2021 Westminster Dog Show: TV Coverage, Live-Stream Schedule and Expectations

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJune 12, 2021

Siba, the standard poodle, competes for Best in Show during the 144th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press

When the 2021 Westminster Dog Show gets underway on Saturday, things are going to look a bit different than they have in past years—that starts with the fact that the event will be taking place outside.

Not only that, but the competition isn't taking place in New York City, where it was held from 1877-2020. Instead of occurring at Madison Square Garden, the 145th iteration of the Westminster Dog Show will be held at Lyndhurst in Tarrytown, N.Y.

There won't be spectators in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions. But there will be more than 2,500 dogs spanning 206 breeds that will be looking to outperform the competition.

Here's everything else you need to know heading into this year's Westminster Dog Show.

2021 Westminster Dog Show Schedule

Saturday, June 12

Breed judging, junior showmanship preliminaries, 1-4 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 2

Masters ability championship finals, 5-7 p.m. ET, Fox

Pre-show, 7-7:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Group judging (hound, toy, non-sporting, herding), 7:30-11 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Sunday, June 13

Breed judging, junior showmanship preliminaries, 1:30-4 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Pre-show, 7-7:30 p.m. ET, Fox

Group judging (sporting, working, terrier), Best in Show, 7:30-11 p.m. ET, Fox

Coverage can be streamed live on the Fox Sports app.

Preview, Expectations

Over the years, the Best in Show competition has been dominated by the terrier group. There have been 47 dogs from that group to win the top award at the Westminster Dog Show, with a wire fox terrier named King being the most recent to do so in 2019.

But recently, it's been the non-sporting group having success. In 2018, Flynn, a bichon frise, won Best in Show. Last year, Siba, a poodle, earned the honor. So the non-sporting group will be looking to capture the award for the third time in four years this weekend.

However, there are a lot of breeds competing across the seven groups. And it's possible that any of them could emerge the victor, so it will be interesting to see which dogs fare the best.

There are four new breeds competing at the event for the first time: the barbet (sporting), the Biewer terrier (toy), the Belgian Laekenois (herding) and the Dogo Argentino (working).

Although the terrier group has fared well over the event's long history, King was the only dog from that group to win Best in Show in the past six years. So, considering how well that group typically fares, it wouldn't be surprising to see a terrier receive the top honor this year.

The location may be different for 2021, but it doesn't change how the event will operate. Dogs will be judged within their breed, then their group. Each of the group winners will then get a chance to compete for Best in Show.

"I know that our four-legged friends are going to enjoy everything that Lyndhurst has to offer," Westchester County deputy county executive Ken Jenkins said, per Emily Leiker of USA Today.

Siba the poodle will be competing again this year and could repeat as Best in Show champion. Another returning group winner from 2020 is Daniel, a golden retriever who won the sporting group.

Those dogs will bring familiarity to an event that will look different from all the others in its long history.

"We are excited to host the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Lyndhurst, a unique icon of American culture with its park-like landscape and majestic castle overlooking the Hudson River," Westminster Kennel Club president Charlton Reynders III said in a press release.

And if the event is like all the ones that took place at Madison Square Garden over the years, then it should be fun and entertaining to watch once again.