dog shows

Dogs Take the Stage at the Westminster Dog Show

HickoryMadison Square Garden in New York City usually hosts NBA games and big-name concerts, but last week, the dogs took over. The almost 20,000-seat arena hosted the 135th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show last Monday and Tuesday. The famous venue welcomed 2,626 dogs, representing 179 breeds.

Many winners were crowned in this prestigious two-day competition, billed as “America’s Dog Show.” Judges selected the best dog from each of 179 breeds, and slowly narrowed now each winner round by round until finally reaching the Group rounds. The seven Groups are Sporting, Non-Sporting, Toy, Hound, Terrier, Working and Herding dogs. Visit the Westminster Kennel Club website to see the names and photos of the winners.

The big finale came on Tuesday evening, when the seven dogs who were chosen as winners of their Groups returned to the stage to compete for the grand prize of Best in Show. These remarkable show dogs are shown in the slide show below.

It was a tight race this year. Judge Paolo Dondina stated that he couldn’t remember a better lineup of dogs. Yet there must be a winner, and the 2011 title went to Hickory, the five year-old female Scottish Deerhound. This was the first time a Scottish Deerhound had ever taken the Best in Show prize at Westminster, making Hickory’s win an historic one. To watch a video of USA network’s live coverage of the Best in Show round, click here.

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We want to know what you think? Take our poll below, and vote for your personal pick for Best in Show! We will reveal the results on our Facebook page next week. Congratulations to Hickory and all of this year’s winners!

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Dog News Review 2010

As we begin an New Year (and a new decade!), it seems like a good time to review some of the 2010 highlights. We saw economic struggles, a Winter Olympics, the oil spill in the Gulf, the health care debate, the continued rise of Facebook, and many more unforgettable events. And since there aren’t enough lists at this time of year (just kidding!), we have compiled our own. In the first DogTails post of 2011, DogWatch Hidden Fences gives you our first annual “Dog News Review,” featuring the most memorable dog stories of the past year.

January

Birthday dogOne of our favorite dog photos of the year first premiered way back in January. That’s when Maureen Ravelo snapped a photo of her Bichon Frise-poodle enjoying a special treat on his birthday. The resulting photo (shown at left) captured an unbelievably expressive and contented smile on the one year-old dog’s face. The image quickly became a sensation after a friend posted it on the sharing site Reddit.com. For more info on the story, and to see Riley in action, click on the photo to watch a video of the famous dog and his owner on NBC’s “Today” show.

February

One of our favorite parts of Super Bowl XLIV did not actually take place in Miami. While we applaud the New Orleans Saints’ victory, we confess that we didn’t watch all of the pre-game coverage. Instead, we switched over to Animal Planet from 3-5PM, when it aired its sixth annual “Puppy Bowl.” The event, which is even cuter than it sounds, features lots of adorable puppy playing, aerial coverage of the “field”, rabbit cheerleaders and a kitty halftime show. We can’t wait for Puppy Bowl VII – oh, and Super Bowl XLV, too.

March

It was the chomp seen ’round the world. Winston, a Pit Bull-Boxer mix, got loose from his yard and attacked a police car, eventually chewing off the entire front bumper. And it was all caught on tape! The amazing video made headlines around the world, and sent Winston to the shelter for a few weeks before being released to his family. The trainers supported his owners’ claim that Winston is a “sweet dog,” but a judge did order obedience training for the powerful pup. Winston’s owner promises that Winston will be “a model citizen” from now on – but just in case, he will add some extra protection in his yard in case a police car drives by again.

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