As a lifelong dog lover and active AKC breed club member, I have long dreamed of attending the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which will be held next Monday and Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York. This year I finally get my chance.
Like many of you I watch the show each year, cheer on my favorites and simply enjoy seeing the great dogs and hearing the stories about their handlers, owners and breeders, and watching the exciting and sometimes surprising competition.
Who can forget when Stump, the Sussex Spaniel, came out of retirement at age 10 and seized the 2009 championship? Quite a feat, unless you consider that the previous oldest winner, an 8-year-old Papillon named Kirby, won not only Westminster in 1999 but also captured the World Dog Show in Helsinki that year, the first dog ever to win both those prestigious titles in the same year.
Want to test your knowledge about this most historic of dog events? Try this fun quiz.
1. Since the days of Rin Tin Tin, the German Shepherd Dog has been one of America’s favorite breeds. The GSD has won Westminster’s Best in Show championship:
A. Eight times
B. Five times
C. Three times
D. Only once
2. During Westminster, this New York City landmark is bathed in lights colored purple and gold to honor the show:
A. The Brooklyn Bridge
B. Rockefeller Plaza
C. The Statue of Liberty
D. The Empire State Building
3. For many years the Poodle has been an iconic image of dog shows. Which of the three size varieties of Poodle – Standard, Miniature or Toy – has the most Westminster wins?
A. Toy Poodle
B. Miniature Poodle
C. Standard Poodle
4. This breed has been the most popular in the U.S. for 20 straight years, but has never won Westminster:
A. Golden Retriever
B. Labrador Retriever
D. Yorkshire Terrier
5. Westminster traces its roots to:
A. A pioneering dog biscuit manufacturer that wanted to promote its product
B. An agricultural fair in upstate New York that initially featured prized livestock
C. A group of sporting gentlemen who gathered regularly in a New York City bar to brag about their dogs
D. An auction that judged high quality breeding stock, originally meant for horses
6. Unlike most dog shows, Westminster assigns dogs to a specific area where they must remain unless they are being shown so they can be viewed by spectators. Rare today, this type of show is called:
A. A specialty show
B. A premiership show
C. A benched show
D. An unbenched show
7. Of the seven groups of dog breeds, dogs in this group have won 45 times, more than double the 19 wins registered by the next most successful group:
A. Sporting Group
B. Terrier Group
C. Toy Group
D. Working Group
8. The Westminster Kennel Club offers a silver-plated trophy for Best in Show. The winner can take it home permanently only if he or she wins three times. How many dogs and their owners have scored three wins or more at Westminster?
9. In 1910 Westminster established a special class for Fire Department Dogs, and the competition was won by a member of Engine Co. No. 8 on 51st Street. The breed of dog that competed was:
A. German Shepherds
B. Smooth Fox Terriers
C. Portuguese Water Dogs
10. This AKC Group has won Best in Show only a single time:
A. Herding Group
B. Hound Group
C. Non-Sporting Group
D. Working Group
1. D, the German Shepherd Dog scored its lone win in 1987. Notable finishes include a GSD owned by Yankee baseball great Lou Gehrig, which took second in the Open Bitch Class in 1933.
2. D, the Empire State Building glows in Westminster’s colors, purple and gold.
3. C, the Standard Poodle has won four times; Miniature, three; Toy, two.
4. B, Labs are super popular and great dogs, but they have never taken Westminster.
5. C, the drinking buddies gathered at the now-defunct Westminster Hotel bar.
6. C, a benched show provides interaction with spectators.
7. B, those Terriers have dominated at Westminster, including a win last year by Scottish Terrier Sadie.
8. A, only once has a dog won three times, the Smooth Fox Terrier Ch. Warren Remedy took the trophy in 1907, 1908 and 1909.
9. D, if you picked Dalmatians give yourself a big Woof!
10. A, the Herding Group is the Chicago Cubs of the dog world, taking the trophy only once, that single win by the German Shepherd Dog.
Want to know more about Westminster? Visit DogChannel.com’s Westminster Unleashed.