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Westminster Dog Show 2021: How to watch and what to know about the competition

It may look different this year, but the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is still on for 2021. 

Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the 145-year-old competition was moved from inside New York’s Madison Square Garden to outdoors on the Lyndhurst estate in Tarrytown, about 25 miles north of Manhattan, for the first time. The event was also postponed from its traditional dates in February to June for the warmer weather. 

In-person spectators will not be allowed and there will only be a minimal media presence. All human participants have to be vaccinated or newly tested.

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The last Westminster show concluded Feb. 11, 2020, when there were only 13 confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide, though the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has since concluded the virus was already more prevalent. Within about a month, holding a public event was unthinkable.

Event organizers considered various options for the 2021 event, finally deciding last fall to hold it at the 67-acre Lyndhurst estate.

The competition will return to Madison Square Garden in January 2022.

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This year, 2,500 dogs representing 209 breeds will be competing, including four breeds that are eligible to compete for the first time: the barbet; dogo Argentino; Belgian Laekenois; and Biewer terrier.

From left, a barbet, biewer Terrier, Belgian laekenois and dogo Argentino are pictured on Tuesday. The four breeds are eligible to participate in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show for the first time this year. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The show kicked off on Friday with an agility competition, according to the event schedule

The preliminaries were streamed live on the Westminster Kennel Club website. The finals will be telecast on FOX and streamed on FOX NOW and FOX Sports apps from 5 p.m. through 7 p.m. ET.

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Here’s what else is happening over the weekend and how to watch the events. 

Breed Judging Events

The show will hold its traditional breed judging and junior showmanship preliminaries from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. 

Hound, toy, non-sporting and herding breeds will be judged on Saturday, while sporting, working and terrier breeds will be judged on Sunday.

The junior showmanship finals will take place Sunday evening from 7 to 7:30.

A Belgian laekenois is presented for journalists during a news conference at the Lyndhurst Estate where the 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be held outdoors. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A Belgian laekenois is presented for journalists during a news conference at the Lyndhurst Estate where the 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will be held outdoors. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

How to Watch the Breed Judging Events

The club will be streaming breed judging and junior showmanship preliminaries live on its website. Breed judging events will also be available as videos on demand on the website. 

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FS2 will also telecast some coverage of the breed judging on Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m., while FS1 will telecast some breed judging on Sunday during the same time. 

FS1 and FS2’s coverage will also be streamed live on the FOX NOW and FOX Sports apps.

It is unclear if the junior showmanship finals will be aired or streamed live.

Breed Group Judging Events

Group judging for the hound, toy, non-sporting and herding breeds will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, while group judging for sporting, working and terrier breeds will take place during the same time on Sunday.  

Chet, a berger picard, performs a jump in an agility obstacle at the Lyndhurst Estate. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Chet, a berger picard, performs a jump in an agility obstacle at the Lyndhurst Estate. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

How to Watch Breed Group Judging Events

On Saturday, hound, toy, non-sporting and herding breed group judging will be telecast on FS1 and streamed live on the FOX NOW and FOX Sports apps.

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Meanwhile, the sporting, working and terrier breed group judging will be telecast live on FOX and will stream live on the two apps on Sunday. 

Best in Show

The final breed judging event, Best in Show, will follow the breed group judging events on Sunday night. Best in Show will be telecast live on FOX and streamed on both apps.

Obedience Championship

The obedience competition will take place on Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will be streamed live on the club’s website.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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