10 Popular Breeds That Have Never Won the Westminster Dog Show

Will 2012 Be Their Lucky Year?

From America's favorite dog to prized Chinese royal companions, you might be shocked by which breeds have never won the Westminster Dog Show. In the 136-year history of the competition, half of the dogs currently on the American Kennel Club's top 20 most popular breeds list have never taken Best in Show.

Will 2012 Be Their Lucky Year?

Westminster Kennel Club

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog in the United States for more than a decade, according to the AKC. He has the kind of versatility that other dogs only dream of. He can be a companion, show dog, hunting dog, canine athlete, guide dog, service dog, sniffer dog, search and rescue dog and therapy dog. The popularity of this stable, family-friendly dog is truly staggering, which is why we’re surprised he’s never won Best in Show.

So how likely is this breed to win best in show? According to Wynn Las Vegas' annual Westminster odds, Labrador Retrievers have a 300 to 1 chance of winning this year. 

Labrador Retriever

Mary Bloom

Golden Retriever

Following close behind her Labrador cousin, the cheerful Golden Retriever has never taken the top trophy. Easy to train and eager to please, the Golden is what you see in the dictionary when you look up “perfect family dog.” She’s also the fifth most popular dog in the country.

The Golden Retriever's chances of winning? 60 to 1. It's a long shot.

Golden Retriever

Nick Ridley, Animal Photography

Dachshund

Famously described by H. L. Mencken as "a half-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long," the Dachshund consistently ranks among the most popular breeds in America — he’s now at number eight. But those legs have never carried him to the highest Westminster award.

Odds of winning: Longhaired: 100 to 1; Smooth: 500 to 1; Wirehaired: 750 to 1.

Dachshund

Mary Bloom

Shih Tzu

The beautiful Shih Tzu was once a prized lap dog for Chinese royalty, but he hasn’t had that kind of luck at Madison Square Garden. He’s bred to do one thing, and he does it well: He’s a companion dog who gives love to the world and soaks it back in. This breed rounds out the AKC’s top 10 most popular list.

Odds of winning: 35 to 1.

Shih Tzu

Mary Bloom

Rottweiler

Despite her unfair reputation as an attack dog, the Rottweiler sits at her highest AKC popularity ranking since 2000. Loyal and intelligent, she’s one of the most recognizable breeds, with her black-and-tan markings and muscled body. She just missed the top 10, clocking in at number 11.

Odds of winning: 50 to 1.

Rottweiler

Mary Bloom

Miniature Schnauzer

A Standard Schnauzer took the Westminster trophy in 1997, but the miniature version has never won Best in Show. An old farm hand, these canines were originally German dogs that excelled as ratters in the days before indoor plumbing. Although we now have bathrooms in our homes, the Miniature Schnauzer is still the twelfth most popular dog in America.

Odds of winning: 1,000 to 1.

Miniature Schnauzer

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Chihuahua

Thanks to Paris Hilton, Taco Bell and Legally Blonde, the Chihuahua burst onto the national stage as a must-have “purse puppy.” But this high-strung breed has fallen in popularity over the past decade, tumbling from the number-eight spot in 2000 to number 13 in 2010 — and he has yet to win Westminster.

Odds of winning: Smooth Coat: 75 to 1; Long Coat: 600 to 1.

Chihuahua

Mary Bloom

Great Dane

This gentle giant is known for his elegant stature, but that’s never won him the Westminster title. As puppies, Great Danes can knock over small tables and large children. As adults, they can clear a coffee table with a swipe of a tail. He's the seventeenth most popular dog in America.

Odds of winning: 85 to 1.

Great Dane

Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography

Shetland Sheepdog

Trick training is a breeze with the Shetland Sheepdog, whose gentle disposition, athleticism and keen intelligence make her a dog who loves to show off. The the AKC has recognized the Sheltie for 101 years, and she is the country's nineteenth most popular dog. But she’s never won Best in Show.

Odds of winning: 150 to 1.

Shetland Sheepdog

Mary Bloom

Boston Terrier

Rounding out the top 20 most popular canines in the U.S., the Boston Terrier and his tuxedo coat have never won Westminster’s grand prize. One of the few dog breeds to originate in the United States, the Boston was bred to be a best friend, happy to do just about anything as long as he's with his human family.

Odds of winning: 600 to 1.

Boston Terrier

Barbara O'Brien, Animal Photography

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