Westminster Dog Show: Photos and Live Updates - The New York Times

4 days ago 45

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 9:29 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:29 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

Ahead of the final round, eager to know what the Samoyed’s handler is doing in the name of facilitating that “50 percent mental” readiness.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 9:30 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:30 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Wordle, obviously! Or Doggle.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 9:28 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:28 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Striker the Samoyed's handler said that the win was “50 percent physical, 50 percent mental.”

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 9:31 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:31 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

There is a certain comfort in standard sports clichés having a place here every year, like the “Bull Durham” scene where Crash teaches Nuke how to be boring in interviews. Excited for the eventual winner to say he/she “just takes it one day at a time” and is doing whatever possible to help the ballclub.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 9:27 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:27 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

And the winner of the working group is: the whitest fluffiest dog going! The Samoyed.

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Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Michael Grynbaum

June 22, 2022, 9:27 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:27 p.m. ET

Michael Grynbaum

Sarah, I would say fluffiness is a much-sought-after quality this year.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 9:20 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:20 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Shout-out from the announcer to the time Balto and his fellow the Siberian Huskies brought medicine to Nome, Alaska, in sleds in the early 20th century.

June 22, 2022, 9:20 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:20 p.m. ET

Kris Rhim

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

The biggest crowd ovation so far for this group was for the Samoyed.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 9:15 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:15 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

I have a friend who says the problem with the Portuguese Water Dog is that whenever you attempt to go swimming, he tries to rescue you and in fact basically shoves you out of the water, whether you like it or not.

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 9:19 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:19 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

That sounds somewhat great for skittish swimmers: a built-in lifeguard. A better scenario than when dogs billed as water-loving refuse to so much as dip a paw in, even when suited up in a precious canine life jacket. (Looking at you, Rosie Ruiz.)

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 9:13 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:13 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

The Malamute seems to be howl-heckling competitors from the wings. Feisty, those Alaskans.

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 9:15 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:15 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

A distracting saboteur on the sidelines! Eager to take his/her own spin through the ring.

Benjamin Hoffman

June 22, 2022, 9:15 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:15 p.m. ET

Benjamin Hoffman

Have I sat with my wife and kids watching an endless stream of TikToks of huskies howling in the most obnoxious manner you’ve ever heard? Yes. Did the Malamute inspire another dive down that wormhole? Also yes.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 9:13 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:13 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

The Newfoundland is apparently known for his “sweetness of temperament,” but I think he is known for his fluffiness.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 9:15 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:15 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

They can’t help it; they’re so close to Alaska.

Benjamin Hoffman

June 22, 2022, 9:17 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:17 p.m. ET

Benjamin Hoffman

I am getting big “sweetness of temperament” vibes.

June 22, 2022, 9:11 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:11 p.m. ET

Kris Rhim

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

The Leonberger is massive. That must have been what the attack dog in The Sandlot movie looked like in person.

Michael Grynbaum

June 22, 2022, 9:10 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:10 p.m. ET

Michael Grynbaum

Living up to his name, Hollywood the Maltese is getting a suspicious amount of airtime. She and her trainer, Tom Lehman, just got a 1-on-1 interview with the FS1 host Jamie Little (who usually covers NASCAR). Fleg, you’ll be happy to know that Chris Myers just asked if the evening might “have a Hollywood ending.”

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 9:11 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:11 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Are you also a secret NASCAR afficionado?

Michael Grynbaum

June 22, 2022, 9:15 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:15 p.m. ET

Michael Grynbaum

Actually I’m a Formula 1 fan! F1 and dog shows, just your typical American pastimes.

Michael Grynbaum

June 22, 2022, 9:07 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:07 p.m. ET

Michael Grynbaum

The Komondor! Better known as the dog on the cover of Beck’s album “Odelay”

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 9:08 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:08 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

The sheer range of Grynbaum’s “fun fact” trove must be acknowledged.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 9:08 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:08 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

The Komondor is reliably hilarious, with his long moppy locks that, the PA person informs us, help him to “blend in with the flock.” I can’t imagine that he is fooling anyone, not even a sheep.

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 9:06 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:06 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

“Rumble likes Cheez-Its.”

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 9:09 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:09 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

Refreshing — dare I say, humanizing — to hear that some competitors like Rumble aren’t subsisting solely on boiled chicken and food provided by the event's official sponsor, Purina.

