Six new breeds are appearing at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show tonight and Tuesday. ABC reports they are the xoloitzcuintli, the Entlebucher mountain dog, the Norwegian lundehund, the American English coonhound, the Finnish lapphund and the Cesky terrier. Exotic as they might be, they stand little chance of winning the show's top prize, Best in Show. It generally takes a newly recognized breed at least 25 years to reach that milestone.
The Westminster Dog Show is held annually in the crowded confines of Madison Square Garden. About 2,000 will be shown, and each had to work its way to the Garden by winning other shows throughout the nation. This is a show for champions only, a designation that must be earned by the dog and its handler. While Westminster is not the national championship, it is considered the premier competition in the U.S.
Judging begins with the Best of Breed. Those winners will then be judged as a group. Each breed is part of a group of similar types of dogs: toy, hound, nonsporting, herding, sporting, working and terrier. The winners of Best in Group will go on to be judged on Tuesday night for the Best in Show.
Las Vegas' Wynn Race and Sports Book posts odds for each breed of winning Westminster's Best in Show. No actual bets are made and the posting is for entertainment purposes. Wynn has the Pekinese, at 6 to 1, as the favorite to win BIS this year.
The Westminster Kennel Club has hosted this event 136 times. Only the Kentucky Derby has a longer record of being continuously held among all sporting events. The show will be televised on the USA network and CNBC.