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The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show made its first appearance on television in 1948. To celebrate 70 years of sharing its passion for dogs with television audiences at home, Westminster along with its broadcast partner, Fox Sports, will air three consecutive days of expanded television coverage on three channels — Fox, FS1 and Nat Geo Wild. More than 3,200 dogs entered across three dog sports will entertain, enamor, and excite dog lovers around the world.
Viewers will be able to tune into the Fox broadcast network for the first time to catch expanded coverage of the 5th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster finals on Sunday, February 11, from 2 to 4:30 pm. Daytime viewers will enjoy expanded select live coverage of the 142nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and 3rd Annual Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster on Nat Geo Wild on Monday and Tuesday, February 12-13, from 1 to 4 pm. The coveted Groups and Best in Show live telecast will continue on FS1 on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 8 to 11 .
The 142nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show reached its conformation entry limit of 2,800. There will be a total of 2,882 dogs at the show representing 2,919 entries, which includes 95 junior showmanship qualifiers and 24 obedience teams in the 3rd Annual Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster on February 12. There are also 330 agility teams entered in the 5th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster on Saturday, February 10, 2018.
The largest dog show entries by breed are: Golden Retrievers (52), followed by French Bulldogs (48), Labrador Retrievers (46), Vizslas (45), Rhodesian Ridgebacks (43), Whippets (42), Australian Shepherds (37), Bernese Mountain Dogs (35), Doberman Pinschers (35), and German Shorthaired Pointers (34). There are 2,882 dogs from 50 states and Washington DC with the most dogs from California (240), followed by New York (238), Pennsylvania (195), New Jersey (175), Florida (153), Virginia (135), Connecticut (128), Texas (121), Massachusetts (117), and Ohio (115). They include Junior Showmanship qualifiers (95) and 136 entries from 16 other countries, topped by Canada (102), Mexico (7), Japan (7), and Russia (5). The farthest entries are from Australia (1) and China (1).
There are 24 dogs entered in the Masters Obedience Championship at Westminster from 16 states led by Illinois (3) and Indiana (2), New York (2), South Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (2), and Tennessee (2). Golden Retrievers (9) are the most entered followed by Border Collies (3) and Labrador Retrievers (3). There are 330 dogs entered in the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster representing 66 breeds and 28 states with the most coming from New Jersey (77), New York (75) and Pennsylvania (33). The top five entries are Border Collies (55), Shetland Sheepdogs (34), All-American Dogs (29), Australian Shepherd (18), Golden Retrievers (18), and Poodles (18).
Westminster Gives Back
The Westminster Kennel Club launched its inaugural Westminster Gives Back Dog Rescue Awards of $5,000 each to American Kennel Club (AKC)-recognized national breed clubs engaged in dog rescue activities. The first three winners are the Bearded Collie Club of America, English Cocker Spaniel Club of America (ECSCA) Health and Welfare Organization, and Great Pyrenees Club of America. The three donations totaling $15,000 will be presented at Madison Square Garden during the 142nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Monday evening, February 12.
Due to the overwhelming response in the number of applications from the national breeds clubs, Westminster has also selected three more organizations for the 2019 donations; the Bull Terrier Club of America, National Brussels Griffon Rescue, Inc, and the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club (USA). Those donations will be given at the 143rd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2019.
Westminster randomly selected the national breed clubs to receive the awards based on meeting eligibility requirements and the application deadline of September 30, 2017. As part of its continuing effort to assist national breed club rescue organizations, Westminster is going to extend this program beyond 2019. The next application period will start in August 2019 for the 2020 and 2021 donations.
Each year, Westminster donates to a dog-related charity from the proceeds of its annual art contest’s commemorative poster and note cards sales. For 2018, the donation increased to $15,000 to assist three national breed clubs in offsetting rescue-related expenses such as transportation, veterinary care, grooming, boarding, feeding, and training. In addition, these funds will assist the clubs in educating new owners about the joy of owning their specific breeds while finding new homes for purebred dogs.