Are you curious about which canines are typically the star
performers at the country’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 “Best in Show” category and see which types of
dogs have been more likely to outshine others in the past.
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 Westminster’s history, Wire Fox Terriers
have had thirteen recipients of the coveted prize. It may come
as no surprise to learn that this Terrier’s defining
characteristics include a “cocksure personality,” boundless
energy and an ingrained drive and determination (according to
Kennel Club)--all of which seem to be the stuff of
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
Does this sharp decline in snagging Best in Show signal this
dog’s day in the spotlight is over? We’ll let you be the judge!
Breeds and Varieties with 5-10 Best in Show Winners
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 “first
dog” 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 “ruggedness
These dogs, which the
AKC describes as stylish and “eager to please,” have earned
six Best in Shows, with the most recent in 2007. They’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,
Standard Poodles, and
Sealyham Terriers have all won four Best in Shows.
Pointers and Miniature Poodles have earned three Best in
Afghan Hounds, Black Cocker Spaniels,
Lakeland Terriers, Newfoundland Terriers,
Old English Sheepdogs,
German Shorthaired Pointers, Toy Poodles, and
West Highland White Terriers have captured Best in Show
And The Most Best in Shows Goes to This Dog Group…
Westminster has divided purebred dogs into the following
groups: sporting, hound, working, Terrier, toy, non-sporting,
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
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
“essentially identical” 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
Who will you be rooting for this year?
How to Watch the Westminster Dog Show Like a Pro, Even When
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.
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
Just because any breed is eligible for the Best In Show title
doesn't mean that the judges don’t have some preferences. See
which breeds are historically the most likely to walk away with
this most prestigious of dog breeding awards.
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.
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
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?
Almost the definition of the phrase “a face only a mother could
love,” 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.
Though they are the most popular breed in America,
a Lab has never
taken home the coveted “Best in Show” 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.
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?
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
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