6270837713_66f7741469_b
Golden retrievers have only placed 3 times in the history of Westminster. By: angela n.

Every year, the American Kennel Club ranks the most popular dog breeds in America, and every year, representatives of those breeds compete for Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

A surprising 8 out of America’s favorite dog breeds have never won Best in Show.

However, Best in Show isn’t the only title up for grabs at Westminster. With one glaring exception (Labrador retriever people, I’m talking to you), these 8 dog breeds, all ranked in the top 20 most popular breeds for many years, have earned quite a few Best of Group awards and consistently placed in the top 4 of their groups.

ADVERTISEMENT
By: Kevin Rodriguez Ortiz

Labrador Retriever — AKC Rank #1

America’s favorite dog for the many years now, Labrador retrievers have done abysmally at Westminster, placing only 10 times. A Sporting Group breed, Labs were recognized by the AKC in 1917. That’s nearly 100 years in which to accomplish something, Labbies. Perhaps you should spend more time on conformation and less time perfecting your sad Lab faces!

  • Second Place (4 times): 1933, 1934, 1939, 1978
  • Fourth Place (6 times): 1964, 1974, 1986, 2003, 2009, 2010
By: Dirk Vorderstraße

Golden Retriever — AKC Rank #5

The 5th most popular dog in America, golden retrievers have done even worse, placing in their groups only 3 times since Westminster began. Another Sporting Group dog, goldens were recognized in 1925, giving them plenty of time — I guess you were all too busy fetching tennis balls?

  • Best of Group: 2006
  • Second Place: 2009
  • Fourth Place: 2005
By: Petful

Dachshund — AKC Rank #8

The overwhelming winner, dachshunds have placed many times in the Hound Group, with 10 Best of Groups. There are 3 types of dachshunds who compete: longhair, wirehair and smooth. Miniature and standard dachshunds compete together in each of the 3 classes.

The AKC recognized dachshunds as a breed in 1885, which perhaps accounts for enduring popularity and relatively high rankings at Westminster.

  • Best of Group (10 times): Longhair (1998), wirehair (1997, 1952, 2012), smooth (1969, 1968, 1961, 1952, 1951 & 1948)
  • Second Place (11 times): Longhair (2008, 1989, 1975, 1974, 1966, 1965 & 1957), wirehair (1978), smooth (1983,  1937, 1933)
  • Third Place (16 times): Longhair (1991, 1990, 1976,  1954, 1946), wirehair (2003), smooth (1967, 1964, 1963,  1959, 1955, 1953, 1950, 1941, 1936, 1926)
  • Fourth Place (16 times): Longhair (1943), wirehair (2009, 2007, 1994, 1987, 1986, 1981, 1979), smooth (1960, 1949, 1948, 1939, 1935)
By: cheriejoyful

Shih Tzu — AKC Rank #10

Added to the Toy Group in 1969, shih tzus have done remarkably well for a breed that has only competed for the past half century. The breed has garnered an admirable 3 Best of Group placements, as well as 14 group placements.

  • Best of Group (3 times): 2001, 2000, 1983,
  • Second Place (4 times): 2003, 1997, 1977, 1973,
  • Third Place (6 times): 2010, 1999, 1985, 1979, 1974, 1972,
  • Fourth Place (4 times): 1991, 1988, 1975, 1971
By: Theodore Scott

Miniature Schnauzer — AKC Rank #12

A completely different breed than the standard schnauzer, which won Best in Show in 1997, the miniature schnauzer is a member of the Terrier Group, recognized in 1926. Since then, the breed has managed to eke out only one Best of Group, but it has placed 7 other times, a not altogether dismal showing.

  • Best of Group (1 time): 1947
  • Second Place (2 times): 1960, 1948
  • Third Place (2 times): 1959, 1956
  • Fourth Place (3 times): 2009, 1975, 1946
By: Jose Antonio Tovar

Chihuahua — AKC Rank #13

Aye, chihuahua! Admitted into the Toy Group in 1904, this diminutive doggie has only placed 4 times — but at least 1 of them was Best of Group! Like dachshunds, chihuahuas compete with multiple coat types, in this case smooth and long.

  • Best of Group (1 time): Smooth coat, 1984
  • Third Place (2 times): Long coat, 2006, 2004
  • Fourth Place (1 time): Smooth, 1993
By: Chris Phutully

Great Dane — AKC Rank #17

One of the oldest-recognized breeds, Great Danes were first admitted into the Working Group in 1887. Although they’ve never won BIS, they’ve taken home 5 Best of Group ribbons, with a total of 21 placements.

  • Best of Group (5 times): 1983, 1962, 1959, 1933, 1931
  • Second Place(3 times): 2000, 1943, 1932
  • Third Place (9 times): 2008, 2005, 1980, 1972, 1968, 1961, 1950, 1941, 1935
  • Fourth Place (4 times): 1990, 1977, 1938, 1930
By: Krysta

Shetland Sheepdogs — AKC Rank #19

Shetland sheepdogs, Herding Group members since 1911, have also done well, taking home 5 Best of Group ribbons and 12 other placements.

  • Best of Group (5 times): 1997, 1990, 1988, 1985, 1943
  • Second Place (2 times): 2001, 1989
  • Third Place (5 times): 2006, 1999, 1986, 1965, 1939
  • Fourth Place (5 times): 1952, 1951, 1948, 1947, 1932

What’s your explanation for the discrepancy in America’s most popular dogs showing so poorly at Westminster?

In this article

Leave a Comment