Westminster Dog Show 2022: Date, how to watch and what's new

Westminster Dog Show 2022
(Image credit: Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show)

In just over a week, dog lovers nationwide will be flocking to the Westminster Dog Show 2022. 

A highlight of the canine calendar, this year marks the 146th year of the canine competition and is sure to be full of plenty of thrills as dogs across the globe compete to be crowned Best in Show.  

If you can't wait for the action to begin, our guide has everything you need to know. 

What is the Westminster Dog Show? 

Officially known as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, it’s the second-longest, continuously held sporting event in the U.S., second only to the Kentucky Derby. Since 1948, it’s also been the longest nationally televised live dog show. With those impressive credentials, you’d expect a stellar lineup and the Westminster Dog Show won’t disappoint.

To make it as far as the show, dogs already have to be American Kennel Club champions and will be judged in one of seven categories - Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding. The winning seven dogs then go on to compete for the coveted title of Best in Show.

When is the Westminster Dog Show 2022? 

The action kicks off on Saturday 18 June at 8am with the Masters Agility Championship. The All Breed Dog Show itself runs from 8am on Monday 20 June to 11pm on Wednesday 22 June. 

What’s on at the Westminster Dog Show 2022? 

In addition to the agility and obedience championships, there’s breed judging and the Junior Showmanship Finals, a competition assessing the handling skills of children aged 9 to 18.

What’s new for 2022? 

As soon as a dog breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club, it can be shown at Westminster. This is a historic moment for owners as their dogs are the first of their breed to compete in the coveted competition. 

Last year, four new breeds made the cut including the barbet, a curly haired dog; the Belgian Laekenois, a type of shepherd; the Biewer terrier, a tri-colored toy terrier and the Dogo Argentino, a white smooth-coated dog.

Joining them this year are two newcomers. The Mudi is a Hungarian farm dog, bred to herd sheep and cattle. This courageous, alert, and intelligent breed will join the Herding group.

Mudi dog

The Mudi dog (Image credit: Getty Images)

The Russian Toy is small, squarely built toy dog joining the Toy group. A favorite breed of the Russian aristocracy, the Russian Toy is elegant, athletic, and cheerful.

Russian toy dog

The Russian Toy (Image credit: Getty Images)

Also new for 2022 is the Veterinarian of the Year Award, created to raise awareness of and support for the mental wellbeing of veterinarians and their teams. 

Four regional finalists, nominated by their clients and members of their own profession, will compete for a $10,000 donation to MightVet, a non-profit, industry wide platform founded to support veterinarians, students and vet techs in the industry. The winner will be decided on social media likes/favorites.

Who won last year's Westminster Dog Show? 

Three-year-old Pekingese, Wasabi, won Best in Show at the 145th annual Westminster Dog Show; it was his individuality that separated him from the pack and helped him to take the crown.

Westminster Dog Show: Wasabi the Pekingese

Wasabi won last year's Westminster Dog Show (Image credit: Getty Images)

How can I watch the Westminster Dog Show 2022?

For the second year in a row, the event will be held at Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown, NY. 

Tickets are now sold out, but live streaming of the event is available on the Westminster Kennel Club website, the WKC App, and FOX Sports App.

The excitement is building, so tune in to see who will sweep down the red carpet as this year’s champion canine to the sound of app-paws.

Sara Walker

Sara is a freelance journalist and copywriter of many years’ experience with a lifelong love of animals. She’s written for a range of magazines and websites on subjects varying from pet care to travel. A horse rider since the age of five, she’s currently a full time pet slave to horse Blue and gorgeous, goofy English Springer Spaniel Olly. Adorable Olly has a huge sense of adventure and no sense of direction, keeping Sara on her toes.