How to Watch the Westminster Dog Show

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[See Westminster dog show photos from Saturday’s action.]

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show this year is in a serene setting (give or take some barking): the grounds of the Lyndhurst mansion in Tarrytown, N.Y., 30 miles north of the normal home of the show, Madison Square Garden. Lyndhurst was once owned by the robber baron Jay Gould.

Sunday is the final day of the show, which is happening much later in the year than usual. Pandemic concerns led organizers to hold the show outdoors, making June a more palatable month than February.

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You can’t attend live this year: Spectators not directly involved with a competing dog are prohibited.

But it’s dogs, dogs, dogs on TV this weekend. Saturday’s coverage included preliminaries, the agility event and the first four group finals. On Sunday there are more preliminaries (1:30 p.m. Eastern, FS1) and three more group finals and Best in Show (7:30 p.m., Fox).

There will also be dog-streaming on the Fox app and westminsterkennelclub.org. And The New York Times will have live commentary from our, uh, experts, beginning Sunday night at 7:30.

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Thousands of dogs compete against others from their breed: collie against collie, Saluki against Saluki. 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, this year to be judged by Patricia Craige Trotter of Carmel, Calif. The decision is hers and hers alone.

Four new breeds join the party this year: the barbet, a curly haired bearded dog; the Belgian Laekenois, a shaggier shepherd; the Biewer terrier, a longhaired, three-colored toy terrier; and the Dogo Argentino, a white muscular dog with a smooth coat.

Four group winners were chosen:

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Bourbon the whippet won the hound group.

Wasabi the Pekingese won the toy group.

Mathew the French bulldog won the non-sporting group.

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Connor the Old English sheepdog won the herding group.

Handicapping a dog show field is a bit harder than picking the winner of the fourth race at Belmont. It is commonly said that terriers are the best bet, and the wire fox terrier does have the most wins, with 15. But terriers have won only two of the last 10 Westminsters, so prediction is difficult. The last three winners were a standard poodle, a wire fox terrier and a bichon frise.

Sadly, the event is for purebreds only. So your Max, Jake or Buster can’t win, even though he’s the bestest dog in the whole world.

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