The smell of hair spray filled the prepping areas of Pier 92 and 94 on Monday as breeders blow dried, straightened, brushed, trimmed and styled their dogs’ hair before they headed to their designated ring to be judged in the second day of the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
The dogs get used to all the pampering, said Grace Kaplan of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the owner of a 5-year-old Old English Sheepdog named Peekaboo’s.
“She enjoys it,” Kaplan said. “She falls asleep right away on the table.”
More than 100 dog breeds, separated into hounds, toy dogs, non-sporting dogs and herding dogs, competed Monday, which followed the agility competitions on Sunday. The sporting, working and terrier dogs will compete Tuesday.
There are 199 total breeds and about 2,750 dogs in this year’s show. The dogs and their breeds come from all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and 12 other countries.
There are 270 dogs from New York in the show, the most from any state.
One of those New York dogs is Tomi, a 4-year-old Shiba Inu from Hicksville on Long Island. Tomi is known for saving his owners last October when he woke them up after a fire started in their home in the middle of the night.
While he didn’t win anything at the show Monday, his owner, Julia Haight, said he is close to winning the American Kennel Club Grand Champion title.
“He’s actually one point away from his grand championship,” Haight said. “It’s been challenging. It’s not an easy breed to show. They don’t really like being handled by strangers, so it took a long time to get him used to it.”
Seven breeds, including the Spanish Water Dog and the Miniature American Shepherd, were at Westminster for the first time this year.
Susan DeAngelo of Strasburg, Pennsylvania, and the owner of Willow, a 1-year-old Spanish Water Dog in Monday’s show, said it was great to participate for the first time.
“It’s her first experience showing and mine too,” she said. “It’s kind of an unreal experience. It’s one of those things on your bucket list, and it was great.”
Results of the judging are available on Westminster’s website. The judging will continue at the piers Tuesday, and the Best in Show award will be announced Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.