A Great Dane wears a crown at a Meet the Breeds event prior to the Westminster Dog Show in New York on February 9, 2019. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP via Getty Images
Some of the most popular dog breeds in America have never won the Westminster Dog Show.
Labradors are the most popular dogs in the US, but they have never won Best in Show.
Golden retrievers, French bulldogs, and dachshunds weren’t very lucky either.
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Labs are the most popular dogs in the US, but they have never won Best in Show at Westminster.
A Labrador named Gino competes during the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 12, 2019 in New York City. Sarah Stier / Getty Images
Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular breed of dog in America for more than a quarter of a century, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).
And while labs at Madison Square Garden, where the Westminster Dog Show in Manhattan takes place every year, often get the biggest acclaim, they’ve never taken home the best in show – or even the best of their group.
Many have tried to understand why Labradors cannot take a break. Some think they are not extravagant enough. Others think their lovable personality gets in the way.
“There are a lot of Labs that gave me goosebumps, but I think it’s an acquired taste,” Cindy Vogels, a Westminster Best in Shows judge, told the Wall Street Journal in 2013.
Golden Retrievers are the third most popular dog breed in the United States, but they have never been named Best in Show.
Golden Retrievers are seen in the grooming area during the Westminster Kennel Club’s 140th annual dog show on February 16, 2016 in New York. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP via Getty Images
Although Golden Retrievers have been placed in their group five times since they started in Westminster in 1928, they have only won Best of Group once – in 2006.
“If you had a popularity contest, we’d win,” Christine Miele, Eastern vice president of the Golden Retriever Club of America, told the New York Times last year. “We have everything in the world except Westminster, and I think we’re fine with that.”
Dachshund, the twelfth most popular breed, has won Best of Group eleven times in Westminster.
A dachshund competes in Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 12, 2019 in New York City. Sarah Stier / Getty Images
But these little sausage dogs never took home the main prize.
Many believe that Dachshunds fought in competition because of their small size.
The story goes on
“I think one of the reasons some breeds don’t make it to the end is because they just aren’t the glamorous breeds that are so showy in the group,” said Walter Jones, a vice president of the Dachshund Club of America Times last year.
“Dachshunds compete in the hound group against many larger breeds that are just more impressive,” he added.
While Bulldogs won Best in Show twice (1913 and 1955), the smaller Frenchie wasn’t that lucky.
A French Bulldog competes at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 12, 2018 in New York City. Drew Angerer / Getty Images
French Bulldogs, the fourth most popular breed in the United States, have been on display in Westminster since 1897. But they only won the Best of Group once – in 2010.
Frenchies compete in the Non-Sporting group, where they face stiff competition from the Standard Poodle (who has been named Best in Show four times).
Rottweilers may be the eighth most popular dog breed in America, but they were unlucky at the Westminster Dog Show.
A Rottweiler participates in the Westminster Dog Show in New York City on February 11, 2014. Andrew Burton / Getty Images
The breed known as the loyal Guardians has won the Best of Group only once (back in 2006).
They often lose in the working group to the Boxer and Doberman Pinscher breeds, which, according to the AKC, have each won Best in Show four times.
They are called the “Apollo of the Dogs,” but Great Danes had a harder time winning the hearts of Westminster judges.
A Great Dane is shown during the 132nd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 12, 2008 in New York City. Chris McGrath / Getty Images
The majestic breed, ranked 16th in popularity by the AKC, has been featured on the Westminster Dog Show since 1887.
But Great Danes have only won the Best of Group five times, most recently in 1983.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi can count Queen Elizabeth II among its fans. Westminster? Not as much.
A Pembroke Welsh Corgi performs the agility class on February 13, 2016 at the 140th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP via Getty Images
These adorable puppies have won Best of Group seven times. But it wasn’t enough to get her to the top.
Among the three sizes of schnauzer, the miniature schnauzer is by far the most popular in America.
Miniature Schnauzers wait in the ring at the 132nd Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 11, 2008 in New York City. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP via Getty Images
In the AKC rankings, he ranks 19th, while the Giant Schnauzer is 78th and the Standard Schnauzer is 89th.
But only the Standard Schnauzer won Best in Show in Westminster (once, 1997).
The Miniature Schnauzer only won Best of Group once in 1947.
Chihuahuas are the 33rd most popular breed, but they have found little love in Madison Square Garden.
A Chihuahua is groomed at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Madison Square Garden in New York on February 11, 2019. Xinhua / via Getty Images
From Taco Bell commercials to a supporting role in Legally Blonde and Paris Hilton’s handbag, Chihuahuas have always been a pop culture phenomenon.
And although they’ve competed in Westminster since 1904, the cheeky breed has only won Best of Group once. Elle Woods wouldn’t agree.
The Shih Tzu may have noble roots, but the adorable toy dog has yet to take the crown in Westminster.
A Shih Tzu is groomed at the Westminster Dog Show in February 2013. Mary Altaffer / AP
Ranked 20th among the top dog breeds in the United States, the Shih Tzu has won the Best of Group five times since it was launched in 1969.
But the grand prize dodged the playful puppy and, according to the AKC, has often lost to the Pekingese (who won Best of Show four times) and the Miniature Poodle (who won twice).
Australian Shepherds are the 15th most popular dog in the US, but they are struggling to find the same popularity in Westminster.
An Australian Shepherd at the 137th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 11, 2013. Roman France / USA Network / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images
But Aussies, as they are known, have received quite a bit of the limelight since their debut in the competition in 1994.
The breed was named Best of Group in 2008, which shows that it may have more luck in the future.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the 18th most popular breed in the US, but has never won Best in Show – or even Best of Group – at Westminster.
But the beautiful breed has only been racing at Westminster since 1997, so time will tell if it can really make a splash.
Shetland Sheepdogs are known to be extremely intelligent, but their minds have not yet swayed the judges at Westminster.
A Shetland Sheepdog at the 138th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 10, 2014. Ben Hider / USA Network / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images)
But the herding dog breed, which ranks 25th on AKC’s popularity charts, has come close to the top spot. Shetland Sheepdogs have won Best of Group five times since their debut on the show.
Terrier breeds have won a lot in Westminster over the decades, but the Boston Terrier has been far less fortunate.
A Boston Terrier at the 138th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 10, 2014. Ben Hider / USA Network / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images
According to the AKC, the Wire Fox Terrier and Scottish Terrier alone have won Best in Show more than 40% of the time in the history of the competition.
But the Boston Terrier never won, despite being the 21st most popular dog in America.
The playful puppy, nicknamed the “American Gentleman”, is still waiting to join his fellows at the forefront.
Dalmatians are among the most famous pups in American pop culture, but they still haven’t felt love in Westminster.
A Dalmatian at the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 11, 2013. Neilson Barnard / USA Network / NBCU Photo Bank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images
The breed’s spotted fur was not enough to attract the attention of Westminster judges.
Mastiffs also have yet to win big at Westminster.
A Tibetan Mastiff competes at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 16, 2016 in New York City. Matthew Eisman / Contributor / Getty Images
The Mastiff is described by the AKC as a “massive, heavy-boned dog of courage and incredible strength”.
“The mastiff is docile and dignified, but also an impressive protector of his loved ones,” says the description.
It’s a stirring introduction, but these massive dogs still had a hard time winning the hearts of the judges at Westminster. No mastic has ever won Best in Show in this competition.
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