Hard Refresh is a soothing weekly column where we try to reset your brain and cleanse it of whatever terrible thing you just witnessed on Twitter.
In my opinion, one of the only reasons for YouTube to still exist is animal videos.
Otherwise a cesspool of screaming vloggers and disturbing children’s content, pages like the Sunflower Farm Creamery and the Cincinnati Zoo (home of Fiona the hippo) lend the overstuffed platform a little joy. One of my favorites, though, isn’t a page but a genre: dog show clips.
I watch both the Westminster Dog Show and the National Dog Show religiously. Although I’m sure the dog show experience is much different in person, on TV they’re tranquil, quiet, structured events featuring pleasant banter in which I do not have to participate — perfect for my anxiety. Plus, they star the most adorable creatures on the planet.
If you want to watch some dog show clips on YouTube, you have a few options. Got a lot of time to kill? I’m thrilled to tell you that some shows are available in full. If you have less time, but want your decomposing heart to feel maximum emotion, consider watching a particularly beautiful dog win Best in Show.
Here, for example, is the heartwarming victory of Norman the Brussels Griffon who took home the title at the 2017 National Dog Show. This clip has it all: cute dogs, bizarrely dressed handlers, palpable (but not overwhelming) suspense, a happy ending. And it’s only 11 minutes long.
Perhaps you have a favorite breed or group of breeds. Great! Someone, somewhere has uploaded the perfect dog show clip for you. For example, I am partial to the toy group — the Maltese, the Chihuahua, the Brussels Griffon — because I like dogs that are incredibly small and kind of look like they shouldn’t exist.
Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the results.
Or perhaps your interests are really niche. Maybe you only like golden retrievers, and you only want to see videos of golden retrievers. We can make that happen. Here’s a two hour and 11 minute video from Westminster 2017 featuring only golden retrievers. Dozens of them. In fact, a few shots in this video are just a bunch of dogs milling around.
Don’t like that breed? That’s hard to believe and I don’t trust you, but there are videos out there featuring just about every type of pup. So go forth, watch some dogs, and take a deep breath. You deserve it.