Archive for the ‘Westminster’ Category

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21 Feb 16

Big Dawgs at Westminster! ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,, All Photos are Property of Nancy E. Hassel &

For the love of dogs, that is why thousands of people come in from all across the USA and world to attend the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.  For the LOVE of dogs.  That’s why I go.  While the show may be over, the buzz of the Best In Show winner will be happening for quite some time.

Each year the crowds of people seem to get bigger, always enthusiastic about their favorite breed of dog, you over hear stories about their own dogs, smiles from ear to ear as the dogs flew through the agility course on Saturday and seeing kids that were in awe of the 175 Great Danes at Meet the Breeds.

As dog lovers we tend to be drawn to dogs that we like, while I love all dogs, I am drawn to the big dogs for the most part (and Frenchies! haha), so I decided for that this after Westminter article to hightlight some of the massive dogs that were at Westminster!

Africian Boerboel – new to Westminster this year, there were only 4 in the breed ring, 3 females and 1 male.  Not a new breed by any means, just newly accepted to the AKC.  This dog is absolutely stunning in person – and while they can be a lot to handle for first time dog owners, the 4 that were there were very calm (I have met a few in the past and they were also calm, sweet and happy dogs) but you want to do your research, meet with breeders and learn about this rare breed before thinking about getting one.

This was in the Junior Handlers right before the show went live on Tuesday night.  I just loved seeing this tiny young girl handling this large beautiful Great Dane around the ring like a pro and with such ease.  Stunning dog – usually you see the fawn with black mask on the danes in the ring (which was in the working group), but this brindle coloration was beautiful.  It’s so great to see young junior handlers at dog shows.

This dog is a Anatolian Shepherd Dog – very large working breed, used for protection, farm work and definitely not for the 1st time dog owner.  They are very big – I have always loved seeing these guys at Westminster.

The Newfounland! Or Newfie for short – this gorgeous dog is a joy to see at Westminster or just walking in a dog park.  They are gentle and used for rescue work, think jumping out of helicopters into water to save a person from drowning!  Look at his foot – looks like a bear foot!  If you don’t mind some drool, then you will love these dogs.  They come in many colors, and do require grooming and regular brushing for that coat to look nice.

English Mastiff, probably one of the most massive breeds of dogs you can get.  They usually weigh in at 250 pounds…they are great dogs.  They are the origin of many other mastiff breeds.

This dog.  Do I need to say more?  Working farm dog to help protect sheep…dread locks are natural for this dog.  I can’t imagine owning one and having his fur this long.  But they are very impressive to see in person. The Komondor.

The Saint Bernard, another massive dog.  See how high his back is in relation to the purple backdrop?  You don’t see these dogs all to often but whenever you do, you are reminded of their size and sweet disposition.  Also working dogs, rescue dogs, and great family dogs.

Two for 1 in this photo, the beautiful white dog on the left is a Kuvasz – is an ancient breed of dog that is a livestock gurad dog working on the farm.  You need to work with them on socialization and training, again maybe not for the first time dog owner.  There was one at Meet the Breeds too, and she was very sweet and relaxed while there!  The dog on the right is the Leonberger – 4th or 5th year at Westminster and also massive in size, but they are very sweet from the dogs I know.  If you saw Best in Show on TV of this years Westminster – Dario (Pictured here) was snack happy and trying to get the treats out of his handler’s pocket.  It was quite comical and the crowd at MSG got a big kick out of it as did I!

The Neopolitian Mastiff, or Neo for short.  Italian Mastiff, with skin that is not defying gravity in any way shape or form!  Drooly, slobbery huge dogs – this breed helped create the Cane Corso, his cousin and much more agile (and less droopy skin) of the Italian Mastiffs.   This Neo made a point to say hi to some of the crowd – it was pretty cute to see!

For a lot more pictures from Westminster, you can CLICK HERE to see them.  I say it every year, if you have yet to go to Westminster, our superbowl of dog shows, you need to get your butt there, not matter where you live, it will be worth the trip to NYC!

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18 Feb 15

And the winner is… ...

by Nancy E. Hassel, (All photos and Video taken by Nancy E. Hassel)

And the winner is…the 15 inch Beagle, Miss. P!  This adorable little dog took home the most prestigious title in the dog show world in the United States, Best in Show at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

The crowd went absolutely ballistic when the Old English Sheepdog went around the ring, the noise was insane. He was clearly the crowd favorite, the Beagle was the crowd’s 2nd favorite.

