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September 2, 2014

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Was Great Sports TV

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 17th 2010 5:14PM
sadie_the_scottish_terrier_APWhen it comes to competition and sports on television, the fare of late has been leaving fans wanting something better. Last weekend, the Daytona 500 -- the Super Bowl of NASCAR -- suffered in the ratings because of a pothole on the track that resulted in nearly two hours of delays. The NBA also served up their All-Star weekend of festivities; they were a major dud, especially the Slam Dunk contest that used to be one of the best exhibitions in sports. And the Vancouver Olympics? So far, so dull.

However, there was one very exciting competition on television and it aired over the last two nights -- the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Live from Madison Square Garden, the dog show was one of the purest contests I've seen on TV in a long time. It was exciting and tension-filled, especially last night between 10:30 and 11:00 p.m. when the judge started to evaluate the best in show candidates.

Would the Whippet with the crazy grey-on-white markings win? What about the Puli who looked like a large, solid black mop? Maybe the toy Poodle would overcome the crazy pom-pom cut to take the top prize? All that was missing was Jane Lynch and Jennifer Coolidge from 'Best In Show,' the Christopher Guest mockumentary about dog shows. Do yourself a favor and rent it!

For 30 minutes, Judge Elliot Weiss looked over all seven dogs that had won their groups. The announcers were unsure what his expressions meant, it he was giving one dog the edge over the other. The cameras were everywhere, catching every move by the dogs, and even under the brightest lights, these dogs were champs. They didn't bolt and run or piss and poo; they were ready to win. For sheer competition and fun, it was great TV. Unless you don't like dogs, in which case, you were watching something else anyway.

The winner turned out to be the favorite going in, Sadie the Scottish terrier. She really had star power, had won two other major dog shows to become the first triple crown dog ever! And unlike President Bush's Scottie, Barney, Sadie didn't bite anyone. The images of her standing on her hind legs, excited after the win, were memorable.

So, there you have it. The best sports on TV in the past five days was USA Network and CNBC's coverage of the Super Bowl of dog shows, The Westminster Kennel Club in New York.

Oh, one last thing, there was a PETA protest at the show that lasted a few minutes. The protesters were arrested and removed from the arena.

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Tracy

Patti ... yes, you have displayed a fair amount of ignorance here. About the breeds certainly ... and if you can joke about PETA killing off a breed, well ... you are ignorant of their agenda to wipe out all domesticated creatures including canis familiaris.

Hate all you want as is your right, but you still have projected your ignorance all over this thread.

There are three different varieties of Poodle which are shown in two different groups. So when you say Poodle it would be nice to know that you knew which one you were talking about. Two varieties -- the Standard Poodle and the Miniature Poodle -- are members of the Non-Sporting Group while only the Toy Poodle competes in the Toy Group.

Unlike all the toy breeds that you mentioned, the Toy Poodle is descended from an actual working dog aka a dog with a purpose. The Standard Poodle is the original variation. It is a water retrieving dog that is still used by many sportmen. The haircuts that you consider silly actually serve a purpose with regards to the work the dog was developed to perform.

Pekes, Pomerians, Paps, and Pugs were developed to look cute and hang out on someone's couch. Intelligence and working instincts played little to no part in the development of those breeds. All of which (other than the Pug) require at least as much grooming to be show ready as any Poodle.

Oh ... And Poodles do not always win the Toy Group. Over the past ten years, there have been 3 Pekes, 3 Toy Poodles, an Affenpinscher, a Brussels Griffon, a Pug and a Shih Tzu win the Toy Group. Prior to
CH Smash Jp Win A Victory's win in 2007, it had been almost a decade since the last Toy Poodle won the group.

From an historical perspective, the Peke has dominated the Toy Group at Westminster since group competition began in 1924. The breed has won the group 23 times
and has also earned the most group placements over the years -- 59.

Toy Poodles aren't even second in that race. The Pom has won the group 14 times while the Toy Poodles have won it 12 times.

BTW -- I am not a Poodle fancier of any kind. I do show Dachshunds, though.

February 18 2010 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sadiesrotten

Ok, maybe you've not watched the Olympics. But I have, more so this year then any other year. The opening Ceremony was awesome. Many of the competitions have kept me on the edge of my seat. Last nights coverage was the best yet with all the Golds the Americans won.
Dunno what Olympics your watching, if at all...but your take on them is totally off!

February 18 2010 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patti

Ok, now name me something, animal, vegetable, mineral, you get the idea-and tell me you hate it.Now am I ignorant? I have every right to say I hate poodles, penguins, rutabagas, & sand in my shoes. I didn't name call anyone, I only stated what I didn't like, and now that includes you, SUZN. I take it your a POODLE. With a funny haircut.

February 17 2010 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SUZN

Your "humble opinion" is based on ignorance! The type of "cut" that poodles wear in the Show Ring is a necessity. However, when a poodle isn't a show dog, there are variety of cuts available to dog & owner. I prefer the "Puppy Cut." It's a kind of all-over look, one length, that the dogs seem to enjoy too! No need to demonize an entire breed now, just open that closed mind of yours!

February 17 2010 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patti

I try not to miss this each year, and when I do watch, I get very angry to see those goddawful poodles win the toy group every time. I hate poodles! They are not cute, and are shaved funny. The Papillon, Pomeranian, Pekingese and Pug, oh what the hell, any dog is better than a poodle. If PETA wants to eliminate any kind of dog, pick that breed and end it all for them. Just my humble opinion, and I'm entitled to it.

February 17 2010 at 6:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tracy

The PETA people are crazy. What they do not publicize ... and frankly try to hide ... is the fact that they would be happy to have canis familiaris die out. They consider domesticated animals of any form to be unnatural slaves of humanity. That's why they do not distinguish between puppymills and responsible breeders -- PETA wants there to be no more dogs at some point in the future. Given that would turn a lot of people off, they don't make much of that particular aspect of their agenda. In the past, PETA fanatics have opened dog crates at dog shows. Some of the released dogs have never been recovered. At least one was hit by a car after it ran into the street.

On a more positive note ... For people interested in more coverage of the Westminster Show, check out www.westminsterkennelclub.org . You can view the extensive video of the judging of each individual breed and more. Lots of nice photos, too, as well as the history of the show, etc.

The Westminster Kennel Club Show is the second oldest continuously held sporting event in the United States. It is 134 years old and predates the Superbowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup, etc. Only the Kentucky Derby, is older (by a scant 2 years).

February 17 2010 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wader

I'm confused. The Winter Olympics have been riveting and the coverage has been second to none!

Oh wait, you're watching NBC? Oh man I feel for ya.

CTV in Canada is rocking the coverage with 14 streams online and an awesome player that permits you to watch any coverage again and again at any point during the games.

February 17 2010 at 5:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Chichian

My family has shown dogs for years and I never understood PETA's problem with dog shows. If I die tonight I want to come back as a show dog in my parent's home. Designer dog food, more toys than any animal has a need to have, cookies for doing what I should be doing normally (going out, leaving a deposit then coming back in), a couch to sleep on and a wait staff for anything else! We have only gone once but we watch it faithfully every year.

February 17 2010 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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