Despite being disallowed to spectate the show, fans can still catch the proceedings of the show through various media channels. Preliminary rounds, including the obedience competition and the agility competition will be made available for live-streaming on the Westminster Kennel Club website, while the final rounds will be broadcast on Fox channels.
The first edition of the Westminster Dog Show was held on the 8th of May, 1877, and since then, the competition has been held on every year, including during both World Wars, during the Great Depression, and during the pandemic years of 1918 to 1920.
The Westminster Dog Show started as a show for gun dogs, particularly bird dogs and setters, started by a group of hunters who used to meet regularly at the Westminster Hotel. They formed a kennel club, which they named the Westminster Kennel Club, for the sole purpose of organizing a dog show to celebrate their working dogs.
Today, the show has come so far, and while people no longer raise dogs purely for activities like hunting, dogs at the show are judged based on their physical attributes and their ability to perform the jobs for which the breeds were initially bred. The dogs are judged across 7 groups – working, hound, herding, sporting, non-sporting, terrier, and toy.