I personally am always pulling for the underdog or different breed – seems like it is the same 7 breeds year in or year out – and there is always a poodle in BIS.  Nothing against the adorable poodles, just always wonder why every year there is a poodle?  With 192 different breeds now competeting in Westminster, it would be nice to see something completely different in BIS, a Doberman, AmStaff, Frenchie winning perhaps? Aww one can dream! (Fifi the Doberman was so close a couple years ago). (What breed were you cheering for? Tell us in the comment section at the bottom!) The Doberman in the working group came close to making it to BIS, beautiful dog:

Regardless of who my favorite choice would be (I too have many breeds I would love to see in that BIS ring!), Westminster is an incredible event to be at. The excitement in the air, and during the group judging can be nail biting. It’s not often you can see so many different types of dogs in one location. People and their dogs travel from all over the world, and Long Island, (smile), to compete!

Some of our Long Island dogs, like the Leonbergers, Mr. America, Hollywood and Magnetto – with local owner, breeder, and handler – Morgan Williams, were in the ring and Magneto won Winners Dog!

Then there is this adorable little Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Abbie, who is also a therapy dog from Long Island – she stood out amoung all the Staffy’s not just because of her beautiful markings – but because of her spunk.

This dog Brennan, well he is not from Long Island, but his relatives (human ones) used to live here, and he was a show stopper, even while laying down! You can see why, he is a 240lb massive Mastiff – is that redundant?

Another dog that stood out to me was Kennedy, a beautiful sweet, and non-docked eared American Staffordshire Terrier – she took 2nd place in her group. Love that she placed and without her ears being docked – my preferred look for an AmStaff (aka American Pit Bull Terrier for those of you who are wondering same dog different breed names for AKC vs. UKC look it up if you’re not sure!). She was not from Long Island, but sure does look like a lot of our AmStaffs living locally!  Congrats Kennedy!

I say this every year, but if you have never been to Westminster, love dogs, and live close by – you have to make plans to go next year!  For a lot more PICTURES, click here!

What breed were you cheering for?

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16 Feb 15

Westminster Agility, meets the breed ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

The 2nd Annual Westminster Masters Agility Championship was held in New York City on Saturday, February 14, 2015 at Pier 94. This was my 2nd year there, and it did not disappoint – very exciting to watch the finals!  Many dogs from Long Island were there representing, and dogs you don’t always see in agility like: Dobermans, Rotties, AmStaffs, mixed breeds, among the speed demons – aka the Border Collie.

Doberman from Lake Grove, NY - she was awesome!

I am telling you now, if you didn’t go, you have to plan to attend next year’s event.  Check out some of our video coverage from the event below and to see a lot more pictures, CLICK HERE.

In addition to the agility, the American Kennel Club hosted their annual ‘Meet the Breeds’ next door at Pier 92.  This event is normally held at the Javits Center, and usually has cats too – but this year it was just for dogs.  To say it was crowded would be a huge understatement.  Despite the frigid temperatures and snow falling outside, the line was incredibly long to get in!  The picture below is from inside, that crowd went all the way back to the end of the pier!

This breed of dog kind of looks like a sheepdog in wools clothing perhaps?  It is a Bergamasco!

Can you figure out what breed this is? Looks a little like a large Carin terrier right? It is a Berger Picard.

Another local Long Island Doberman from Huntington – what a beauty!

New to Westminster this year is the Coton de tulear.

The Wired Haired Vizla is also new to West minster this year.

A breed I have never seen before and used to hunt boar in Japan is the Kishu Ken –  this dog was as sweet as could be.

To see a lot more pictures from Meet the Breeds CLICK HERE!

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11 Feb 14

Flying dogs at Westminster! ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

What a whirlwind of Westminster events in New York City this weekend!  Starting with the first ever Master’s Agility Championship this past Saturday – which was a blur of flying dogs – and as you may have heard there were many mixed breeds competing.  If you have never watched agility in person, I would highly recommend planning to attend the event next year – you won’t be disappointed.  It was so much fun to watch every dog, the super fast ones making it through the course in 30 seconds flat and the older slower dogs meandering through – which was pure entertainment for the crowd.

