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How to watch the Westminster Dog Show, including best in show

We fetched all the information you need about the Westminster Dog Show.
Westminster Kennel Club
At the Westminster Dog Show, judges evaluate all different types of dogs against the breed standard.Jack Grassa / Courtesy Westminster Kennel Club

It would be a doggone shame to miss a moment of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show — so here's your guide to the crowning glory of canine competition.

More than 2,500 top-ranked dogs from across the country will compete in the 148th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, aiming to win the coveted best in show award for the top dog.

This year's show stretches over four days of canine-themed celebration, including dock diving competitions, agility and obedience championships, as well as a junior showmanship contest.

When is the Westminster Dog Show?

The Westminster Dog Show spans from Saturday, May 11 through Tuesday, May 14.

The dog show starts on Saturday, May 11 with a "Canine Celebration Day" featuring dock diving, obedience and agility championships, and various demonstrations for dog-lovers.

The competition heats up on Monday, May 13, when the breed judging starts; the judging continues on Tuesday, May 14 and culminates in the selection of one dog to win best in show.

How to watch the Westminster Dog Show

The FOX network is broadcasting the show; you can find more details on the Westminster Kennel Club website.

Best in show, the culmination of the Westminster Dog Show, unfolds on the evening of Tuesday, May 14.

Here's the schedule:

Saturday, May 11

11th Annual Masters Agility Championship Preliminaries

Where to watch: Fox Sports app from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

9th Annual Masters Obedience Championship

Where to watch: Fox Sports app from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

An exhibition of dock diving at Westminster

Where to watch: Fox Sports app from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday, May 12

The 11th Anniversary Masters Agility Championship

Where to watch: Fox or the Fox ports app from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

Monday, May 13

Breed judging (hound, toy, non-sporting, and herding groups) and junior showmanship preliminaries

Where to watch: Fox Sports app from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Select coverage of breed judging and junior showmanship preliminaries

Where to watch: FS2 (Fox Sports 2) live telecast from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., or the Fox Sports app

Pre-show 

Where to watch: FS1 (Fox Sports 1) live telecast from 7 — 7:30 p.m.

Hound, toy, non-sporting, and herding group judging

Where to watch: FS1 LIVE from 7:30 — 11 PM, or the Fox sports app

Tuesday, May 14

Breed judging (sporting, working, and terrier groups) and junior showmanship preliminaries 

Where to watch: Fox Sports app from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Select coverage of breed judging and junior showmanship preliminaries

Where to watch: FS2 (Fox Sports 2) live telecast from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., or the Fox Sports app

Pre-show

Where to watch: FS1 (Fox Sports 1) live telecast from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Junior showmanship finals

Where to watch: Fox Sports app from 7 p.m. to 7:30 PM 

Sporting, working, and terrier group judging followed by best in show

Where to watch: FS1 (Fox Sports 1) live telecast from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., or the Fox Sports app

Where is the Westminster Dog Show?

The 2024 Westminster Dog Show is in New York City, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens, which is the same complex that hosts the U.S. Open.

Fun fact, Flushing Meadows Park at the same location was the site of the 1964-64 World's Fair.

What are the breed groups in the Westminster Dog Show?

Breeds are sorted into seven groups: Sporting, working, terrier, hound, toy, non-sporting and herding.

For a full list of breeds in each group, go to the Westminster Kennel Club website.

  • The hound group includes dogs like the basset hound, beagle and dachshund.
  • The toy group consists of small lap dogs like the Pomeranian, Chihuahua and toy poodle.
  • The Non-Sporting group includes a wide range of breeds, like the French bulldog, chow chow and Boston terrier.
  • The Herding group includes the Australian shepherd, border collie and the German shepherd.
  • The Sporting group consists of hunting dogs like the cocker spaniel, Irish setter and golden retriever.
  • The Working group includes the mastiff, Great Dane and Siberian husky.
  • The Terrier group includes the miniature schnauzer, bull terrier and rat terrier.

How is the Westminster Dog Show judged?

All these dogs are good dogs. But Westminster is a "conformation" show, meaning that dogs are judged by how well they match, or conform to, their breed standard.

The judges decide which dog most closely matches the standard for that breed — in everything from temperament to length to the way they move — and the winner is the one that is closest to the breed standard.

That's how, for example, a toy poodle could compete against a Great Dane — the judges don't compare the dogs to each other, they compare them to their breed standard.

Who won the last Westminster Dog Show?

147th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Presented by Purina Pro Plan
Janice Hayes and Buddy Holly, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen who won best in show in 2023. Cindy Ord / Courtesy Westminster Kennel Club

The 2023 best in show winner was a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen dog named Buddy Holly. Buddy, a grey and white 6-year-old from Palm Springs, California, is "hardheaded, stubborn, happy,” said his handler and co-owner Janice Hayes. “We are just so proud of him.”

What breed has won the most at the Westminster Dog Show?

The wire fox terrier is the single breed that has won the most, with 15 wins in the show's history.

The two consistently most popular breeds in the United States, the Labrador retriever and golden retriever, have never won the best in show trophy at Westminster.

How much money do participants win for best in show?

Zero dollars. The best in show winner gets a trophy and the glory; there's no monetary prize.

Do all dogs go to heaven?

Yes, obviously. But not all dogs win the Westminster Dog Show.