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The ultimate insider's guide to the best-kept secrets of NYC's must-see places and buzzed-about people.

Dogs from across the country -- and the

Dogs from across the country -- and the world -- descend upon Manhattan annually in mid-February to compete for the Westminster Kennel Club's top honor of Best in Show. (Credit: Getty Images / Matthew Eisman)

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Secrets of The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001

The annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, in its 142nd year, returns to New York Feb. 10, 12 and 13 with thousands of dogs chomping at the bit to show off their skills.

A Meet & Compete event on Feb. 10 is a good time to get up close and personal with handlers and their canines, while the competition itself really begins in earnest on Feb. 12. During the daytime, the best of breed competitions take place at Piers 92 and 94, and will continue at night at Madison Square Garden.

Think you know everything about his historic dog competition? Read on. Dogs have secrets too, you know.

Second only to the Kentucky Derby (1873), the

Credit: Getty Images / Matthew Eisman

Westminster is America's second-longest continuously held sporting event

Second only to the Kentucky Derby (1873), the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is older than the World Series (1903) and the Super Bowl (1967).

Some of the breeds featured included dachshunds, poodles,

Credit: iStock

Westminster's first show featured 35 breeds

Some of the breeds featured included dachshunds, poodles, dalmatians, St. Bernards, fox terriers, greyhounds, English setters, bulldogs, collies, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and a two-legged dog named Nellie.

In 2018, you can barely buy a hot

Credit: Rudolph Tauskey for AKC

In 1878, the entry fee was $2, which included food and care for the dog

In 2018, you can barely buy a hot dog for that price.

The main event is all about breed standards,

Credit: Craig Ruttle

Mixed breed dogs were allowed to compete for the first time in 2014

The main event is all about breed standards, but the Masters Agility Championship is open to all agile pooches. Purebred dogs compete as well, tackling the agility course at Pier 94 in Manhattan.

In its basement, the hotel sets up doggie

Credit: Getty Images / Mario Tama

Contestants stay at the Hotel Pennsylvania

In its basement, the hotel sets up doggie treadmills and an indoor spot for dog walking. Head into the the lobby before the big event and you'll find pooches waiting to check in. Above, Buzz, a yellow Labrador, hangs in the Hotel Pennsylvania lobby.

Westminster is America's oldest organization dedicated to the

Credit: Westminster Kennel Club

Westminster started in New York in May 1877

Westminster is America's oldest organization dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs. In 1877, after the first Westminster show, "The New York Times" wrote: "The first annual New York bench show of dogs is a great success ... the crush was so great that the streets outside were blocked with livery carriages, and the gentlemen who served as ticket sellers could not make change fast enough ... the crush ... began almost at the opening hour and continued until the close last night."

Rumor, named after Adele's song

Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

2017's winner was only the 2nd herding dog to nab Best in Show

Rumor, named after Adele's song "Rumor Has It," was the first of her kind to win the top title since Manhattan the German Shepherd did in 1987.

Westminster is about great dogs! In 2015, the

Credit: Getty Images / Timothy A. Clary

It's not all about the competition

Westminster is about great dogs! In 2015, the American Kennel Club teamed with Westminster for the first time for a Meet the Breeds event, traditionally held in the fall at the Javits Center. On Saturday Feb. 10, the AKC Meet the Breeds gives attendees a chance to meet, play with and learn about over 100 dog breeds, including the rare Xoloitzcuintli (pictured) to the country's most popular dog, a Lab.

A new 10-year television partnership with FOX Sports

Credit: Getty Images / Rob Kim

Live coverage of the daytime breed judging began in 2017

A new 10-year television partnership with FOX Sports was formed in 2017, allowing Nat Geo WILD, a FOX Sports network, to telecast the daytime breed judging for the first time in the dog show's history.