Westminster Kennel Club streaming video
February 15, 2005 10:11 AM   Subscribe

The Westminster Kennel Club is offering streaming video of this year's competitions, broken down by breed. Let the Best in Show jokes commence.
posted by jeffmshaw (36 comments total)
from today's globe: the life and times of a corgi breeder.
posted by pxe2000 at 10:15 AM on February 15, 2005

It's a shame to think that in some countries they'd eat these dogs.
posted by trharlan at 10:20 AM on February 15, 2005

So did/does anybody else watch Westminster with your dog? My dog was pretty calm...he did sit up and pay attention, but people on the Welsh Terrier list I'm on told stories of their dogs going absolutely nuts and barking at the TV during the broadcast.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:26 AM on February 15, 2005

I have a Newf, and last year she got excited when Josh, the best in show winner, was on screen. She doesn't get to see other Newfs very often.
posted by amj at 10:33 AM on February 15, 2005

Sharansky proposes the "Town Square Test" for democracies; I propose the golden retriever test for civilizations. If a culture doesn't love dogs, I have no respect for it. The only problem is, I would refuse to let dogs participate in this test.

Go Airedales! Whoo!
posted by ParisParamus at 10:40 AM on February 15, 2005

Yes, we watch together, and the ten-month-old most definitely interacts. Occasionally she changes the channel or one of the inputs when she stands and puts her paws against the AV rack to get a closer look. Our ten-year old doesn't seem to be interested in the visuals, but occasionally wanders over to look behind the speakers to see who's barking.
posted by cairnish at 10:46 AM on February 15, 2005

Is anyone here actually into dog shows? And if so, can someone explain what that interest is? I am not trying to be snarky, but I'd really like to know what people get out of it.
posted by xmutex at 10:59 AM on February 15, 2005

We like dogs, I guess. I wasn't a fan until we got our Cattle Dog, but now I enjoy them. And having seen Best in Show makes in enjoyable as well.
posted by tr33hggr at 11:08 AM on February 15, 2005

I propose the golden retriever test for civilizations. If a culture doesn't love dogs, I have no respect for it.

I never thought I'd see the day when you and I would agree on something. (Of course, Retrievers and Airedales are kinda sucky compared to real dogs.)
posted by 327.ca at 11:29 AM on February 15, 2005

"Here comes the lipstick."
posted by spock at 1:45 PM on February 15, 2005

Even though my stepmothers' dog won best of breed (English Bulldog [warning: Flash overkill]) last year, I've always found the underlying concept of dog shows disturbing. The obsessiveness with bloodlines, gentic perfection, and eugenics a bit too creepy for my tastes.
posted by trinarian at 1:48 PM on February 15, 2005

FWIW I was in Southern China about a year ago and they were very discriminating about the dogs they would eat. Puppies only. In the winter. No adults because they're breeders. No fancy dogs because they cost too much.
posted by Red58 at 1:50 PM on February 15, 2005

Is anyone here actually into dog shows?

That's kind of funny question. I'm not really into dog shows as in the pageant aspect of "show". It's all about the dogs. Dog shows allow you you to see some of the finest canine animals on the planet. And if you actually attend them, you get to interact with the dogs in a way that you'll never be able to interact with any other "pageant" contestants.

I watch dog shows when I can, but I also watch working trials, and agility contests. What's fun about the shows is second guessing the judges. When the Great Pyranees showed in Working group last night, I knew it would win the group. Didn't I feel special when it did! I guess that's the long answer to your question. The short answer is:

posted by Wulfgar! at 1:51 PM on February 15, 2005

I've been told by a journalist I know that Henry Stern, former NYC Parks Commissioner, was appearing at some kind of ceremony in Chinatown with his Golden Retriever.

The journalist told me that, when a group of Asian kids came up to Mr. Stern and asked whether they could pet his dog, he replied:

"You can pet the dog, but you cannot eat the dog."

Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that Henry Stern has never run for office (he's only been appointed to positions).
posted by ParisParamus at 1:53 PM on February 15, 2005

I like looking at cute dogs on TV. : ) Some of the people I've gotten to know on the Welsh Terrier list also breed show dogs and sometimes one of their dogs will be in the show. The Welshie who won the best of breed at Westminster last year was owned by someone who happens to be on the list. Another person on the list has a dog who will be competing at Crufts this year.

