Any advice for going to the Westminster Dog Show?
February 11, 2010 6:09 PM   Subscribe

Any advice for going to the Westminster Dog Show, particularly with a 1.5 year old? We'll be going on the first day and, while I've been to Madison Square Garden for concerts, I'm not entirely sure what to expect for this event. Other than, uh, lots of dogs!
posted by shinyj to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
I was there a few years ago - MSG will be about 1/2 full (if that) - likely a better draw than the Knicks these days.

It's not very dynamic - did you ever see Best in Show? If not, you must.

If you have, you have a sense of what happens - 6-8 dogs of a given class come out, they all stand at attention, the judge pokes and prods each one individually, and then the handler runs the dog around the ring. Once they've all gone around, the judge chooses first/second/third. Not much happens beyond that, unless a dog does something random ("He went after her like she was made out of meat!")

Your child will get to see a ton of dogs - if you can get close, fantastic. We were up in the rafters, admittedly by choice....

....Just don't follow our example, getting drunk and booing the Poodle.
posted by swngnmonk at 6:26 PM on February 11, 2010

They probably won't allow strollers, it puts the child right at mouth, teeth and tongue height so a backpack is a better idea than a stroller. You may see a few strollers but they'll have dogs in them.
posted by BoscosMom at 6:36 PM on February 11, 2010

Loved "Best in Show" (oh, Jane Lynch, how I love thee!) and I've watched the Westminster broadcast every year that I can. I remember hearing that you could go to the prepping areas to meet with the breeders and dogs, but I can't find anything about how one would do that.
posted by shinyj at 6:57 PM on February 11, 2010

One of the nice thing about the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is that it is a benched show. This means that before and after judging the dogs entered on that day have to be in a particular place in the benching area. Maps should be available to let you know what breeds can be found in what benching areas. On Monday you will see breeds represented from the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding Groups.

Understand that nerves often get to people before they go into the ring. Most important bit of advice: ASK before petting any dog that's there (especially ringside ready to be shown). Some of the breeds take hours to prepare for the ring and sticky fingers just before going into the ring can be disasterous.

There is a LOT of information at the Westminster Kennel Club website. Usually stroller restrictions would be posted in the premium list or judging schedule and there is nothing about strollers in either of them (I checked) but you may want to call the Madison Square Garden offices to double check. With that said, previous poster is correct that a child being on doggie-eye level is not usually "a good thing" (though previous poster is incorrect about seeing canines in strollers at dog shows, I've been showing dogs for 20+ years and never seen an entered dog in a doggie stroller).

Take some time to read up on the breeds you'll be seeing to make it more enjoyable. Don't worry about asking questions, those of us that go to benched shows are used to it (it's part of the fun). Have fun!
posted by labwench at 7:08 PM on February 11, 2010

Thanks for all the advice! I had checked out the web site for the judging schedule of the particular breeds I'm interested in seeing (I know way too much about dogs for someone who doesn't own one :P). MSG doesn't accomodate strollers normally, so, we're probably going to have to do the kiddo carry/walking combo. Thanks again everyone!
posted by shinyj at 9:10 PM on February 11, 2010

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