When you think of a New York City dog show, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is probably the one that comes to mind. This is a televised conformation show and the dream event for anyone with dog-showing ambitions. Not just any dog can be entered into the show; dogs must earn their spot.
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Where is the Westminster Dog Show?
The Westminster Dog Show is held by the Westminster Kennel Club (WKC), an organization that was established in 1877. When it comes to sporting events, only the Kentucky Derby has been running longer than the Westminster Dog Show in the United States.
Where is the Westminster Dog Show held? The show is held in New York each year. When is the Westminster Dog Show? The Westminster Dog Show dates and schedule as well as the event location are posted on the WKC's website each year. You can also find information about tickets and parking if you want to attend as a spectator.
About conformation classes
If you want to enter your dog in the Westminster Dog Show, it is important to understand how the shows work to make sure that your dog meets the qualifications to be competitive. Conformation classes are only open to purebred dogs, so your dog must be a registered, recognized breed with the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Judges do not compare dogs in the show to each other but rather to the current breed standard. You can find your dog's breed standard listed on the AKC's website or through your national breed organization. Make sure your dog is an example of all the traits listed in the breed standard and does not have any disqualifying characteristics before embarking on your showing journey.
Qualifying for entry
If you think your dog has what it takes, you must first qualify to enter the Westminster Dog Show. The WKC will invite some dogs to compete in the show, including the top five dogs from the qualifying show season and the National Breed Specialty Best of Breed winners. If your dog does not fall into these categories, you may still be able to apply to enter the show if your dog is an AKC champion. You must submit an entry form and the entry fee by the deadline listed on the WKC website.
Become an AKC champion
An AKC champion is a dog who has accumulated at least 15 points at conformation shows and has at least two wins that are worth three points or more. You receive points when your dog has wins, such as Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex, and Best of Winners. Points can vary depending on the show and the number of dogs in the class, so be sure to check the points being offered when planning your show schedule for the year. You can find a schedule of events on the AKC's website or through your national breed organization.
Winning the top spot at a show takes more than showing up with a dog with excellent conformation. Your dog must be prepared for the show ring and be able to walk and jog well on a leash and be able to stand still while the judge is examining him. You can show your dog yourself, although many owners hire professional dog handlers to show their dog.
You must also provide excellent care and grooming for your dog on a daily basis. Feed him a high-quality diet and care for his coat each day. Specific grooming needs can vary depending on your dog's coat type.
- Westminster Kennel Club: About WKC
- Westminster Kennel Club: Westminster Week Schedule
- American Kennel Club: Dog Breeds
- Westminster Kennel Club: How a Dog Show Works
- Westminster Kennel Club: Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Premium List 2022
- American Kennel Club: Counting Points
- American Kennel Club: Events Calendar
- American Kennel Club: Get Started