The International Kennel Club dog show is happening in Chicago in a couple weeks, and I always go to that. It's a benched show (so is Westminster), so that means I can walk around and pet all the cute doggies. (well, most of them - some of the owner/handlers don't let the masses touch their dogs. It is also a good way to find out about different dog breeds and see them up close.

And Paris: Airedales are my second-favorite breed. My family had one for the first few years of my life.
posted by SisterHavana at 2:00 PM on February 15, 2005

And if so, can someone explain what that interest is?

It's fun to look at nice lookin' dogs, and chat about breeds with other people in the room, and talk about how the German Shepherd can barely walk because of the fad for extreme angulation.

It's also fun to watch Crufts from Britain and see how styles differ. You'll see some downright chubby dogs at Crufts, but they'll often have more naturalistic grooming (or at least not look as deliberately groomed as AKC dogs tend to).
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:07 PM on February 15, 2005

"Wow, he went after her like she was made out of ham!"


Both of my dogs are mutts, and I adore them. As such, though, they're not really show-material. That's fine, 'cause neither am I.

In some cases, I think dog shows are just an opportunity to spend more of your free time with your dogs, which ought always to be a good thing.

More often, though, I think that dog shows allow people to indulge their competetive natures even if they themselves lack the physical attributes or athletic prowess to compete against members of their own species.
posted by FYKshun at 2:12 PM on February 15, 2005

Welsh Terriers are at least as cute as Airedales. But like all dogs, they're cuter when scruffy, unshampooed, and unbrushed.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:16 PM on February 15, 2005

Gromit sort of looks like Underdog, no?
posted by ParisParamus at 2:20 PM on February 15, 2005

"I don't think I could stand being poked and prodded like that. I told my proctologist, Why don't you take me out for dinner and a movie sometime?"

"Yeah, you said that last year."
posted by dhoyt at 2:25 PM on February 15, 2005

Terriers are my very favourite breed
They're cute and cuddly and easy dogs to feed
They'll bring you up whenever you are down
Terriers average 20 pounds
When I walk around in this terrier town
One thing that makes me down
Is when people put bandanas on their dogs

Bruce McCulloch, Kids in the Hall.

I don't tend to share his enthusiam, (or that which is displayed here), for terriers. I much prefer the working dogs and the herding breeds. We have a pound puppy (135# husky/pyranees cross) and a found puppy. The foundling is a Sheltie, pure as day as far as we can tell, However, she has a brindle coat which is the only color fault for a Shetland. We presume that the breeder just abandoned her, rather then expose a fault in the bloodline. That's the ugly underside of dog showing, I guess, or at least the awful truth of assinine breeders. But hey, I've had several Shelties in my life, and I've never met a more intelligent, inquisitive, loving, and loyal breed, ever. So, my gain.

And yes, Paris, Grommit does look like Underdog.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:39 PM on February 15, 2005

Bulldogs rule! [egregious self-dog link].
posted by psmealey at 2:58 PM on February 15, 2005

[egregious self-dog link]

Oh no you didn't!

My corgi rests in funny positions (when she gets in from the backyard, that is).
posted by norm at 3:09 PM on February 15, 2005

Is anyone here actually into dog shows? And if so, can someone explain what that interest is? I am not trying to be snarky, but I'd really like to know what people get out of it.

I've been going to dog shows since I was a wee kiddie, and am currently showing my first conformation show dog. The appeal in going is getting to see all manner of breeds you might never see in the flesh anywhere else, meeting people and "talking dogs". The appeal in actually showing your own dog is manifold: the training you've put in (yes, there is a surprising amount of training involved in conformation showing), the conditioning and grooming you've done to get your dog looking his absolute best, learning how your dog stacks up against others of his breed, what his strengths and weaknesses are (especially important if you're considering breeding). And most importantly, the opportunity to develop your eye for structure by comparing different dogs of the same breed and talking to, and learning from, people who've made dogs their life's work. It's a hobby, much like any other.

