Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Westminster short, is the oldest conducted annually dog show in the world. It is organized by the Westminster Kennel Club since 1877 and will take place today at Madison Square Garden in New York City in the USA. Participation is open to dogs of all breeds recognized by the AKC, the number dogs is limited to 2,500 animals.

The exhibition in the North American exhibition Circuit is a similar meaning as the Crufts in the UK and the World Dog Show in the FCI.


The exhibition goes back to a group of hunters who regularly met Manhattan hotel in Westminster. These hunters decided to form a club to conduct an annual dog show and called it after their hangout Westminster Kennel Club. The first Westminster show was on 8 May in 1877 at the New York Hippodrome Gilmore Gardens and was primarily an exhibition for setters and pointers. It was reported over 1,200 dogs, so that the duration of the exhibition was extended instead of the originally planned three days to four days. The revenue of the fourth day were the animal rights organization ASPCA donated.

The Westminster Kennel Club was founded seven years before the founding of the American Kennel Club and was the first club that was included in this umbrella organization.

Current situation

Westminster will take place today on two days in February at Madison Square Garden, usually on a Monday and Tuesday. The dogs will be separated by race, and from them the best dog of any breed is selected, the Best of Breed ( BOB). The BOB dogs will be separated in the sequence by the seven AKC groups and the best dog in each elected each group. The group winners come to the conclusion of choosing the best dog of the show against each other, the Best in Show ( BIS).

Terms and Conditions

Since 1884, all dogs that must belong to AKC recognized breeds. 1992, the conditions of participation have been changed, that the five best show dogs of any race were set and the other places were open only dogs with Champion. The BIS winners may continue to be paraded in Westminster exhibitions.

The number of participants is limited for reasons of space to 2,500 dogs. Since 1992, the top five dogs of each breed will be invited, which is calculated from the number of the vanquished in other exhibitions in the previous dogs. The remaining places will be on a first come, first serve basis to dogs with AKC Champion title and are usually awarded on the first day of the registration period occupied.

Statistics of the UNTIL

The most excellent breed is the Wire-haired Fox Terrier with 13 BIS titles. The youngest winner in 1929 was a nine month old Rough Collie, the oldest in 2009 a ten- year-old Sussex spaniel. So far, seven dogs twice and a dog have won three times the BIS title of the exhibition. So far, 69 males and 35 females have won the BIS.

After racial groups, the BIS winners are distributed as follows:

  • Terrier Group: 45
  • Sporting Group: 19
  • Working Group: 15
  • Non-Sporting Group: 10
  • Toy Group: 10
  • Hound Group: 5
  • Herding Group: 1


The exhibition will be transmitted live on television since 1984 and now broadcast in the sports program of USA Network. Madison Square Garden is open during exhibition usually sold out. The organizers awarded over 700 press passes to reporters from more than twenty countries. During the exhibition is traditionally lit in the colors of purple and gold Exhibition of the Empire State Building.

The Best in Show Dog has a significant media presence and is among other things also invited to the debate on the issue, to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange.

The mockumentary film Best in Show is under the fictitious Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show, which is heavily inspired by the Westminster Dog Show.