Where to Watch Top Dogs Strut Their Stuff. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Channel Guide


The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is one of the most prestigious and iconic dog shows in the United States. First held in 1877, it is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the country after the Kentucky Derby. The annual conformation dog show has been hosted in New York City’s Madison Square Garden since 1880, where it attracts thousands of spectators and competitors. Dogs are judged based on how closely they conform to their breed standards, and winners are awarded across categories and groups culminating in the crowning of Best in Show.

What Is the Westminster Dog Show?

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is an annual conformation dog show that has been held in New York City since 1877. It is organized by the Westminster Kennel Club and is considered one of the most prestigious dog shows in the United States.

The purpose of the Westminster Dog Show is to evaluate breeding stock and compare dogs to the breed standard established by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Dogs compete in their respective breed categories in order to select the best representatives of those breeds. The breed winners then compete in group competitions (Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, Herding), where the best in each group is chosen. Finally, the seven group winners compete for the coveted title of “Best in Show” (Wikipedia).

The competitive categories at Westminster correspond to the breeds and groups recognized by the AKC. There are 7 group competitions – Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding. Within each group, dogs are further separated into breeds. The AKC currently recognizes 192 breeds that are eligible to compete at Westminster.

History of the Westminster Dog Show

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show began in 1877 and is the second longest continuously held sporting event in the United States after the Kentucky Derby, having been held annually without interruption since the initial event (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Kennel_Club_Dog_Show). The Westminster Kennel Club was established in 1876, and although its primary raison d’être was to organize the dog show, it has also conducted many other dog-related activities over the years.

the westminster dog show has been held annually in new york city since 1877, making it the second longest continuously held sporting event in the us after the kentucky derby.

The first Westminster show took place at Gilmore’s Garden (Madison Square Garden) in New York City, drawing an entry of about 1,200 dogs. It proved so popular that it was extended to four days from its originally planned three. Since 1907, the show has been held in February at Madison Square Garden. The show was not held in 1893 due to a lack of funds and the closure of Madison Square Garden from 1890 to 1893 for renovations. Once again in 2016, the show was not held at MSG due to renovations, and was moved temporarily to the Piers 92/94 in the Hudson River. In 2017, the show returned to Madison Square Garden (https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/sports/westminster-winners-through-the-years/).

Over the years, the Westminster Dog Show has seen many changes, including the addition of new breed classes and competition categories. For example, the Sporting Group was subdivided into Sporting Dogs and Sporting Bitches in 1925. One of the biggest changes came in 1948 when televised coverage of the show began, allowing viewers from home to watch the competition and promoting public interest.

Where Is the Westminster Dog Show Held?

The Westminster Dog Show is held annually in New York City. From 1877 to 2020, the event was hosted at Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan. Madison Square Garden had been the venue for Westminster every year since 1880, with the exception of 2004 and 2005 when it was held in the Piers on the Hudson River due to renovations at the Garden (1).

The Westminster Dog Show moved to a new home in 2021. For the first time, the event is being held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens. This remains the location for 2023 and the foreseeable future (2). The 2023 Westminster Dog Show dates are June 12-13, with the Best in Show competition taking place on the night of June 13.

The move to the USTA allowed for more spacing of benches and rings at a time when COVID-19 protocols were still important. The new venue also provides a lush outdoor setting with ample parking and public transportation access (3).


(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Kennel_Club_Dog_Show

(2) https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2023/05/06/westminster-dog-show-2023-schedule-best-in-show-tv-streaming/70176520007/

(3) https://www.sportingnews.com/us/other-sports/news/westminster-dog-show-location-venue-2023/z5uvhqbcyu4appd9avqvlkts

How to Watch the Westminster Dog Show

viewers can watch the westminster dog show on television channels like fox sports 1, fox sports 2, usa network and nat geo wild or by live streaming through apps and websites.

The Westminster Dog Show airs on multiple channels and platforms, allowing viewers to watch the beloved competition through a variety of methods. The primary broadcaster for the event is Fox Sports, which airs the Westminster Dog Show on FS1 and FS2 throughout the multi-day competition.

The opening night breed judging on Monday, May 8 will air from 8-11 PM ET on FS1. The following day on Tuesday, May 9, FS1 will televise group judging in the evening from 7:30-11 PM ET. Finally, the Best in Show finale will be shown live on Fox from 8-11 PM ET that Tuesday night.

In addition to the Fox Sports family of networks, viewers can watch Westminster coverage on the Nat Geo Wild channel. Nat Geo Wild will have a live telecast of the sporting and working breeds on Monday from 1-4 PM ET. The channel will also replay the Fox Sports broadcasts during the daytime hours.

For those looking to stream the Westminster Dog Show online, there are a couple options. The Fox Sports app and FoxSports.com will have live streams of all the FS1 and FS2 broadcasts. Additionally, the Westminster website (westminsterkennelclub.org) will live stream the daytime breed judging on both Monday and Tuesday.

With television channels like FS1, FS2 and Nat Geo Wild combined with online streaming on Fox Sports digital platforms and the Westminster website, dog lovers can easily tune into the prestigious Westminster Dog Show from the comfort of home.

