Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Facts and Figures

By Ricardo Warren

May 22, 2022

  • The Best in Show winner is declared “America’s Dog for one year following the show.”
  • Established in 1877, the Westminster Kennel Club is America’s oldest organization devoted to the sport of purebred dogs.
  • The organization and show pre-date the invention of the lightbulb, the car, basketball, and the World Series in baseball.
  • The Westminster Dog Show pre-dates the founding of the sport’s governing body; the American Kennel Club was not established until 1884.
  • In the first Westminster Dog Show, there were entthere were entries in 35 breeds and a Miscellaneous Class. This included a dog described as a cross between a St. Bernard and a Russian Setter, as well as a two-legged dog named Nellie.
  • A portion of the proceeds from Westminster’s first show was donated to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals—the ASPCA.
  • The first telecast of the Dog Show was in 1948, just three years before the premiere of “I Love Lucy.”
  • In 2015, more than 700 press credentials were issued to media representing twenty countries.
  • In 1946, a tugboat strike delayed the show.
  • The oldest winner in the show’s history was a 10-year-old Sussex Spaniel named Stump. After his win, Stump was featured in AARP Magazine.
  • Each year’s Best in Show is treated to a gourmet meal at the world-famous Sardi’s restaurant in Manhattan.
  • David Frei, the communications director for the show, is also a champion dog breeder, handler, and judge.
  • There is no official dress code for the humans participating in the Dog Show.


Get tips from people who have gone through the process of raising a show dog on this Reddit thread.

About Ricardo Warren

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