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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Westminster 2014 Day One

Day one at the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog show is in the books.  On the first day of competition, Best in Group was awarded in the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups.  And, in at least one group, there was a major upset.

Nathan (Frank Franklin II/AP)
Hound Group:  This group is the most hilarious to watch due to the wide range of body types.  All of these dogs are bred to hunt in some form or fashion.  But the enormous Scottish Deerhound, bred for hunting deer, looks very funny in the same ring as the short-legged Dachshund who is bred for hunting badgers in dens.  The winner of the group is also a unique looking animal.  It was Nathan the Bloodhound who was chosen to represent the hound group in the Best in Show finals.

Toy Group:  A lot of people brush off the diminutive dogs in this group as "punting dogs" or "glorified cats."  However, the last two dogs who were named Best in Show at Westminster came from the toy group, so fans were certainly paying close attention to who would win the group this year.  Despite the fact that this group is filled with fluffy, photogenic lap dogs, the judge chose perhaps the most bony and least attractive dog in the group when he selected Classy the Miniature Pinscher.  This was not really an upset, though, since Classy is the most decorated Min Pin in history.

Non-Sporting Group:  The third group to take the ring on Monday night was the Non-Sporting group.  This group truly is a hodge-podge of breeds.  This group has been summarized by stating that "the only thing the dogs in the non-sporting group have in common is that they don't have enough in common with the breeds of any other group."  This group does contain some very recognizable breeds, however, including the Dalmation, the Bichons Frise and the Bulldog.  In the end, it was Ally the Standard Poodle who took home the prize for best in the group.

Coco the Corgi
Herding Group:  The WKC saved the most excited group of the night for last.  Swagger, an Old English Sheepdog and Banshee Sports' pre-show favorite to win Best in Show was in this group.  But, it was an underdog that came out on top.  Coco, a Cardigan Welsh Corgi, defeated the defending group champion Swagger and will represent the herding group in the finals on Tuesday night.

Coverage of the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will resume on Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. EST on USA.  The evening's events will begin with the Best in Group competitions for the Sporting, Working and Terrier groups.  The evening will end with the crowing of the prestigious award for Best in Show.

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