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 9:03 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:03 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

A reader asks a fascinating question about the gender breakdown of the dogs: More males? There seem to be more women handlers, but that’s an unscientific assessment — and potentially skewed by my paying special attention to the glitzier, sequined outfits (that Sarah pointed out lack pockets for boiled chicken and have women resorting to stuffing their shirts).

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Credit...Calla Kessler for The New York Times

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 9:03 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:03 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

I would like to report that some members of the Dog Press here at Westminster are enjoying glasses of wine.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 9:11 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 9:11 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

My husband, reading at home and clearly alarmed, has just sent a text saying “No drunk blogging.”

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:56 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:56 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

“Obedience training is definitely recommended for the German pinscher,” we are told. I hate to imagine why.

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 8:58 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:58 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

The German Pinscher looks stressed. Something in the eyes. There is surely a German word for this.

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 8:59 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:59 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

The whale eye! Beunruhigend

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:54 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:54 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Yes, there really is a dog called the Dogo Argentino!

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:54 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:54 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Not to mention the Dogue de Bordeaux.

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 8:54 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:54 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

The Chinook, the rare home-grown American dog, apparently developed in New Hampshire. Live Free or Die.

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 8:54 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:54 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

The Chinook is famously standoffish toward Iowa-developed breeds in presidential election years.

Michael Grynbaum

June 22, 2022, 8:48 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:48 p.m. ET

Michael Grynbaum

Do we know if Commander Biden has issued any proclamations about this evening’s event? Presumably he’s rooting for River the German shepherd.

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Credit...Michael Reynolds/EPA, via Shutterstock

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 8:48 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:48 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

“The name: Cuervo. So, has a shot!” Chris Myers, folks.

June 22, 2022, 8:48 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:48 p.m. ET

Kris Rhim

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Sarah and I are freezing here in Lyndhurst. Is this some sort of strategy? A test of mental toughness for the dogs, owners, and journalists?

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:47 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:47 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

The Great Dane in this group is, as always, magisterial. Here he is dressed in his special outfit, like a prize fighter in a shiny robe, as he waits to be introduced.

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Credit...Sarah Lyall for The New York Times

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 8:44 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:44 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

The Akita, we are told, is “somewhat aloof toward strangers.” Built for the Covid age.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:44 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:44 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

You don’t want to meet an annoyed Akita in a dark alley late at night.

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 8:46 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:46 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

Did you just write the first sentence of our co-bylined novel?

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:43 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:43 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

The working group jogs in en masse. You might notice that many of their handlers are carrying tote bags, backpacks and buckets of water. These contain treats and grooming accoutrements and, in many cases, cloths that will be used to wipe off all the copious amounts of drool produced by the dogs.

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 8:44 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:44 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

High-maintenance “blue-collar” dogs.

Benjamin Hoffman

June 22, 2022, 8:41 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:41 p.m. ET

Benjamin Hoffman

With a hat-tip to our colleague Tina Jordan, here is what coverage of the Westminster dog show looked like in 1884.

“My dear young man, said Mrs. Charles Wheatleigh, as she stood watch and ward over the pug puppies of which she is the proud owner and addressed The Times reporter, “You’ve no idea of the trouble it is to raise pugs in warm weather. It’s actually worse than bringing up children.”

June 22, 2022, 8:39 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:39 p.m. ET

Kris Rhim

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Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Wednesday night’s first winner was Belle, an English setter, who took the sporting group’s crown. This is the fifth win for the breed in Westminster history, and the first since 1982. The dog’s owner was fighting back tears after the win, and said that they will nap in the two-hour waiting period before Best in Show judging.

This win means the golden retriever will go another year without winning Westminster. The beloved breed drew the loudest ovation from the spectators at the Lyndhurst mansion, but fan adoration was not enough to carry a golden to victory.

Belle beat a group of spaniels, setters, and pointers that all drew significant applause from the crowd.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:35 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:35 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

We are now awaiting the working group, whose members are just leaving their workplaces — in offices, factories, and dubious Gen Z tech start-ups — to come to the show.

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 8:35 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:35 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

What proportion of them do you think are remote 2-3 days a week?

June 22, 2022, 8:40 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:40 p.m. ET

Kris Rhim

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

I feel a bit attacked as a Gen Z’er!

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:40 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:40 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

You’re the obvious exception, Kris!

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 8:40 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:40 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

What do we think their Zoom backgrounds look like? Fraying tennis balls? Mountain of treats?