Is dog breeding eugenics? Definitely. But that's not a negative in my opinion, we have breeds which have been purpose-bred for years, ethical breeders are there to safeguard the breed and maintain their genetic health as well as their physical health. Ethical breeders do a whole lot more than just put pretty dogs together to get pretty puppies. The amount of science and research that goes into breeding dogs (again, when done ethically), is astonishing, and ethical breeders aren't just breeding for appearance, but also breed-appropriate temperament and ability. The amount of sheer work that can go into a single litter is amazing, and that work doesn't stop (for an ethical breeder) until the last puppy you've bred has died (ideally of old age). The dogs you see at Westminster are often the culmination of decades of careful breeding and hard work.

AKC conformation showing in particular seems to bring out the worst in some dog people, the level of extremes you see there is not representative of all kennel clubs (especially not those which emphasise a dog's abilities as well as its appearance, like the United Kennel Club, which offers a special award (the "Total Dog") for dogs which earn titles in both conformation showing and performance events). Unethical breeders exist, but one major plus to the recent boom in public interest in dog events is the education people are getting about making the right choices (i.e. don't get a Border Collie if you want a couch potato, don't buy from puppy mills or pet shops, educate yourself about what to look for in a breeder and a puppy) and all the ways people can get involved in activities with their dogs, which helps with training and bonding (a big new draw in many kennel clubs is Rally Obedience, which is more relaxed and fun than traditional obedience, and more appealing to many dog owners).

As an aside, what you see at Westminster is conformation showing, which is where the judge is observing the way the dog looks, how it's put together and how it moves, and comparing that against the breed standard for each dog's breed. The dogs are only competing against each other in terms of how close they each come to their own breed standard. Performance competition involves what the dog can actually do, whether it's obedience, herding, hunting, earthdog (for terriers, which is hilarious to watch) or agility. /crazy dog lady

And yes, I watch Westminster with my dog, he barks.
posted by biscotti at 3:29 PM on February 15, 2005

Where's the pug love??? We (my pug, Reba and I) watch the dog shows together, she loves them. Not as much as the puppy bowl but still...
posted by yodelingisfun at 3:51 PM on February 15, 2005

How could anybody not love this face! Sadly, although she is a huge crowd pleaser and gets attention where ever we go, Fanny could never compete in a dog show because she is mixed (3/4 English bulldog, 1/4 boxer.)

Still we watch the dog shows. We wait for our favorites: the basset hound, the French bulldog, the English bulldog, the Mastiff, the old English sheepdog, the sharpei...

What can I say? We just like looking at dogs!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:31 PM on February 15, 2005

Well, since everyone else is going there, Here's Barney. Although he is a purebred, he's not a show dog. He is a rescue from a local shelter and doesn't have papers, so even if I wanted to show him, I couldn't. That's just fine with me. He's a bit too, shall we say, independent-minded, anyway. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 6:25 PM on February 15, 2005

posted by nj_subgenius at 6:51 PM on February 15, 2005


Is that the name of your terrier? Rescued in Italy?
posted by ParisParamus at 6:54 PM on February 15, 2005

Russell the basset hound and Penny the half-basset.
posted by jeffmshaw at 7:02 PM on February 15, 2005

Bullshit. No way. The Short hair was great, but both the Border and the Pyranees were better. I do not agree ... Dammit.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:02 PM on February 15, 2005

I will never, ever forgive the Westminster Dog Show for pre-empting professional wrestling on USA for a good chunk of my childhood.

There is nothing more heartbreaking than hoping to see folding chairs to the skull for two hours and instead being treated to toy poodles.

posted by StopMakingSense at 8:34 PM on February 15, 2005

I thought it was going to be the Border Collie or the Norfolk Terrier taking it.

At least it wasn't a poodle.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:15 PM on February 15, 2005

Man; that was a gorgeous Border Collie, wasn't it?
posted by mr_roboto at 11:33 PM on February 15, 2005

Man; that was a gorgeous Border Collie, wasn't it?

If you like your Border Collies to look like a black and white copy of the AKC version of the Australian Shepherd (which also doesn't look the way it should in AKC). It was certainly a beautiful dog, but I don't think it looked at all the way a Border Collie should look, it looked to me like it had too much coat and too much bone to do the kind of work a BC is supposed to be able to do. I approve more and more of the fact that Border Collies in Canada are only registered through the Border Collie Club of Canada, which places working ability above all other traits.
posted by biscotti at 5:33 AM on February 16, 2005

I love dogs, both as a pet and a meal.
posted by Plunge at 1:11 PM on February 16, 2005

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