Westminster Dog Show 2023: How to Watch

(CNN) Thousands of dogs have arrived in New York City for what may be the busiest week of their lives, or at least the lives of their humans.

The dogs, among the most beautiful and educated in the country, have been training for this day for months or years. They have come to compete in the canine equivalent of the Olympics or the Oscars.

Is he Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Westminster is where the best of the best compete to earn a place in the annals of animal history. There are obedient border collies and lively Chihuahuas, springy greyhounds and meticulously groomed Bichon Frizees. Human handlers may be more nervous than canines. The judges thoroughly examine each Best in Show hopeful from snout to tail. Meanwhile, the pups get plenty of treats, regardless of whether they win or not.

Find a crash course on the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show below, including how you can watch puppies compete.

A Brief History of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Widely considered the most prestigious of all professional dog shows in the US, the pedigree of the Westminster Kennel Club dog show is proven: since 1877, dogs of all stripes have competed for the title of best in show. Is he second longest continuous sporting event in the country, after the The Kentucky Derbyand it even predates the creation of the American Kennel Club, which was not founded until 1884.

Thousands of canine contestants compete to be the best of the show

Cavalier King Charles spaniels in the judging area during the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

More than 3000 dogs than 210 breeds were expected in Queens, New York, this week to strut their stuff in Westminster.

Canine competitors are divided into groups: Toy (think puffy Pomeranians and bug-eyed pugs), Sporting (golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers), Hounds (beagles and bassets), Terrier (Scotchians and miniature schnauzers), Workers (hunky huskies and huge mastiffs) and not sporty (his french bulldogs and poodles, which are more suited to the couch than the hunt).

First, the dogs must demonstrate that they are the best of their breed: they are judged against the American Kennel Club standards for their breed, while standing for inspection and trotting before a smartly dressed judge. The best representatives of each breed go on to the evaluation round of the group. They will compete against the other breeds in their group to proceed to the final round, during which the last seven dogs representing the best in each group will compete for first prize.

It’s hard to pick a favorite when many of the breed’s winners have yet to be decided, but a competitor enters with a sizable fan base: winston the french bulldog. non-sports love won the national dog show last year and best in show booking (or runner-up) at Westminster in 2022. Winston returns to Westminster with high expectations and a low center of gravity.

Winston the French bulldog returns to Westminster for another chance at his best.

This year will also see the Bracco Italiano debuta droopy-faced sporting dog recently recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Past winners include champions of all shapes and sizes.

Last year, Trumpet the teary-eyed hound he ran away with best in show, the first hound to win the title. In 2021, a Pekingese with a lovely hairstyle named wasabi he won the title, the second Pekingese in a decade to reach the top at Westminster. The Wire Fox Terrier has also won Best in Show twice in the last decade: King in 2019 and Sky in 2014 (the last dog also won the National Dog Show in 2012, this is a glory-hungry breed).

The winning pups have become therapy dogs, appearing on Broadway and retiring at the Martha Stewart home.

A Bichon Frize in the bench area during the Westminster Kennel Club annual dog show. The breed last won in 2018.

How to See the Westminster Dog Show

judging the race is live broadcast on the Westminster Kennel Club website on Mondays and Tuesdays from 8 am to 4:30 pm ET. The FS2 channel will broadcast the highlights of the breed judging throughout the day, though the group judging, and the coveted crowning of best in show, can only be seen on FS1 from 7:30pm to 11pm ET on Tuesday. .