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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

2016 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: Day One Recap

It was a nasty day in New York City, but neither snow nor sleet nor dark of night would keep the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show from getting under way.  On the first day of competition, Best in Group was awarded in the HoundToyNon-Sporting and Herding groups.  And, in at least one group, there was a major upset.

WKC 2016
Panda the Shih Tzu
Hound Group:  This group brings a smile to my face every year.  All of the dogs in this group are bred for hunting, but they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  I find it hilarious that the enormous Scottish Deerhound is in direct competition with short-legged Dachshund.  Last year's best in show winner, Miss P. the 15-inch beagle, came from this group.  Miss P. did not come back to defend her title because she has retired to have puppies, so that left the group wide open for a new winner.  Lucy, a Borzoi hailing from Japan captured the crown and advanced on to Tuesday night's best in show competition.

Toy Group:  The groups at Westminster are divided according to the purpose for which the dogs are bred.  The dogs in the toy group are bred specifically to be companion animals.  In other words, these are lap dogs, pure and simple.  As such, this group has some of the smallest and most pampered pooches in the competition.  Unlike last year, the judge chose perhaps the most photogenic dog of the bunch when he selected Panda the Shih Tzu as best in group.  Panda added to the international flavor of the show since she hails from Canada.

2016 WKC Dog Show
Annabelle the Bulldog
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 Boston Terrier.  It was the crowd favorite Annabelle the Bulldog who advanced to the best in show round.

Herding Group:  The dogs in the herding group are bred to assist man in keeping farm animals in line.  As such, these dogs are intelligent and athletic.  This year, the herding group at Westminster included four new breeds.  But it was an iconic breed that took home the title of best in group.  Rumor the German Shepherd took home the best in group prize.  A dog from the herding group has not won best in show since 1987, but it was a German Shepherd who accomplished that feat nearly 30 years ago.  Rumor looks to break the drought on Tuesday night.

Coverage of the 140th 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 SportingWorking and Terrier groups.  The evening will end with the crowing of the prestigious award for Best in Show.

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