2013 Westminster Dog Show: What to Watch for in Final Night of Competition

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIFebruary 12, 2013

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 09: 'Archie' a Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund relaxes during the 133rd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden February 9, 2009 in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is considered the most important in the United States.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Don’t call yourself a dog lover if you’re not tuning in to USA Network to catch the second and final night of the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

There are so many other avenues for dog lovers to enjoy “man’s best friend,” but there isn’t anything quite like the Madison Square Garden event.

One-hundred and eighty-seven breeds and 2,721 dogs will have walked through the Garden after Tuesday night, and only one will walk away with the distinction of being named the competition’s Best in Show.

Let’s take a look at a couple of things to watch for during tonight’s finale.


Final Three

Monday night saw the competition and conclusion of the first four Best of Group competitions. The Hound, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding groups have already named winners who will compete in the Best in Show finale.

Tuesday night features the Sporting, Working and Terrier groups, who will have the same chance as the others.


Best of Breed

Of the 2,721 dogs in competition, a fraction will be singled out by earning the distinction as a Best in Breed. The results for tonight have already been announced via the official Kennel Club website, but that shouldn't keep you from holding out and waiting to see tonight's finale.

There are 187 total breeds in total at this year’s show that will crown champions. Eighty-eight of them will come from the Sporting, Working and Terrier groups on Tuesday night’s final showing.


Best in Show

The first two nights of competitions are much like the NFL playoffs; a precursor to the main event—the Super Bowl. The Best in Show competition is that, and more, for the long and storied Westminster Dog Show.

Several popular American dog breeds have never won the top honor, including the Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Shih Tzu, Labrador Retriever, Chihuahua, and Dachshund.

While that group, for the most part, is easy on the eyes and preferred in domestic situations, they have yet to stand out overall against other breeds to earn the top distinction at Westminster.