21 Feb 16

Big Dawgs at Westminster! ...

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

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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