Steve Wacksman
WKC 2011
This English Mastiff appears quite natural in front of the cameras.

As is my annual tradition I visited the dogs competing at the Westmister Kennel Club Show at Madison Square Garden this Tuesday. Although I appreciate all breeds the Working Group is home to most of my favorite breeds. Tiesdays show included the Working, Terrier and Sporting Groups. I spent hours walking the aisles and deligted in the company of some of the most beautiful dogs one is likely to see anywhere.
A flashy fawn Boxer. Who could deny that face?

The white Bull Terrier. Note the brindle Bull Terrier in the background enjoying a good belly-rub.

Although the breed judging in the ring is ostensibly the main attraction, I'va always enjoyed most the benching area where one can see the dogs up close and witness the immaculate grooming they undergo. Here's a Leonberger getting a  comb-out. With the crowds and the activity the benching area can get downright sultry. The bib is to safeguard against drool.
White dogs are shampooed, blown dry and combed out. Often their coats are 'chalked' to provide an even brighter white.

I have a particular fondness for the French Mastiff or Dogue De Bordeaux - I share my home with a gentle DDB named Okie. Above is Denzel, one of my favorite DDB's in the show. He's wearing a chamois-type cape that, when soaked in water, can keep the dog cool for hours.
a Black Russian Terrier on the grooming stand.

the Bullmastiffs in the ring. As usual I had my eye on that brindle in the center. Amazingly agile and athletic for their size.
Here's Mt Sinai's Crusader St Amand. The biggest head I've ever seen on a DDB- he was a shoo-in for Best of Breed.
And here he is just minutes after claiming the prize. Congratulations to Will and Paula Duvall of Mt Sinai Kennels and of course to Crusader!

Bernese Mountain Dog on the grooming stand. And embroidered on this fancier's jacket.

St Bernards - the "Alpine Mastiff"

Until next year, then. - the WKC is often referred to as the "Superbowl" of dog shows and to show there is an honor. Congratulations to all the dogs that competed this year.
Northland's Molly - The sweetest face I've ever seen on a DDB.

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