10 Breeds You Love But the Westminster Judges Don’t
by Laura Cross
Published on January 31, 2013
From America’s favorite dog to prized Chinese royal companions, you might be shocked to find out which breeds have never won the Westminster Dog Show.
In the 137-year history of the competition, more than half the dogs currently on the American Kennel Club’s top 25 most popular breeds list have never taken Best in Show. Check out our gallery to learn more about these beloved (but not winning) breeds, and find out their odds of taking home Westminster’s top prize this year.
The Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog in the United States for 22 years, 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 450 to 1 chance of winning this year.
This gentle giant is known for his elegant stature, but that has 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 17th most popular dog in America.
Odds of winning: 100 to 1.
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 third most popular dog in the country.
The Golden Retriever's chances of winning: 150 to 1. It's a long shot.
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: 750 to 1.
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 comes in at No. 11 on the AKC’s most popular list.
Odds of winning: 200 to 1.
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 AKC has recognized the Sheltie for 102 years, and she is the country's 21st most popular dog. But she has never won Best in Show.
Odds of winning: 700 to 1.
A Standard Schnauzer took the Westminster trophy in 1997, but the miniature version has never won Best in Show. Old farmhands, these canines were originally German dogs who excelled as ratters in the days before indoor plumbing. Although we now have bathrooms in our homes, the Miniature Schnauzer is still the 13th most popular dog in America.
Odds of winning: 175 to 1.
Despite her unfair reputation as an attack dog, the Rottweiler is enjoying great popularity, according to the AKC. Loyal and intelligent, she’s one of the most recognizable breeds, with her black-and-tan markings and muscled body. She made the top 10 in 2011 and moved up another spot to No. 9 last year.
Odds of winning: 225 to 1.
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 No. 8 spot in 2000 to No. 18 in 2012 — and he has yet to win Westminster.
Odds of winning: Smooth Coat: 1,250 to 1; Long Coat: 1,000 to 1.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
While the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gets lots of awws and attention from her devoted fans during benching at dog shows, she's never taken home Westminster's top prize. The typical Cavalier is always happy, trusting and easygoing, a friend to everyone she meets.
Odds of winning: 250 to 1.