Changes at Westminster Dog Show 2014

This is our dog’s half brother, Patches, and some of his many winning ribbons for agility. We are so proud!

Fidose of Reality is proud to bring our readers coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show each year. We are very honored to attend the time-honored tradition every year as a member of the media, and this year will be no different: We will be there. What will change, however, is the angle of our coverage and the addition of a brand new exciting element to the Westminster fun. The Westminster Kennel Club will add to its incomparable legacy in the sport of dogs in 2014 when it stages The Masters Agility Championship at Westminster, on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in New York City.

And we will be there for first-hand coverage for Fidose of Reality readers.

As a dog lover of the highest order, it has been with great joy that I’ve covered the crème de la crème of the dog-show world for the past three years. In doing so, I have worked my way down, so to speak. You see, when I first attended the WKC show, I started in the nosebleed seats, and over the years I got closer and closer to communications director David Frei. Not quite a stalker, but perhaps a bit more groupie, I moved down over the years and finally found myself in the media area.  Last year, if I stuck my hand out far enough, I could have touched the dogs on each gorgeous pooch parade, making their way onto what is affectionately dubbed “the Garden Green” by WKC fans. See?

Where I sat for the Westminster Kennel Club media coverage in 2013.

This year, we’re getting a first paw look at the Masters Agility Championship. As the official release from the WKC explains,”Agility is an exciting, family-friendly spectator sport, with competitors racing against the clock to direct their dogs through a course of jumps, ramps, blast through tunnels, traverse a teeter-totter, and weave poles.” As those of you involved in agility can attest, it is a fun sport in that the dog and handler rely so much on one another. One wrong slip of the hand or gesture and the dog can be thrown off course.

So What’s the Big Deal About Agility During WKC?

The Mixed Breed category is especially significant, bringing non-purebred dogs to a Westminster event for the first time since the very earliest days of its show.

Mutts unite: Every dog has his or her day and yours has arrived.

Our dog can jump a bench at the park 😉

How’s It Work?
Westminster has created an innovative format for its first trial. Entries will be done by random draw for a limited entry of 225 dogs with 450 runs.

Each dog will compete in two qualifying rounds consisting of a Standard Agility course and a Jumpers with Weaves course. The dogs with the highest combined scores from each height class will move on to the Championship round.

The Championship course will be a hybrid of the qualifying rounds and will be televised. It will be run as a ‘time to beat’ course, where the first dog will set the baseline time for the subsequent competitors.

And Fidose of Reality will be there for full-coverage, so stay tuned.

David Frei and I at Westminster last year

What’s New This Year Breed-Wise

Three breeds are eligible to compete for the first time in the 138th Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Show on February 10-11: the Chinook, Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and Rat Terrier.

We’ll get some more scoop on that as well. Here’s some coverage basics on Westminster that will bring you up to speed. And stay tuned, we’re on the trail of this year’s show.


Do you watch the Westminster Kennel Club show every year?  Let us know in the comments!

It’s also a blog hop and that means some of these BlogPaws buddies will be watching the dog show:

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  1. Biddy and I are exhibiting this year for our first time ever!!!! We will be in the Brittany ring on Tuesday and at our bench all day Tuesday…would love for you to come by to say hello! I’m excited and nervous!! I won’t be getting there until Monday and will be able to watch groups Monday night then Tuesday is the big day for us over at the Piers! 🙂

  2. So awesome to see Westminster finally offering something in the way of companion events! Not just pretty dogs, but useful, active, working dogs! And the fact that they are letting mixed breeds play is just HUGE, love it!

  3. WOOHOO! How exciting! I don’t watch, but mostly because I don’t have a TV. I love following up here and other places online, though.

  4. It’s SO wonderful to hear about this great show that is the pinnacle of shows for most of us fanciers–and that actually predates the AKC organization–from someone we respect so greatly. We’ve watched the show religiously since 1983, however the live streaming of the show online is now my favorite part. We especially love watching the Airedales, Cardigan Corgis, and Black Russian Terriers. I get the program and actually set alarms for those 3 breeds. We’ll be waiting in nervous anticipation for your coverage!

  5. That’s SO exciting! Daisy’s auntie is a champion agility trainer and we hope to get to see her and her dogs compete in person some day! For now, even just getting to watch the videos and tv coverage are fun!

  6. Very cool! Congrats on getting better standing as press every year 🙂 That is an awesome opportunity. It is also cool to see that they are beginning to recognize the accomplishments of mix breed dogs. That could have some really interesting effects on the way people look at rescue dogs.

  7. That is so so cool – I am so happy to hear the news about mixed breed dogs being allowed in the competition. And I can’t wait to see all the coverage! I know I’m completely biased, but one of my (mixed breed) dogs is so incredibly active and “into” dog sports (and learning, and life, and *everything*), it’s amazing to think he can’t compete in some places because of paperwork. The inclusiveness will only benefit the event, I’m sure. And you covering it of course!

    Do you plan to cover the NY Pet Fashion Show that’s going on at the same time? I won’t be able to attend as it’s just so far away, but one of my “fashions” will be on the runway and gift in the VIP bags 🙂 Would be neat to know of someone who will be there in person!

    1. Jen, yes I am going to and covering the NY Pet Fashion show. Tell me what you want me to look for and take pics of. Dex will be better dressed than me LOL

  8. A co-worker and I attended for the 1st time last year, and are considering attending this year. I like the idea of the family fun day. We both got a little bored, sitting and waiting; we wanted more interaction

  9. I watch every year and cannot wait for the coverage this year! I am very jealous, as it’s my dream to go to the show – simply to watch! And I am very excited about the mixed breed agility. It’s most definitely a step in the right direction for shelter and rescue dogs to have a chance!

  10. I love to watch Westminster. Some of my briard friends are entered. I curl up in front of the TV with my special treat and watch the dogs. I usually fall asleep before long, but I like it anyway.

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