This American Eskimo dog flew through the course!

This doxie wasn’t too fast and wasn’t too slow.

This dog was Logan, and 11 year old Amercian Staffordshire Terrier, aka pit!

And now we are at the 2nd day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show – for the evening’s Best in Show.  If you are reading this and have always thought about coming, especially if you are on Long Island or in the tri-state area and can easily get to Madison Square Garden, and you are a dog lover, there is no reason not too attend.  This year there were upwards of 3,000 dogs competing for the coveted title of Best in Show.  This is the 138th annual event of the show – and the excitement in the air is like any of your favorite sporting event.  It is for our love of dogs that bring people from around the world to the event.  I have been to Westminster at least 8 times and look forward to it ever year – for the dogs of course!

Beautiful Irish Setter

Lion or dog? Tibetan Mastiff!

Everyone loves a Golden Retriever

Portuguese Water dog

American Staffordshire Terrier – gorgeous!

New to Westminster this year the Chinook.

To see a lot more pictures click here and some Westminster Dog Breed Trivia click here!

And the Best in Show winner is Sky the Wire Fox Terrier!

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15 Feb 12

Pek is the Pick, Westminster ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

A new dog is crowned the best in show for the 136th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the Pekingese GCH Palacegarden Malachy and did you know the Best in Show (BIS) judge is from Long Island?  While I was cheering for Fifi the Doberman to win, (for obvious reasons) she didn’t grab the BIS title.  The Westminster Dog Show is the Superbowl of dog shows and with 2,000 dogs competing this year at Madison Square Garden, I would not want to have to pick the winner!  People come from all over the country and the world to compete or just to attend as a spectator.

After being at Westminster all day on Valentine’s day, I was reading the guide and record and it occurred to me, the 136 Annual dog show.  That’s 136 years this show has been happening, and started back in 1876, really quite remarkable.  Another piece of interesting history, for all you history buffs out there – did you know that the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show is one of only 3 tenants to have been in every one of the four different incarnations of Madison Square Garden – and Westminster started prior to the first MSG location.  MSG was originally it was called Gillmore’s Gardens and was located at 26th and Madison Avenue.  The current location of MSG is the fourth place MSG has been located.  Who knew?

The Clumber Spaniel was one of the first breeds in the early days of Westminster

As more and more dog breeds are accepted in the the American Kennel Club and now being shown at Westminster – there is a much broader scope of fans, onlookers and attendees at the show.  The show seemed a little more crowded to me this year than last and this year 6 new breeds were competing: the Cesky Terrier; Entlebucher Mountain Dog; Finnish Lapphund; Norwegian Lundehund (a dog with 6 toes on each foot); and probably the most unique looking dog the Xoloitzcuintli the national dog of Mexico – commonly called the ’show-low’ for short.  The hairless breed was originally called the Mexican Hairless – who knows why the name was changed, but really a cool looking dog.  I do however prefer dogs with fur! And even only last year the Cane Corso, once considered a rare breed was let into Westminster and I think there were 20 dogs competing today.

Cane Corso

Dog shows in my opinion have evolved in the way of the crowd – it’s not the average dog show person that you see at the event – but every day dog owners and dog lovers.  It’s such fun way to see so many breeds in one spot and have such an enthusiastic crowd at Westminster.  You can ask the handlers questions about the dogs, get ideas if a certain dog is for you, etc. Even Pet Celebrities like Victoria Stillwell was there meeting dogs and speaking with people.

Victoria Stillwell of Animal Planet's It's Me or the Dog

And if for some reason you can’t hop on the LIRR to head into the show next year, you can join in on their social media craze.  Social Media for Westminster has taken off like wild fire in the past two years.  The Facebook Page for Westminster has over 96 thousand fans and during the two days of the show fans watching the show were tweeting with the #WKC hashtag.  Last year the day after the BIS win – their website had 10.2 million page views – amazing!

As cool as that all is – we all just want to route for our favorite breed or local owner who has a dog in the show, like Lynn the only female Harlequin Great Dane that was in the Great Dane Ring today, Lynn is from Patchogue.  There are many stories like that and many dogs from Long Island who competed the last two days at Westminster.  Do you have a dog that competed from Long Island? (more pictures below)

Sleepy girl!

English Mastiff takes a rest right in the middle of the floor!