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Standards Keep Westminster Dog Show a Breed Apart

The 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show will take place in New York City on February 11-12, 2013. The event, held at Madison Square Garden and Pier 92/94, will be broadcast on television and live-streamed online, allowing animal enthusiasts and lovers of purebred dogs to follow the excitement from home. While fans wait impatiently to discover which dog will be named best in show, voluntary consensus standards are quietly helping pet owners nationwide keep their dogs are healthy and happy.

One major aspect of the judging at Westminster, as well as other highly prestigious dog shows, is the focus on the appearance of each of the more than 3,000 competing dogs. For handlers, failure to ensure that their dogs' coats are clean, well-cut, and effectively brushed can mean elimination from consideration. IEC 60335-2-8 Ed. 6.0 b:2012, Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-8: Particular requirements for shavers, hair clippers and similar appliances, sets down guidelines related to the safety of electric appliances used for the care of human or animal hair, including common appliance-related hazards encountered in the home. The standard was developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee (TC) 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances. Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), serves as the U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to TC 61.

While well-maintained hair can help a lucky pooch in the ascent to victory at Westminster, many breeds of dog are prone to shedding, leaving their hair covering furniture and carpets throughout their owners' homes. Thankfully, ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator, has developed a standard, ASTM F2609-11, Standard Test Method for Litter-Cleaning Effectiveness of Vacuum Cleaners, that provides a testing method for vacuum cleaners focused on the removal of human and pet hair from carpets. The standard applies to a variety of different types of vacuum cleaners, including upright and canister models, and does not test vacuum's dirt-cleaning effectiveness.

No matter how well-behaved or attractive a dog is, they won't be able to effectively compete at the Westminster dog show if they become ill. ISO 10272-1:2006, Microbiology of food and animal feeding stuffs - Horizontal method for detection and enumeration of Campylobacter spp. - Part 1: Detection method, describes a method for detecting animal foods that contain Campylobacter bacteria, which commonly infects puppies less than six months of age, and can be spread to humans. The standard was developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) TC 34, Food products, Subcommittee (SC) 9, Microbiology. ANSI member the American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) serves as the ANSI-accredited administrator of the U.S. TAG to ISO TC 34, while ANSI itself administers the TAG to SC 9.

Whether your dog is competing at Westminster, or just happily watching the dog show from your living room, letting them curl up afterward on a warm, comfortable heating pad is the perfect day's-end treat. UL has developed a standard, UL 499-2011b, Standard for Electric Heating Appliances, that includes specific requirements for pet heating mats and pads. The standard also includes requirements for handheld heating appliances and direct plug-in heating devices.

No matter which dog wins best in show at the Westminster dog show, voluntary consensus standards help dog owners care for their pets in a safe and effective manner.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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