Westminster: On the Benches
Behind the Scenes at Westminster
There are two kinds of dog shows: “benched” and “unbenched.”
In unbenched shows, dogs need only be present for the judging of their breed or obedience class. Once their competition is over, they may leave.
Benched shows, however, require that dogs entered in competition stay on their assigned benches the entire time of the event, unless they are being shown, being groomed, or exercising. This is so exhibitors, breeders, spectators, and other show attendees can consider the qualities of the dogs entered in the show (Remember, dog shows are all about evaluating breeding stock!)
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is a benched show. That means the dogs are out on full view and that’s half the fun! Here are some bench scenes from this year’s competition, starting with Chinese Crested champion BenE getting a shampoo and a blow-dry!
Here are BenE’s “before” and “after” shots.
BenE went on to win Best in Breed.
Make sure you check out Urban Dog’s post on the Chinese Crested competition with beautiful photos by Natalie Siebers.
Other dogs got makeovers on the benches. This Bernese Mountain Dog got a last minute tooth-cleaning.
A gaggle of Berners.
This Standard Poodle is wearing pom pom-protectors.
Welcome to the “Yorkie Beauty Parlor!”
This Yorkshire Terrier is getting a final comb out.
A Gordon Setter gets a bath.
This Shih Tzu is ready to go.
Doberman Pinscher Smooch celebrates Valentine’s Day and her birthday!
This Bichon Frise is perfectly coifed.
Standard Poodle, all fluffed out!
Setter gets a wash.
Muzzle looks good.
Here’s an English Sheepdog.
And this English Sheepdog is… done!
Always watch the show–enjoy the dogs and Sean McCarthy, who always presents the trophy for Best in show, grew up with Austin in Christmas Cove, Maine!! He is so proper–but I remember some of the things those boys got into as teenagers and before! Am 99% sure my rescue is a Glen of Imaal Terrier (Wexford, Ireland area) Best to you, Sean —-Sherry