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Annual dog show returns to Madison Square Garden in February with expanded three-day schedule

A dog competes in the Masters Agility Championship during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 10, 2018, in Manhattan. (File photo)

Thousands of dogs will go head-to-head in New York City to see who is “Best in Show.”

The 144th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will take place from Feb. 9 through Feb. 11 at Madison Square Garden and Pier 94. This year, the competition is highlighting 204 breeds among 2,630 entries throughout the United States and 19 other countries (including 208 from New York).

The three-day event will kick off a day at Pier 94 early with the Masters Agility Championship on Saturday, Feb. 8, which has 330 dogs putting their agility to the test. The all-breed benched dog show including the Junior Showmanship competition, which 108 entires, and the Masters Obedience Championship with 22 entries, which will be held on Sunday, Feb. 9.

This year, the most breed entries came from Dachshunds, which have 55 total entries across all the Dachshund varieties. The next highest goes to Golden Retrievers with 48 entries, followed close behind by Poodles, which have 43 entries across all varieties.

New this year is the Azawakh breed, a slender sighthound and ancient companion of desert-roaming nomads. There will be six Azawakhs competing in this year’s competition.

The show will crown Best in Show on Tuesday, Feb. 11, during the live three-hour broadcast from Madison Square Garden. The show can be viewed on FS1. For more information, visit westminsterkennelclub.org.

Emily Davenport