Behind the Scenes at Westminster 2007

Follow along as we take you behind the scenes of the nation’s most famous dog show with running commentary from editor Annamaria DiGiorgio.

Since 1948, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has been broadcast live from Madison Square Garden in New York City. People around the country tune in to see which breeds will take the seven group wins and which dog will win it all to become Best in Show. But have you ever wondered what they don’t show you on television?

Well, you’re in luck. For 2007, I’ll be your eyes and ears at Westminster for a behind-the-scenes look at America’s most famous dog show. Throughout the day, I’ll give you updates on happenings in the benching area and in the show ring, plus reactions from the crowds. Basically, if something interesting happens, I’m going to tell you all about it. It might not be the same as being there in person, but it’s the next best thing.

Stay tuned to for the latest updates throughout the day and night!

11 p.m. EST, Tuesday

The Best in Show winner is an English Springer Spaniel

10:21 p.m. EST, Tuesday

The Herding Group winner is the Bouvier des Flandres. Second place is the German Shepherd Dog, third place is the Bearded Collie, and fourth place is the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.

9: 35 p.m. EST, Tuesday

The winner of the Hound Group is the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen. Second place is the Saluki, third place is the Scottish Deerhound, and fourth place is the Wirehaired Dachshund.

5:45 p.m. EST, Tuesday

The winner of the Sporting Group is the English Springer Spaniel. Second place is the Vizsla, thrid place is the English Setter, and fourth place is the Irish Setter.

4:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday

What’s going on in the arena:

  • Ring 1: English Springer Spaniel Best of Breed winner poses for a photo.
  • Ring 2: Brittanys compete.
  • Ring 3: Junior handlers show their dogs.
  • Ring 4: Junior handlers pose for photos.
  • Ring 5: Vizslas compete.

2:30 p.m. EST, Tuesday

There are some amazing dogs with equally amazing stories at Westminster this year:

  • Rhodesian Ridgeback Ch. Redawg Christofel O’Copprrdg, aka Chris, is the survivor of multiple rattlesnake bites.
  • A Best of Breed winner, Ch. Brushwood’s Moxi Of Endeavor is a crime-fighting Whippet. Moxi retrieved her owner’s wallet from a man who stole it at a dog park. She also will be a featured character in an upcoming thriller from her owner/author A. J. Diehl.
  • The oldest dog to compete this year is Ch. Barsus NoName Rose. He is 13 1/2 years old.

1:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday

What’s going on in the benching area:

  • People shop for breed merchandise like watches, ties, and chocolate shaped like dog breeds, among the booths set up around the perimeter.
  • A junior handler, a long-haired Dachshund, and an Ibizan Hound sit together in a large crate.
  • A black Lab furiously licks an empty water bowl in an attempt to signal to his handler that he needs more water.
  • A Border Collie breeder lifts a small girl so she can pet his dog.
  • Camera crews interview handlers about their dogs.

11:30 a.m. EST, Tuesday

The American Kennel Club’s most registered dog for each of the past 15 years, the Labrador Retriever, has never won Best in Show at Westminster. Of the 38 Labs being shown today, the yellow and black coats are evenly represented, with only three chocolate Labs being shown. A large crowd gathered to watch the Labs, who were wagging their tails merrily as they waited for their turns with the judge. In the end, a yellow Lab was named Best of Breed and will advance to the Best of Group competition for the Sporting Group this evening.

10:30 a.m. EST, Tuesday

An eclectic mix of dogs is being shown in the rings right now. From smallest to largest, we have Dachshunds, 13-inch Beagles, Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers, and Bloodhounds. Some are in varying stages of judging, and some are posing for their photos and getting ready to move on.

10:00 a.m. EST, Tuesday

With only three Groups showing today (Hound, Herding, and Sporting), the arena is divided into six rings – two large and four small – for today’s judging. At 10 a.m., rings 5 and 6 were combined for showing Labrador Retrievers with other breeds to follow.

11:37 p.m. EST, Monday

The winner of the Non-Sporting Group is the Standard Poodle. Second place is the Bulldog, third place is the Dalmatian and fourth place is the Chinese Shar-Pei.

10:26 p.m. EST, Monday

The winner of the Toy Group is the Toy Poodle. Second place is the Pekingese, third place is the Pug and fourth place is the Brussels Griffon.

9:40 p.m. EST, Monday

The winner of the Terrier Group is the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Second place is the Smooth Fox Terrier, third place is the Sealyham Terrier and fourth place goes to the Bull Terrier.

8:51 p.m. EST, Monday

The results of the Working Group are in. The winner of the Working Group is the Akita. Second place is the Alaskan Malamute, third place is the Newfoundland, and fourth place is the Kuvasz.

3:45 p.m. EST, Monday

What’s going on in the benching area:

  • An American Staffordshire Terrier breeder is educating spectators about what it takes to own this special breed.
  • Children with the Make-A-Wish Foundation® are getting the chance to be up close and personal with the dogs.
  • Standard Poodles are being groomed to perfection.
  • Giant Saint Bernards are snoozing in giant-sized crates.
  • A handler is sitting partially inside a crate with her Great Dane.

3:15 p.m. EST, Monday

Westminster is a benched dog show, which means that all handlers and dogs are required to stay in Madison Square Garden until the day program finishes at 5 p.m. But what happens when the dogs have to “do their business?” Thankfully, plenty of potty pens with sawdust floors have been set up around the arena for this purpose. However, considering how crowded the benching area is, privacy is at a minimum!

12:30 p.m. EST, Monday

When you watch the Westminster evening program, you are used to seeing one large green-carpeted arena. However, during the daytime breed judging, the arena is divided into seven rings, which enable seven breeds to be exhibited at once. Five of the rings are used for small- to medium-sized breeds. The other two are larger to accommodate the large and giant breeds.

11:45 a.m. EST, Monday

One of the first breeds to kick off Monday morning at Westminster is the French Bulldog. An impress 38 Frenchies are being exhibited. The majority of the dogs are crèmes and brindles, but there is also a dash of pieds and fawns with black masks. One spectator commented on the Frenchy’s unique build: “They are so husky!” she said.

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