Michael Grynbaum

June 22, 2022, 8:35 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:35 p.m. ET

Michael Grynbaum

There are some strange traditions in store for the winner of Best in Show. The top pooch is typically treated to a steak at Sardi’s, the Times Square theater haunt. And for a few years at least, the winning dog posed for a photo-op with none other than Donald J. Trump. (Yup.) It was basically a corporate tie-in for Trump’s “Apprentice” show on NBC – which owned USA, the network that used to broadcast Westminster.

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Credit...Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 8:26 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:26 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

The golden is snubbed again. The Fleg family pooch, Murphy, and his best pal, Bailey, would like to register their disapproval.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:26 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:26 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

They do look distraught.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:21 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:21 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

During this brief pause in the proceedings, I would like to take this opportunity to ask Rebecca about her dog. Rebecca, what is your dog’s name?

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 8:22 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:22 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

A perfect time to introduce everyone to Rosie Ruiz, mini poodle, who is named after a notable figure in sports history.

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 8:28 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:28 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

Here’s Rosie Ruiz — named for the infamous runner who cheated her way to (momentary) victory in the 1980 Boston Marathon.

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Credit...Rebecca Ruiz for The New York Times

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:28 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:28 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

This is the news item that my colleagues are cleverly alluding to: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/rosie-ruiz-fakes-boston-marathon-win

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 8:28 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:28 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

A sort of real-life tortoise and hare parable, with a lesson about fraud supplementing those about haste vs. steady persistence.

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 8:29 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:29 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

Later tonight, Rosie the poodle will be sneaking through a side entrance in Tarrytown just before the finale to take her place for the Best In Show round.

Rebecca Ruiz

June 22, 2022, 8:29 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:29 p.m. ET

Rebecca Ruiz

I will add that my poodle definitely evokes her spirit – steals balls and treats without conscience, growls if you seek to confiscate a stray pen or sock, does not abide by most Westminster obedience rules.

June 22, 2022, 8:21 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:21 p.m. ET

Kris Rhim

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

Belle, an English Setter, wins the sporting group! “Huge surprise,” says Belle's owner, who was seemingly fighting back tears.

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Credit...Calla Kessler for The New York Times

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:18 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:18 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

How fun, to run around a ring and have people cheer for you, for just being a dog! (Although that happens in my house quite often.)

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:18 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:18 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

All these dogs are looking exceptionally Sporting to me this evening. If it looked like your ball was close to the line in tennis, they would definitely concede the point to you.

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Credit...Calla Kessler for The New York Times

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:14 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:14 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

The judge is now walking down the dog line and pointing out the dogs who he is considering awarding the group prize to. Big cheers for the Golden Retriever.

Michael Grynbaum

June 22, 2022, 8:14 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:14 p.m. ET

Michael Grynbaum

Winston, the French bulldog we’ll see later tonight during Best in Show, is apparently owned by the Morgan Fox, a defensive end for the N.F.L.'s Los Angeles Chargers. This isn’t the breed’s first celebrity connection: Other Frenchies have found success at Westminster thanks to another high-profile patron, the heiress Patty Hearst.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:11 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:11 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

An alert reader has pointed out that I mistakenly referred to this group as the working group, when they are in fact the sporting group. That explains the idleness and poor work ethic of my mom’s pointers.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:09 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:09 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

“The Spinone Italiano is only for owners who have a sense of humor.” Discuss.

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 8:10 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:10 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

This particular Spinone Italiano, with that playful little beard, does seem quite droll.

June 22, 2022, 8:06 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:06 p.m. ET

Kris Rhim

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

I have never owned a dog, but this Irish Water Spaniel is making me rethink that decision.

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 8:05 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:05 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

“I’m told that they are miserable when they are neglected,” Myers says of the English Springer Spaniel. “Kind of like me.” A confessional first hour tonight, by Westminster standards.

Michael Grynbaum

June 22, 2022, 8:07 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:07 p.m. ET

Michael Grynbaum

Myers seems to be relishing his role tonight as “traditional sports guy bemused by whatever-the-heck-this-is.”

Matt Flegenheimer

June 22, 2022, 8:08 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:08 p.m. ET

Matt Flegenheimer

The full Fred Willard! (We have a strict quota for “Best In Show” film references tonight, using one here to honor a legend.)

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 8:04 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 8:04 p.m. ET

Sarah Lyall

Reporting from the show in Tarrytown, N.Y.

