I've always enjoyed watching the Westminster Dog Show on TV, so this year I decided to go see it live at Madison Square Garden. I got a ticket for day one (yesterday), which entitled me to attend the show from 8 AM—11PM. Only the evening part, the group judging (pictured above), is broadcast on USA; all day long the breed judging takes place as they choose the dogs to compete in the group judging.
The daytime has an informal vibe and everyone is allowed to walk around in the behind-the-scenes benching area and watch the dogs get groomed. MSG's floor is divided into five rings so five breeds can be judged at once (they have over 150 breeds to get through!) and you can walk among the rings. They let you get quite close to the dogs, as you can see in the photo on the right.
The evening judging is much more serious and you're supposed to stay in your assigned seat. However, the evening part is much more exciting — at least, to me it was — so you probably won't mind.
Whether you're watching the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in MSG or on TV, it's a thrill to see breeds you don't usually see around town like the Lakeland terrier, which is in the slideshow below. Even the breeds you are used to seeing look completely different: Check out the immaculately groomed, long-haired Shih Tzus and the poodles wearing their fur in an "English Saddle" clip…