Photos show what it's really like behind the scenes at the Westminster dog show

  • The 2023 Westminster Kennel Club crowned a new Best in Show winner on May 9.

  • The Westminster dog show has taken place for 147 years, and as such, it is a well-oiled machine.

  • Here's a behind-the-scenes look at this year's show.

As a dog lover, attending the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, which crowned its 147th Best in Show winner on May 9, has long been a dream. So, when presented with the opportunity to attend with dog-toy brand Playology, I jumped at the chance.

I was given a behind-the-scenes look at the competition floor, the grooming tent, the set where competitors would be interviewed, and more.

Keep scrolling to see more about my experience at Westminster.

I attended this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show on May 8 and got a behind-the-scenes look at the prestigious competition.

westminster dog show
On the way to the show from the subway.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

Around 2,500 dogs from 210 breeds traveled to New York City's Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to compete for the Best in Show title — I couldn't wait to meet some of them.

westminster selfie
Outside the Arthur Ashe stadium, the biggest arena at the complex.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

First, I checked out some of the outdoor rings where each breed was being judged. It was hot in the sun, but luckily the dogs were in the shade.

boston terriers
The Boston Terriers.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

As I made my way around, I came across a few corgis waiting for their turn in the ring.

dogs at westminster
Corgis everywhere.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

Entering the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the biggest arena at the complex, I saw the purple carpet where winners would be taken for portraits.

westminster purple carpet
The purple carpet.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

I made my way to the competition floor, which is just for dogs and their handlers. Here's a view from the entrance — it was a sight to behold.

westminster from the floor
A view from the floor of the Westminster dog show.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

I saw the famous podium where the eventual Best in Show winner, Buddy Holly, a petit basset griffon Vendéen, would take photos after being crowned on May 9.

where best in show goes
The winner's circle.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

Of course, I watched the competitions too. In this case, I saw the Pomeranians lined up with their coats fluffed to perfection.

a pomeranian running
Pomeranians.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

At the edge of the performance area, I saw where the dogs were waiting for their turn. This Japanese chin was cool as a cucumber perched on top of its kennel.

japanese chin waiting
A Japanese chin.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

In general, the event seemed like well-organized chaos. Dogs and handlers were everywhere, but no one was stressed. It was also very quiet, with only scattered applause. It felt a little like watching a tennis match.

dogs at westminster
Another dog waiting for his turn at Westminster.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

Next, I got a peek at the Ready Room, a bright-purple room with white couches where winners and their handlers would be interviewed on Fox Sports.

ready room
The Ready Room.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

I made my way to the grooming tent. It was hot outside, so many of the dogs were napping and getting fanned. This cavalier King Charles spaniel had the right idea.

dogs at westminster
A cavalier King Charles spaniel taking a nap.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

In the tent, I also saw poodles being trimmed in the classic competition style, with balls of fur on each paw.

I saw many poodles.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

There were travel cages and kennels everywhere, making the grooming tent seem like a maze.

kennels at westminster
There were many more dogs waiting for their turns inside the kennels.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

But competitors seemed happy to be there. This dog gave me a huge smile and lots of kisses when I introduced myself.

dogs at westminster
Big smiles for the camera.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

I also noticed just how much fur was being shed. Someone with dog allergies would not have a great time at Westminster.

shedding everywhere
So much fur.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

Overall, the dogs were getting treated better than humans. By midday, I was sweating and could've used a lie-down with fans blowing in my face.

dog getting fanned
A pampered pooch.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

There was also a lot of merchandise and other items for sale, like this four-berth competition trolley. Online, they go for hundreds of dollars.

cages for sale
A trolley for sale.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

The best part of the day, of course, was getting to spend time in a place filled with dogs and other dog lovers.

dogs at westminster
The opposite of mean mugging for the camera.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

I would come back to Westminster in a heartbeat, even if I could only watch from the stands next time.

westminster dog show exit
The banners were changed for the show.Gabbi Shaw/Insider

Read the original article on Insider