February 14, 2005

Today and tomorrow, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. And would you believe? Live streaming video of daytime breed judging.

Here are some of the dogs to watch:

  • Ch. North Well Chako JP Platina King (Coleman): The toy poodle was bred in Japan, but he had made his mark in the United States, where he’s the top-ranked dog of all breeds heading into Westminster.
  • Ch. Yakee If Only (Jeffrey): The Pekingese is also an English show champion; his dad was Best In Show at Cruft’s, the top English show. Jeffrey is the No. 2 dog in the nation.
  • Ch. Heathers Knock On Wood (Knotty): The bloodhound scored big by winning the AKC-Eukanuba National Invitational in January over many of the same dogs he’ll compete against in New York. Is he on a roll?
  • Ch. Kaleef’s Genuine Risk (Genny): The Garman Shepherd is known both for her effortless, almost floating stride and for her handler, James Moses, who knows how to win with German Shepherds at this level of competition. He has done it before.
  • Ch. Clussex Three D Grinchy Glee (Stumpy): The Sussex spaniel’s trademark is a tail that never stops wagging. If his owners and handler had tails, they’d wag them, too, with all the winning he has done. Stumpy competed for best in show last year as winner of the sporting group.

The toughest competition at the breed level will be among boxers, says Westminster’s David Frei. Three of the top-ranked dogs in the country will meet in the boxer ring, but just one of them will move on to try to win the working group. The toy breeds have the toughest group competition, with Coleman likely to square off against Jeffrey — but don’t rule out the Pomeranian or the pug.

Every year at least one of the "dogs to watch" gets upset by a relative nobody in the breed ring, and never makes it to group competition, much less Best in Show. I’m sure that will happen this year as well.

My pick, for what it’s worth: The Sussex spaniel, Stumpy. Yeah, he’s a great-looking Sussex, but mostly I’m rooting for him because he never stops wagging his tail. I’m also rooting for Knotty, because he’s the best-looking bloodhound I’ve ever seen, and because he doesn’t seem to care one bit about all the fuss around him.

The show will be televised at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CT) today and tomorrow, on the USA Network. The event is broadcast live on the East Coast, and delayed for other time zones.

Perfect double-feature: Westminster and the "mockumentary," "Best in Show."

Filed under: pets, connected — Gina Spadafori @ 7:36 am

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