By Sharon Gomes Thomas
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org) is the “IT” event of the dog world. For dog breeders and dog aficionados, it’s Fashion Week, the Olympics and the Oscars all rolled into one nail-biting event.
This year, the Westminster Dog Show will showcase 6 newly recognized dog breeds, so do watch the event to get a look at these lovely pooches. If you want to be in the thick of the action, you can get yourself a ticket to the show at Ticketmaster (http://www.ticketmaster.com). Or tune in your telly in the comfort of your own home with you furry friend at your side.
USA Network and CNBC are airing The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show presented by Purina® for the 30th consecutive year. That’s 210 in dog years! Here’s the schedule for the Live coverage from Madison Square Garden, New York:
Monday, February 13
Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding Groups
8-9 p.m. (ET) Live on USA Network
9-11 p.m. (ET) Live on CNBC
Tuesday, February 14
Sporting, Working and Terrier Groups, Best In Show
8-11 p.m. (ET) Live on USA Network
Breed judging highlight clips are available throughout the day on Monday and Tuesday on the Westminster Web site.
One of the more exotic breeds newly accepted into the American Kennel Club is the Xoloitzcuintli, a word that’s perfect for spelling bee competitions! The “show-low” as it is commonly called – is the national dog of Mexico. These dogs descend from hairless dogs prized by the Aztecs and revered as guardians. There is also a coated variety. Adopt one at the Xolo Rescue League at http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/xolorescueleague.html
The Norwegian Lundehund or Puffin Dog spent centuries on the rocky cliffs of arctic Norway hunting puffin birds, hence their nickname. For this now defunct task (puffins are now protected) this little Spitz-type dog has six toes on each foot for stability! A flexible skeletal structure also enables the dog to squirm out of tight spots or spread-eagle to prevent falls. This is the Cirque Du Soleil of dogs. To get some fun products featuring this dog including a “More Toes Is Better” bag click on http://shop.cafepress.com/nlaa
Two new additions into the Herding Group are the Entlebucher Mountain Dog and the Finnish Lapphund. The Entlebucher is the smallest of the four Swiss breeds. A self-assured dog of commanding presence, the Entlebucher shouldn’t be considered for the faint-hearted as it will remain an energetic dog for its entire lifetime. The Finnish Lapphund is a reindeer-herding dog from the northern parts of Scandinavia thought to have existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. They are strong but very agile. To adopt an Entle, go to the National Entlebucher Mountain Dog Association http://www.nemda.org/RescueRehome/AvailableDogs.aspx
The American English Coonhound is a descendant of English Foxhounds. Originally this versatile hound was used to hunt fox by day and raccoons by night and was named the English Fox and Coon Hound. Not a dog for NY apartments as they have an excellent howling voice and need regular exercise to stay in peak shape.
The Cesky Terrier is longer than it is tall and has a soft, long, silky coat in shades of gray from charcoal to platinum. The Cesky are reserved towards strangers but loyal to their owners. Support the American Cesky Terrier Faciers Association Fund with a mischievous sticker purchased from their homesite http://www.ceskyterrierfanciers.com
Don’t forget to tune on for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and cheer on your favorite breed.