They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, have you ever watched the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show?
The 146th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is underway at the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York, six months after the competition’s original January date was postponed due to surging COVID-19 cases.
Nearly 3,500 dogs of more than 200 different breeds are on hand, and after the 2021 event went on without spectators, fans have returned to the historic Lyndhurst Estate.
The coveted “Best of Show” honor is up for grabs. The ultimate prize will be announced on Wednesday at 7:30 pm ET. Wasabi the Pekingese won last year’s honors.
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s event:
BEST PHOTOS: Flawless pups of all shapes and sizes at the 146th Westminster Dog Show
How can I watch the 2022 Westminster dog show?
Wednesday’s broadcast begins at 7:30 pm ET on FS1, with streaming on westminsterkennelclub.org, the WKC App and the FOX Sports App.
How does dog show judging work?
There are seven different breed groups at Westminster: Herding, Hound, Non-sporting, Sporting, Terrier, Toy and Working. Breeds are evaluated based on the standard set by their parent club, meaning competing dogs aren’t compared to other competitors, but to the ideal proportions, weight and size, head shape, gait and other qualities of the breed.
Once a dog wins its breed, it is judged within its group. Group winners then move on to the Best in Show category.
What new dog breeds have been added?
Two newly American Kennel Club-recognized breeds are joining the 2022 competition: the Mudi and Russian Toy. That brings the number of eligible breeds entering Westminster to 211.
The Mudi is a “medium-sized, versatile farm dog from Hungary” that was bred to herd sheep and cattle, while the Russian Toy is a “small, squarely built dog” that is a favorite of the Russian Aristocracy, according to Westminster Kennel Club. The Mudi joins the Herding Group and the Russian Toy joins the Toy Group.
Where will the 2022 Westminster dog show be held?
The 2022 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is being held at Lyndhurst, a National Trust for Historic Preservation property, in Tarrytown, New York, instead of its traditional Madison Square Garden home.
Lyndhurst, once owned by railroad tycoon Jay Gould, is located 25 miles north of New York City’s Madison Square Garden, which Westminster typically calls home. The estate was designed in 1983 by architect Alexander Jackson Davis, and has been dubbed America’s Finest Gothic Revival mansion.
The 2021 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was also held at Lyndhurst, but the event was not open to spectators due to New York State’s COVID-19 regulations.
“We love having spectators back. It was tough for everyone last year,” said Gail Miller Bisher, director of communications for the Westminster Kennel Club, to the USA TODAY Network.
Contributing: Emily Leiker, Steve Gardner