A reader has observed that many of the women handlers are dressed in clingy spangly outfits, conjuring the look of mid-level business executives whose suits happen to have sparkles all over them. The sparkles glint alluringly in the light as the handler jogs around the ring, complementing but not overshadowing the dog. (Interesting note: Many of these handlers keep boiled chicken and other treats stashed in their bras because their jackets don’t have pockets.)

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Credit...Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 7:30 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 7:30 p.m. ET

Welcome to the our live coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held this year in a tent in Tarrytown, N.Y. (It usually takes place annually in January at Madison Square Garden, but … Covid.)

Like George Clooney putting together his “Ocean’s Eleven” crew of charismatic criminals, we have assembled a crack team of dog experts from all parts of the paper.

On our team this evening: Myself, Kris Rhim, Michael Grynbaum, Matt Flegenheimer, Rebecca Ruiz and Benjamin Hoffman.

Many of us have dogs of our own; Grynbaum has a cat named Pajama. Later we might hear from some of these pets.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 7:00 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 7:00 p.m. ET

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Credit...Westminster Kennel Club

Donald Sturz, this year’s Best in Show judge, has spent the last few days sequestered in his hotel room, insulating himself from any news about which dog has won what prize in the competition so far.

“No Facebook, no nothing,” Sturz, 60, said by phone. “I’m staying off social media. I posted a picture of myself and my husband at the judges’ dinner party on Sunday night, and then I went radio silent.”

The idea, he said, is that when he enters the ring tonight, he will be free of preconceptions.

“Part of the dream of this judging assignment is that you walk out onto the floor and you have no idea who the seven dogs are who are coming in,” Sturz said.

Best in show judging requires skills that are both particular and peculiar. The dogs are not competing against each other, per se, but are judged according to how closely they adhere to a specific set of breed standards, as set down by the American Kennel Club.

“It comes down to the dog that possesses the most virtues as described for their breed,” Sturz said. “They also need to convey the essence of their breed in demeanor and character and carriage.”

With 209 different types of dog competing in the show, Sturz has to be intimately familiar with the breed standards of all of them. So he has been studying, mostly by looking at endless pictures of dogs in books and magazines and online, to cement in his head a template of each breed, a sort of Platonic ideal.

Regular people who watch dog shows often root for their favorite dogs — showy golden retrievers, for instance, elegant Afghan hounds or goofy sheepdogs — without realizing that those qualities don’t necessarily count as winning virtues in the eyes of the judge.

“There are some breeds that lend themselves to a show atmosphere,” Sturz said. “They are more active, flashier, more stylish and have more presence. But what we’re looking for is what the breed is supposed to convey. Some breeds are supposed to be more reserved and calm and regal, and that speaks just as much to a judge as the dog standing there wagging its tail and jumping up and down.”

In real life, Sturz is the superintendent of the Valley Stream 24 School District on Long Island. But he is also a lifelong dog enthusiast who has been attending dog shows for 50 years and judging for 32 of them, including at Westminster. This is the first time he will award Best in Show.

When he spoke, Sturz did not yet know that one of the dogs in the finals would be a French bulldog — and thus possibly a personal favorite, given that he has one, named Emmet, at home. (He also has a bull terrier, Lola.)

But he pledged that no matter what he was confronted with, he would judge as a neutral observer, without fear or favoritism.

“Dogs are works of art,” he said. “I love all breeds.”

June 22, 2022, 6:30 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 6:30 p.m. ET

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Credit...Mike Segar/Reuters

Four of the seven group winners were decided on Tuesday, with three more to be determined tonight.

Keep an eye on the terrier category tonight, as the winner from that group often goes on to win Best in Show.

Sarah Lyall

June 22, 2022, 6:00 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 6:00 p.m. ET

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Credit...Andrew Mangum for The New York Times

For a brief, shining moment last summer, Wasabi the Pekingese was the most celebrated dog in America, all hair and hauteur as he posed next to his best in show trophy at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

But what has happened to the old champion? Once a dog reaches the pinnacle of success, what does he do next?

A recent visit to East Berlin, Pa., found Wasabi chilling at home, already semiretired at the age of 4. Bestirring himself to say hello, he did not exactly run, but moved with all deliberate speed, his luxuriant locks wafting like wheat blowing in a breeze.

Do not rush a Pekingese. If there’s one thing about Wasabi, it’s that you are not the boss of him. “If I throw a toy for him, he’ll go get it, but he won’t bring it back,” said David Fitzpatrick, Wasabi’s breeder, handler and co-owner. “He knows I’m going to get it for him.”