Live Coverage of the Westminster Dog Show

The Westminster Dog Show airs live on FOX Sports 1 and USA Network. Here is the schedule for the 2023 Westminster Dog Show broadcasts:

Monday, May 1st:

  • Breed Judging – 1 PM to 4 PM ET on FOX Sports 1
  • Junior Showmanship Preliminaries – 7:30 PM to 8 PM ET on FOX Sports 1

Tuesday, May 2nd:

the 2023 westminster dog show competition spans multiple days in early may at the usta billie jean king national tennis center in queens, new york.

  • Breed Judging – 1 PM to 4 PM ET on FOX Sports 1
  • Group Judging – 7:30 PM to 11 PM ET on FOX Sports 1

Wednesday, May 3rd:

  • Breed Judging – 1 PM to 4 PM ET on FOX Sports 1
  • Group Judging – 7:30 PM to 11 PM ET on USA Network

Thursday, May 4th:

  • Breed Judging – 1 PM to 4 PM ET on FOX Sports 1
  • Group Judging – 7:30 PM to 11 PM ET on USA Network

The Best in Show announcement will air on FOX Sports 1 on Thursday from 8 PM to 11 PM ET.

Viewers can expect expert commentary along with live footage of all the breed and group judging rounds leading up to Best in Show.

Can You Stream the Westminster Dog Show Online?

Yes, there are several ways to stream the Westminster Dog Show online. The most popular options are:

fuboTV – fuboTV offers a 7-day free trial and includes Fox and FS1 in its base package. This allows you to live stream all Westminster Dog Show events through the fuboTV platform and apps (source).

Fox Sports App – You can download the Fox Sports app on mobile devices, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Xbox to access a live stream. You will need a TV provider login to access the stream (source).

YouTube TV – YouTube TV has a free trial and carries Fox and FS1. With YouTube TV you can stream the Westminster Dog Show live on any device (source).

Additionally, clips and highlights from the Westminster Dog Show will be available on the official Westminster YouTube channel after the events air live.

What are the Competition Categories?

The Westminster Dog Show includes several different competition categories that dogs can enter. The most prestigious category is Best in Show. This is awarded to the single dog judged to be the finest representation of its breed. To determine Best in Show, judges first evaluate all of the dogs within their breed group.

the westminster dog show features breed, group, best in show, and agility competitions across seven breed groups recognized by the american kennel club.

There are seven breed groups that dogs are divided into: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding. Each group is evaluated separately, and the single dog judged Best in Breed within that group moves on to the group competition at Madison Square Garden. The dog judged Best in Group from each of the seven groups then competes for Best in Show.

In addition to the breed and group competitions, the Westminster Dog Show also features an agility competition open to all breeds. Dogs navigate an obstacle course, with judging based on the fastest clean run within the allotted time. This fast-paced event demonstrates the athleticism and training of agility dogs. It has been part of Westminster since 2014.

So in summary, the Westminster Dog Show includes breed, group, and Best in Show judging across seven groups, plus an agility competition open to all breeds. The Best in Show winner emerges after careful evaluation across all groups to select the premier example of its breed.

Notable Westminster Dog Show Winners

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show’s coveted Best in Show award goes to the dog judged most outstanding in its breed. Since the first competition in 1877, there have been over 130 Best in Show winners at Westminster. Some of the most notable include:

In 2008, a Beagle named Uno became the first of his breed ever to win Best in Show [1]. A Scottish Terrier named Sadie earned the top prize in 2010 and 2011, marking the first back-to-back wins [2].

The Wire Fox Terrier is one of the most successful breeds at Westminster with 15 Best in Show wins, including a four-year streak from 1912-1915. More recently, a Wire Fox Terrier named King won in 2019. Other top winning breeds include Scottish Terriers (8 wins), English Springer Spaniels (6 wins), and Poodles (5 wins).

In 2022, a French Bulldog named Winston took home the Best in Show title for the first time in the breed’s history [2]. Bloodhound Trumpet won Best in Show in 2023, becoming the first of his breed to claim the top prize since 1939 [1].

Fun Facts About the Westminster Dog Show

The Westminster Dog Show has been held annually since 1877, making it one of the oldest sporting events in the United States (Mentalfloss). It is second only to the Kentucky Derby, first held in 1875, in terms of continuous longevity of a sporting competition.

The original Westminster Dog Show focused on gun dogs and other sporting breeds. It wasn’t until 1884 that non-sporting breeds were allowed to compete (Blue Dog Pet Care).

In 1929, a fox terrier named Warren Remedy became the most successful Westminster Dog Show competitor ever with a record of 4 Best in Show wins. No other dog has matched this achievement (Dogington Post).

The record for the shortest dog to ever win Best in Show goes to a Scottish terrier named Ch. Filmer’s Glen of Imaal, who stood just 7 inches tall. The tallest dog to take home the title was a Great Dane named Ch. Gibson who stood 37 inches tall (Mentalfloss).

In 2002, a bichon frise named J.R. won Best in Show but was later stripped of the title when it was discovered his owner had entered him under questionable circumstances. It was the only time in Westminster history that a Best in Show winner had their title revoked (Blue Dog Pet Care).

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