The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 2009Published February 9, 2009
Day one of the 2009 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show commenced today at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Thousands of people turned out to participate in "America's Dog Show" and cheer on their favorites.
Some 2,522 dogs from across the country and around the world arrived with the hopes of being crowned this year's Best in Show.
Crowd favorites including the Old English Sheepdog, the Bulldog and the Beagle (the breed of last year's winner Uno) took to the ring today.
Dogs were meticulously groomed and primed backstage in preparation for their moment in the ring. Onlookers admired and snapped photos of the competitors as the dogs waited in their staging areas.
All but one of the Top 20 ranked dogs are competing at Westminster. Holly, the Pointer who took the top spot at both the National Dog Show and the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, can not compete because she is owned by a Westminster club member.
Dogs to watch this year include the number one overall ranked Spirit, a Giant Schnauzer, the number one ranked terrier Charmin, a Sealyham Terrier, and the number one toy dog Taser, an Affenpinscher.
Breeds in the Hound, Terrier, Non-Sporting and Herding Groups are judged today, with the Sporting, Working and Toy groups showing Tuesday. The main event, judging of Best of Group and the crowning of 2009's Best in Show, takes place Tuesday evening.
All of the 170 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club will be represented at the show. There is one new breed entry for 2009, the Dogue de Bordeaux, which competes in the Working Group.
Labrador Retrievers lead this year for the highest number of entries with 47 dogs, followed by French Bulldogs (42), and German Shorthaired Pointers (39).
Each breed is judged by its own breed standard, which lays out the ideal characteristics for each dog.
The competition will be broadcast Monday on USA Network from 8-9 p.m. ET and will continue on CNBC from 9-11 p.m. ET. Tuesday's coverage, including the live broadcast of the Best in Show judging, starts on USA Network at 8 p.m. ET.
To learn more about the breeds competing in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, visit the Petside.com Breeds Section.
For the full judging schedule, visit: http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/