June 22, 2022, 5:30 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 5:30 p.m. ET

The New York Times

Typically a midwinter event at Madison Square Garden, this is the second consecutive year that pandemic accommodations forced the show to be moved to June and to be held at Lyndhurst, a Gothic Revival country house in Tarrytown, N.Y., which has been a National Historic Landmark since 1966.

Fans of HBO’s “The Gilded Age” may recognize parts of the estate, as it served as a filming location for the show’s first season. Its exterior also served as the establishing shot for the mansion “Wildwind” in the soap opera “All My Children.”

Victor Mather

June 22, 2022, 5:01 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 5:01 p.m. ET

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Credit...Karsten Moran for The New York Times

So how do they pick the winner at Westminster anyway?

First, all the dogs compete against others from their breed: pug against pug, Plott hound against Plott hound. The 200 or so breed winners advance to compete against similar breeds in the group finals. The seven group winners then vie for the big prize: Best in Show, which will be judged by Don Sturz of Brooklyn. The decision is his and his alone.

What the judge is trying to ascertain is which dog best exemplifies its breed, and that breed’s intended function.

These are the seven groups:

The hounds are hunting dogs like beagles and whippets. (Monday’s winner: Trumpet, a bloodhound.)

The toys are small lap dogs like Shih Tzus and pugs. (Monday’s winner: Hollywood, a Maltese.)

The non-sporting group could also be called the miscellaneous group. It includes dogs that don’t fit elsewhere like Dalmatians and chow chows. (Monday’s winner: Winston, a French bulldog.)

The herding group was bred to herd and includes Old English sheepdogs and Border collies. (Saturday’s winner: River, a German shepherd.)

The sporting dogs are retrievers and include Irish setters and various spaniels. (Winner chosen Wednesday.)

The working group consists of dogs bred to perform a task and includes Great Danes and Doberman pinschers. (Winner chosen Wednesday.)

The terriers include a host of varieties including fox terriers, Border terriers and many others. (Winner chosen Wednesday.)

And who is going to win? You can’t go too far wrong by guessing the terrier. That group has won 47 Best in Show prizes, far ahead of the second-placed sporting group with 18. The wire fox terrier has the most wins of any breed with 15.

Last year’s winner, though, was Wasabi, a Pekingese from the toy group.

Correction: 

June 22, 2022

An earlier version of this blog item misstated when the winners of the working, sporting and terrier groups would be awarded. It is Wednesday, not Tuesday.

Victor Mather

June 22, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET

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Credit...Jennifer Peltz/Associated Press

More than 200 breeds are eligible for Westminster, and every year that number increases a little more.

For the 2022 competition, two dogs have been formally recognized by the American Kennel Club, officially joining the mix: the mudi and the Russian toy.

The mudi is a new entry in the herding group. Originally bred in Hungary, the mudi has a three-inch wavy-to-curly coat and was used to herd “the most stubborn livestock,” according to the kennel club. It also rooted out wild boar. On Monday, Luminary Alchemist became the first mudi to win at Westminster.

The tiny Russian toy was favored by the Russian aristocracy. Things didn’t turn out so well for them, but the toy has thankfully done better and has joined the Westminster field. Described by the kennel club as “active, cheerful, possessing keen intelligence, slightly aloof to strangers,” the breed has large eyes and high-set ears. Snou Mirekl Din Din won the first Russian toy competition at Westminster on Monday.

Neither the mudi nor the Russian toy advanced out the group stage on Tuesday, so fans tuning in to tonight’s television coverage will not get to see the newest official breeds.

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Credit...Ted Shaffrey/Associated Press

June 22, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET

June 22, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET

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Credit...Calla Kessler for The New York Times

You have come to the right place! The New York Times will be providing live coverage of Wednesday’s group finals and the awarding of Best in Show, with commentary, analysis and photos from Lyndhurst.

Television coverage in the United States will be on FS1, beginning with a preshow at 7 p.m. Eastern. In Canada, the event will be on Sportsnet One.

At 7:30, judging will begin in the finals for three undecided groups — sporting, working and terrier — with those champions competing against four group winners from Tuesday for Best in Show. Things are expected to wrap up around 11 p.m.

The event can be streamed on the Fox Now and Fox Sports apps. A Spanish-language version of the broadcast will air on Fox Deportes at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

While you wait, make sure to check out highlights of Bee, a Shetland sheepdog who was named the 2022 masters agility champion.

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