For many people, watching the Super Bowl is a highlight of their sports viewing. Me? Not so much. I’m honestly not that interested in football. Sorry. However, mention the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and my eyes light up.
Guess what? It’s right around the corner and I can’t wait! The 2015 dog show airs on TV February 16th and 17th. This is always an annual event for me. Although I’ve never been to the show personally, it’s a fabulous learning event for me. I spend the evening glued to my big screen TV like most football enthusiasts do for a playoff game.
As a professional pet groomer, I’m a visual learner – probably just like you. I find one of the best ways to learn about my trade is to see it. The Westminster annual show is a great way to learn about the breeds, especially the new ones!
Every year the American Kennel Club accepts new breeds into the registry. In the past decade, it’s been hard to keep up. Since I wrote Notes From the Grooming Table in 2004, the AKC has added almost 60 new breeds! That’s a lot of new pooches for us pet professionals to recognize.
And are they slowing down? One look at the AKC Foundation Stock Service registry tells you – no. Currently there are almost 30 breeds and development that have not been accepted into the American Kennel Club – yet. Some of the candidates in this group are totally new breeds. Others are ancient breeds relatively unknown outside their local areas around the globe.
At one time I prided myself in being able to identify and instantly recognize most breeds registered by the AKC. Not anymore. Plus, many of the newer breeds have names that are hard to remember let alone pronounce! I have to continue to really pay attention and study the new breeds coming onto the scene.
Luckily for me, and you, many of the new breeds are represented at Westminster. They’re exceptional specimens and very well presented. Generally, the camerawork is excellent as the dog struts around the ring. I can get a great idea of the size of the breed and coat type. By seeing the dog, I get a great awareness of how to groom these new additions to their breed profile. I have to really pay attention though. Many times I record the show so if I want to review a specific breed again, I can.
Take advantage of this great learning tool. The 139th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York City February 16th & 17th. There are 2711 dogs entered in this year’s event. Check your local listings for television viewing on CBS and USA Network for the Group Classes on Monday and Tuesday nights. Best In Show airs on Tuesday evening once the Group Classes have concluded. If you want to watch individual breeds show, check out the breed rings at www.westminsterkennelclub.org or via the Westminster app on your mobile device.