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For the 138th year, the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will bring 2,845 of the dog show world's brightest stars to New York City this Monday and Tuesday. Whether you're making the trip to Madison Square Garden to see all the action in person, or watching it in the living room with your pets, here's everything you'll need to know.
This year, Westminster introduced a new event — one that includes not only the purebred canines it usually stars but mixed-breed dogs as well. The first-ever Masters Agility Championship on Saturday, Feb. 8, features 225 dogs competing on a standard agility course and a "jumpers with weaves" course. You can catch the finals of that competition on Fox Sports 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST on Saturday.
You don’t have to wait until Monday night to catch all the action. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST on both Monday and Tuesday, 2,845 dogs from 187 breeds and varieties will compete for Best in Breed at Piers 92/94. The breed with the most entries is the ever-popular Labrador Retriever, with 76. And the breeds with only one entry include the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Finnish Spitz and English Foxhound.
You’ll also want to keep your eye on the three new breeds competing this year: the Chinook (Working), Portuguese Podengo Poqueno (Hound) and Rat Terrier (Terrier).
At both the Piers and at Madison Square Garden on Monday, the Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups will be up against each other. And on Tuesday, it’s the Sporting, Working and Terrier groups. Breed judging will be livestreamed on the Westminster Kennel Club’s website and through its official 2014 app. The lucky dogs who win Best in Breed will get to compete at Madison Square Garden to vie for Best in Group. The live telecast of Best in Group airs on Monday night on CNBC from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST, and on Tuesday night on USA from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Of course, there can only be one winner, and on Tuesday night after all the Best in Group winners are chosen, the seven group winners will compete for Best in Show.
During the show, make sure you pay special attention to the Portuguese Water Dog, which is Vegas oddsmaker Johnny Avello's pick for the breed most likely to win Best in Show. You can check out his top 10 in our photo gallery. But if you wanted to put your money on Jewel, the winner of this past November's National Dog Show, we've got some bad news for you: She's not entered in Westminster this year.
So choose your favorites, make some fun bets with your friends, and check in with vetstreet.com for all of our live-blogging, tweeting and Snapchatting from the 2014 Westminster Dog Show.
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