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Westminster: Big Changes for 2013

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As the hype from this years Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show dies down after Malachy’s big win, the WKC is already planning big changes to the show for 2013.

Westminster Kennel Club is making big changes for 2013.

Our correspondent, Ralph’s view from the spectator benches at this years crowded Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Next year’s show will have much more space to accommodate many more dogs entering.

For most of its 136 years, the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual dog show has been held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. However, recent remodeling and construction at the Garden has limited the space available for both spectators and dogs with their handlers. Next year, the show will be held in two venues. Piers 92/94 will house the breed judging and Madison Square Garden will host Best in Show and the Junior Showmanship finals.

Additionally, the move will allow WKC to accommodate 3200 entries, a huge increase from the 2000 allowed in 2012.

WKC is also allowing dogs that have not yet earned their championship status (but that have won major points already) to enter the competition.

“We take great pride in our relationship with the world’s greatest sporting arena,” said Westminster President Peter R. Van Brunt in announcing the changes. “We are happy that these changes will help us continue to produce the greatest dog show in the world for the dogs, the people in our sport, the spectators who come to the show, and the millions more who watch us on television.”

These changes are a step in the right direction, but at the Dogington Post, we’re still waiting for the day when every dog is welcomed at Westminster. As it operates now, Westminster is, in essence, a beauty pageant for dogs. Supporters of the show’s strict entry restrictions claim that these dogs have been bred specifically for certain traits and tasks, that allowing dogs to enter that don’t meet the breed standards will destroy the breeds.

So, why aren’t these dogs being judged for what they’ve been bred for years to do? Hunting, retrieving, herding, working… where are those competitions at Westminster? Are those that spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year molding the perfect herding dog afraid that my 13 year old mutt might do a better job? Even beauty pageants have talent competitions, where the girl who may not have the most perfect figure or the most beautiful face can still shine and be rewarded.

Tell us what you think about Westminsters big changes for 2013. And, tell us your thoughts about the show in general, in a comment below.

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  1. Avatar Of Sdlubala



    I watch the show but I’d rather attend obedience trials, Rally and agility trials if they were offered at the same time. I want to see dogs show what they can do not just how they look.

  2. Avatar Of Linda Farina

    Linda Farina


    I’ve been searching for information for the 2013 Westminster show. I would love to know when the specific breeds are judged, how tickets are sold (per day/per event/etc)and a basic introduction as to what an individual should do to arrange to attend this awesome event. Any help would be greatly appreciated, it seems almost secretive when I try to obtain information directly from the Club.

  3. Avatar Of Gene Larson

    Gene Larson


    I have now attended two dog shows in person and will be getting a puppy this summer from a breeder who shows dogs as well as breeds them. I’m still very much a novice, but an opinionated one. As I said above, and as the two later posts seem to agree with in principal, is that breed popularity needs to be a factor in shows. Perhaps it isn’t fair to draw an arbitrary limit on the number of breeds that can be shown. But, it seems strange that the dog-owning public can be ignored. At the two shows I attended most of the groups were won by dogs that are not owned by that many people. Our favorite dogs were dismissed early in the group competition. I like the idea of more than one BIS and I know that if I’m a breed specialist there are venues that allow me to spend my entire weekend with the breed I’m most interested in. But, to hold up any dog that is owned by so few people as the best dog in the country that meets its breed standard makes no sense. Show us who trained, professional judges think has the best of the best breeding capability of dogs we’d actually consider buying for our homes and families.

  4. Avatar Of Michelle P.

    Michelle P.


    Our whole family watches Westminster and have enjoyed it for years. We have wanted one of our show dogs to go and compete, but upon seeing a similar type of dog winning year after year, we realized this was unrealistic. I am tired of seeing small dogs winning every year. It is time for the Collie (which has not won since the 1800’s) and the German Sheppards, Shep type dogs, goldens and the like to win.
    An idea for AKC would be to have a small dog winner, middle size dog winner, and a large dog winner. Let”s have choice out there. I can tell you, no matter what their stats say, dog shows in general are having fewer and fewer entries with the economy like it is. So let’s get more people in the game. This would be good for everyone involved in dog shows in general. Wow, a new idea is so revolutionary but I doubt it will fly because no one in big groups like CHANGE!!!

  5. Avatar Of Cheryl Y

    Cheryl Y


    I have been to many dog shows including Westminster and I have owned many dogs in my life time.The changes I would like to see,would be to occasionally pick a best of show breed that has never been chosen before,it seems so political and who you know gets to be the winner not especially the best dog.Many people were very disapointed in this years choice!!!There were some of the best specimans I have ever seen,including the German Sheppard,the Doberman,the Dachschund and the Rottweiler and she chose a dog the people could not even see its conformation.Such a let down especially for someone like Jimmy Moses,who had one of the best looking German Sheppards ever!I was there the year he won with Mannhatten,and I think this dog may have even beaten him.Very unhappy with this years show,maybe next year we the public could see a breed that has never one before,that would be an improvement!!!

  6. Avatar Of Gene Larson

    Gene Larson


    I’m a fan of any dog, but I must say I disagree with the inclusion of breeds that exist primarily for the purpose of being shown. What I think would be a major step forward would be limit the breeds allowed to show to the top 50 breeds registered with the AKC. If the public wants its Best in Show to be from a breed below the top 50, maybe they need to buy more of those dogs. I own a Golden Retriever and to think that this dog has never been a Best in Show winner at Westminster makes no sense to me. I’ve watched a lot of shows on television and I’m attending my first one in person this weekend in Chicago. I’ll let you know what I think after being immersed in dogs for two days.

  7. Avatar Of Denise Putz

    Denise Putz


    I love watching the Westminster Dog Show and my dream is to attend in person. I would like to do that in 2013 so am lookinbg for a travel agent who can meke all the arrangements. I live in Spokane, Washington, and was pleased to see the large number of winning entrants for “Best in Breed” from my state. I have Westies so of course love that breed. Can you direct me to a Travel Agent who is familiar with the show and can arrange all tickets? Thank you.

    • Avatar Of Judi Swain

      judi swain


      if you found out the answer to the best travel agent for Westminter travel, let me know please. I am in Utah!

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