Westminster Dog Show Winners: The Winning Breeds Which Breeds Usually Win at Westminster?

Westminster Dog Show Winners: The Winning Breeds

Thumbnail of Kong Air Dog Squeaker Stick

Kong Air Dog Squeaker Stick

Balls & Fetching Toys
{{petcare_price|currency}} Price in Cart w/PetPlus {{petplus_price|currency}} See PetPlus Price in Cart

Ever wonder what dogs typically do best in the legendary Westminster Dog Show? We've looked at the "Best in Show" category and come up with a few breeds that are the most likely to take home the cup.

Are you curious about which canines are typically the star performers at the countryโ€™s most buzzed-about dog competition? Want to make an educated guess about which of the 3,200 contestants could take home the top title? Take a look at the history of the โ€œBest in Showโ€ category and see which types of dogs have been more likely to outshine others in the past.

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, an annual competition dedicated to the sport of purebred dogs, dates back to 1877, with Best in Show introduced as a category in 1907. Best in Show, awarded to one of seven finalists, is the literal top dog!

All contestants must be purebred dogs, and, as of 2013, 187 breeds and varieties, including the newly recognized Treeing Walker Coonhound and Russell Terrier, are now eligible to compete. More than 300,000 dogs have entered the show over the years.

Breeds and Varieties with More than 10 Best in Show Winners

Wire Fox Terriers:

The only dogs to win more than 10 Best in Shows in Westminsterโ€™s history, Wire Fox Terriers have had thirteen recipients of the coveted prize. It may come as no surprise to learn that this Terrierโ€™s defining characteristics include a โ€œcocksure personality,โ€ boundless energy and an ingrained drive and determination (according to the American Kennel Club)--all of which seem to be the stuff of champions!

The wins were steady in the early years (1915-1917, 1920, 1926, 1928,1930, 1931, 1934 and 1937), but since then there have only been three, in 1946, 1966 and the most recent occurring in 1992.

Does this sharp decline in snagging Best in Show signal this dogโ€™s day in the spotlight is over? Weโ€™ll let you be the judge!

Breeds and Varieties with 5-10 Best in Show Winners

Scottish Terriers:

This breed has won eight Best in Shows since 1907, with the most recent in 2010.

The Scottie Dog is also the only breed to have been the โ€œfirst dogโ€ at the White House during three different U.S. Presidents' administrations. That must be the star qualities those Scottish Terriers are born with along with their innate โ€œruggedness and power.โ€

English Springer Spaniels:

These dogs, which the AKC describes as stylish and โ€œeager to please,โ€ have earned six Best in Shows, with the most recent in 2007. Theyโ€™re known for their ability to keep going and going, which may have helped so many make their way to the top.

Breeds and Varieties with 2-5 Best in Show Winners

Airedale Terriers, Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Smooth Fox Terriers, Pekingese, Standard Poodles, and Sealyham Terriers have all won four Best in Shows.

Pointers and Miniature Poodles have earned three Best in Shows. 

Afghan Hounds, Black Cocker Spaniels, Bulldogs, Lakeland Terriers, Newfoundland Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Old English Sheepdogs, German Shorthaired Pointers, Toy Poodles, and West Highland White Terriers have captured Best in Show twice.

And The Most Best in Shows Goes to This Dog Groupโ€ฆ

Westminster has divided purebred dogs into the following groups: sporting, hound, working, Terrier, toy, non-sporting, and herding.

By far, the group that has claimed the most Best in Shows is the Terrier group, with 45 wins, followed by sporting (19), working (15), toy and non-sporting (10 each), hound (four), and herding (one). 

Repeat Champions

Warren Remedy, a female Smooth Fox Terrier, is the only dog to have won Best in Show three times--in 1907, 1908 and 1909. Fun fact: with the exception of the coat, this breed is โ€œessentially identicalโ€ to the 13-time Best-in-Show-winning Wire Fox Terrier, according to the AKC. And yep, three Wire Fox Terriers have won twice. One Black Cocker Spaniel, one Doberman Pinscher, and one English Springer Spaniel have also taken the top spot two times.

Who will you be rooting for this year?

How to Watch the Westminster Dog Show Like a Pro, Even When You're Not 

If you want to see some of the best specimens of hundreds of different dog breeds, The Westminster Dog Show is the one to watch. A breeding club with roots in New York for over 135 years, the Westminster Kennel Club hosts this elite dog show once a year, giving recognition to dogs who best exemplify the hallmark traits of their breed. The Westminster Dog Show has breeders the world over clamoring for a shot at the title, "Best In Show."

While everybody thinks that their dog is the most perfect example of the canine form and temperament, the Westminster Kennel Club has a very rigid set of specifications that need to be met before a dog can enter the show. Take a look at what it takes to have a show dog.

What Makes a Westminster Dog?

A valid question, considering the litany of rules and regulations required for even an application to participate. Beyond making sure your pooch is eligible, there is also the showtime preparation. Do you think your dog has what it takes? Why not first take a backstage look at those in the thick of it.

Westminster Dog Show Winners

Just because any breed is eligible for the Best In Show title doesn't mean that the judges donโ€™t have some preferences. See which breeds are historically the most likely to walk away with this most prestigious of dog breeding awards.

Could Your Dachshund Make The Dog Show?

If you have one of these wiener dogs and think that they are ready for the show, here are some key pieces of information to have before you hit the pet show circuit. Certain traits that you might find endearing could actually have your pup disqualified. Learn what characteristics make for a prize-winning Dachshund here.

Could Your German Shepherd Be A Show Dog?

The German Shepherd is already a regal, dignified breed. It makes sense that you might consider entering that big, beautiful dog in a show. However, before you start filling out the paperwork, check here what characteristics might make your pooch ineligible right out of the gate.

Could Your Beagle Make The Show?

Being a breed very entrenched in the idea of upper-crust breeding (having been used by wealthy Englishmen on their fox hunts for generations), it comes as no surprise that this breed has a very specific set of standards that need to be met if they are going to be considered a show dog. Think your Beagle has what it takes?

Could Your Bulldog Make The Show?

Almost the definition of the phrase โ€œa face only a mother could love,โ€ it can be difficult to imagine what could possibly make any Bulldog less qualified for a show than another. However, just like every breed, there are dozens of various physical and temperamental traits that need to be met to be considered show-ready. Know what to look for in your Bulldog.

Could Your Lab Make The Show?

Though they are the most popular breed in America, a Lab has never taken home the coveted โ€œBest in Showโ€ title. However, that does not mean that all is lost for these much loved dogs. Could yours be the first? Check here to figure out what your Lab needs to make it to the big show.

Is The Westminster Dog Show Still Relevant?

While it's fun to see all the exotic dogs paraded around, is it right to be judging dogs? Also, does the historic exclusion of mixed breed dogs propagate the myth that purebred dogs are in some way superior to mixed? Is this show simply a time-honored tradition that rewards excellence in a field? Does it place too high a value on the importance of pure breeding and the cultivation of certain characteristics, detrimentally affecting the way we, as a society, view mixed breed or non-show dogs?

Mixed Breed Dogs Welcomed to Westminster

Breaking with 138 years of history, the Westminster Dog Show has acknowledged the potential for excellence in a mixed breed dog, allowing them to compete in the new Agility Trail portion of the show. While mixed breeds are still not permitted to compete for the much-sought-after Best In Show title, this change marks a notable break with tradition.

More on Dog Breeds and Show Dogs

Could Your Labrador Make the Show?

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like