliber Dogs Are Not Cheap: Do you have dreams of entering your dog in the
Westminster Dog Show and coming away with the top prize? If so, you had better save up your money. A dog owner might have to spend "upwards of six figures annually" in order to provide his or her canine with the tools and training necessary to do well at the Super Bowl of dog shows.


The Westminster Kennel Club's website.

1. Author: Sevenfatdogs
    Date: December 1, 2009
    Title/Description: Japanese Akita Inu
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license
    (click on the title/link for more information).

-- Anthony Hopper

#dogs #dogshows #canines #history #sportshistory #guide #dog

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