David Frei,  Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
David Frei brings his encyclopedic knowledge of everything dog to his 18th year as cohost of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which concludes its 131st competition tonight (at 8 pm/ET, on USA Network) at New York's Madison Square Garden.

TV Guide: How can you keep doing this? Don't all the dogs look alike after a while?
David Frei:
The dogs are different every year. The breeds are the same, but there are different dogs and different levels of accomplishment in the show-dog world, so it stays very exciting from that standpoint.

TV Guide: Are you a fan of Christopher Guest's mockumentary Best in Show?
Frei:
It's wonderfully funny. I actually carry it around with me — it's in my briefcase right here. A lot of people wonder if that's what our world really is, but [the movie] didn't make fun of the dogs, and it didn't make fun of the sport. It made fun of the people, and we kind of admit to being a character-rich environment.

TV Guide: Tell me something doggy that I'd never know otherwise.
Frei:
One of the first people to bring the Afghan hound into this country from England was Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers.

TV Guide: Why do they cut poodles that way? Don't you think the poodles find that humiliating?
Frei:
[Laughs] Well, it seems to be a little overdone, but it really has its roots in functionality. The poodle was originally a water-retrieving dog. [Owners] would cut the hair that way to leave some protection around the joints and the major organs when [the poodles] would jump in the cold water. It's part of these handlers being artists — it's a never-ending contest in that respect.

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