As the top show dogs in the country gather to compete for top honors at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City, Purina Pro Plan-powered dogs will take the ring in an effort to capture 11 consecutive Bests in Show and extend their winning streak at the prestigious event held in Madison Square Garden.
This year’s all-breed competition is the first of a 10-year agreement between Purina and the Westminster Kennel Club making Purina Pro Plan the exclusive pet food sponsor of the world-famous dog show. This partnership unites the oldest continuously held dog show in the country with the maker of Purina Pro Plan, the dog food that has fueled the past 10 Westminster Best in Show champions.
“It is an honor for Purina to sponsor the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show,” says Nina Leigh Krueger, President, Nestlé Purina PetCare. “Purebred dog enthusiasts aspire all their lives to show their dogs at this prestigious show. The opportunity to partner with Westminster for the next 10 years allows us to work together to celebrate all dogs and to spread the word about responsible dog breeding and ownership.”
For more than a decade, Purina Pro Plan-fueled show dogs have taken over Madison Square Garden, winning the majority of Group Firsts as well as Bests in Show. In 2016, Purina Pro Plan was the dog food fed to 98 of the top 100 all-breed show dogs in the country.*
The all-breed dog show begins with breed judging and benching at 8 a.m. Monday, Feb. 13 and Tuesday, Feb. 14 at Piers 92/94. The Groups will then take the ring at 8 p.m. Monday and on Tuesday at the Garden.
The Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding Groups will be judged Monday and broadcast live from 8 to 11 p.m. EST on FS1, while the Sporting, Working and Terrier Groups, culminating with Best in Show, will be judged Tuesday and televised live from 8 to 11 p.m. EST.
Nearly 2,800 dogs representing 200 breeds and varieties, including three newly recognized American Kennel Club breeds, the American Hairless Terrier, Pumi and Sloughi, will compete at the dog show. Golden Retrievers have the most entries, with 65, followed by Labrador Retrievers, with 46, and French Bulldogs, with 46.
Westminster Week gets underway on Saturday, Feb. 11 with Meet & Compete. The daylong event features the eighth annual AKC Meet the Breeds® and fourth annual Masters Agility Championship. AKC Meet the Breeds, which will be held at Piers 92/94 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., provides an opportunity for canine lovers to interact with more than 100 breeds and learn about responsible dog ownership. At the Masters Agility Championship, more than 300 dogs will race against the clock in an obstacle course designed to challenge their athletic ability, concentration and teamwork. The Masters Agility Championship will take place at Pier 94, with preliminaries 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and finals from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Masters Obedience Championship, now in its second year, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13 at Pier 94. This invitation-only competition will feature the top obedience trial champions in the country. The handler-dog teams will be judged on the accuracy and precision in which they execute a series of specific exercises.
How To Be Involved
To purchase tickets for the events at the Piers, click here; for events at Madison Square Garden, click here.
Can’t make it to the show? Catch all the action live at wkclive.com or on the official Westminster app, available in the App Store or Google Play. Be sure to also check out the social media channels below for behind-the-scenes shots and updates. Then, share your own moments with us using the hashtags that follow!
*The owners or handlers of these champions may have received Purina Pro Plan dog food as Purina ambassadors. AKC Top DogsTM All Breed Competition, December 31, 2016.