Popular Breeds

Which of America’s Favorite Breeds Have Never Won at Westminster?

With thousands of prized pups from around the nation competing for Best in Show, The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has yet to award these favorite breeds with the top prize.


In 1877, a group of sporting gentlemen gathered in a Manhattan bar and formed the Westminster Kennel Club. Now in its 143rd year, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has been dubbed “America’s Dog Show.”

But, with prized pups from around the nation coming to Madison Square Garden to compete for Best in Show, “America’s Dog Show” has yet to award some of America’s favorite breeds with the top prize. In 143 years of competing, these 8 breeds, all ranking in the Top 20 of America’s favorite, most popular dogs, have never won Westminster.

Up first, America’s most favorite breed, the Labrador Retriever!

Labrador retriever, 12 months old, sitting
The Labrador retriever is currently ranked the #1 most popular dog breed in America.

The Labrador is a retrieving gun dog of medium size, with a dense, weather-resistant coat, an “otter” tail, and a clean-cut head with a “kind” expression. The first Labradors arrived in England from Newfoundland aboard fishing boats early in the 19th century, and imports to this country began in the early 1900s. Labrador temperament is outgoing, indulgent with peers, human oriented and tractable. Labradors can be found in guide and assistance dog programs, and substance detection and search and rescue work. Since 1992, the Labrador Retriever has headed the list as the most popular breed in the U.S.

Not far behind in rank, the next breed that’s never won the big prize is the 5th most popular breed in America and a favorite “family dog.”

Can you guess which fair-haired breed has never won?

If you guessed the Golden Retreiver, you’re right!

The Golden Retriever ranks #5 in America's most popular breeds.
The Golden Retriever ranks #5 in America’s most popular breeds.

The Golden Retriever was developed in Scotland and England in the late 19th century for the purpose of retrieving wildfowl on land and water. Its physical characteristics and its willing, adaptable, trainable nature have also fitted it for usefulness in many other endeavors such as service dogs, guide dogs for the blind, therapy dogs and search and rescue. While the Golden is an ideal family dog, it requires training and exercise. Persons wanting to purchase a Golden Retriever puppy should learn about this breed and purchase only from a reputable breeder.

Another favorite among pet parents, this long, short breed hasn’t had his time in the spotlight just yet… which breed is it?

If you guessed the Dachshund, you’re right!

The Longhaired Dachshund.
The Longhaired Dachshund.

The Dachshund, developed in Germany three centuries ago, is a perfect example of form following function. With his long, low body, prominent forechest and front legs designed for digging, the Dachshund is well equipped for going underground to hunt badger and other den-dwelling animals. A versatile hunter, he has the instincts and intelligence to excel in conformation, earthdog, obedience, agility and tracking events.

The clever, affectionate Dachshund is an entertaining and devoted pet. The three Varieties – Longhaired, Smooth, and Wirehaired – compete separately. Within each variety the two sizes, miniature and standard, are shown together.

Up next, the most popular of all the “little dogs,” and, subsequently, the second most popular breed of dog found in shelters across the country, these little dogs are BIG in personality, but have never taken the top prize at Westminster. Can you guess who it is?

If you guessed the Chihuahua, you were right!

There are two varieties of Chihuahua competing at Westminster.
There are two varieties of Chihuahua competing at Westminster.

There is much disagreement as to the origins of the Chihuahua. Guesses include Mexico and the Aztecs, Egypt, the…

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