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Westminster Dog Show 2024: Behind-the-Scenes Photos

The tennis balls had been safely hidden by the time 2,500 dogs and their obedient human entourages invaded the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens this weekend for the Westminster Kennel Dog Show Club.

The event began Saturday with competitions in agility, obedience and diving before moving on Monday to the competitions more familiar to local audiences: best of breed, best in group and best in show. The first prize will be awarded Tuesday evening.

The human-to-dog ratio at the tennis center may be 2 to 1, but the balance of power favors the dogs. There were pugs strolling in strollers, Dalmatians posing like statues on artificial turf, and basset hounds whose ears were attached to their chins so they wouldn’t sweep the asphalt. In a grooming tent, a Lhasa apso was carefully ironed while several miniature poodles were sculpted into soapy topiaries.

The event, which first took place in 1877, called Madison Square Garden home for a century but moved to Lyndhurst, an estate just outside the city, at the start of the pandemic . This is the second year the show has been held in the Flushing section of Queens, with Arthur Ashe Stadium providing luxury accommodations for the show’s main events.

Whether they win or lose, the dogs remained extremely well behaved. Humans, who offer a selection of beers and gin and tonics at several concession stands, had more varied results.

Credit…Jonah Rosenberg for the New York Times

The dogs, whether they win or lose, maintain their composure throughout the event. Humans, on the other hand, run the gamut, with excitement, fear, happiness, and devastation on the table.

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