Westminster Dog Show 2013: Underdog Breeds with Toughest Challenge Ahead of Them

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIFebruary 10, 2013

Photo by: Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photograph (via Vetstreet.com)
Photo by: Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photograph (via Vetstreet.com)

There are two new breeds at the 2013 Westminster Dog Show, but that isn’t the only change that dog lovers will see this year.

Judging format changes, venue shifts during the daytime, breed judging and benching and an increase in the entry limit to 3,200 dogs from the 2,000 allowed in 2012 are among some of the differences we will see this year, according to The Westminister Kennel Club official website.

While the new changes may make it easier for more dogs to have a shot at winning, there are some breeds that just flat-out struggle to compete in these types of competitions. Those poor pups have the odds of winning Best in Show stacked against them because of their breeds, not their personalities or character.

In all, there are 187 different breeds competing, but that number is reduced to just seven groups of competition. From there, winners of each group will compete for the right to be named Best in Show.

We’ll take a look at a couple of the breeds that typically struggle in this competition. Of note, none of the discussed breeds have ever won Westminster Dog Show Best in Show honors.


Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed among American dog owners, but that hasn’t translated to success at Westminster.

In the 93 years of competition, Labs have placed in the final judging just 10 times, finishing in second place four times and in fourth place six times.

It will be yet another challenge in 2013 for this breed.


Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever, the third-most popular breed in America, was recognized and began competing in the contest in 1925, but it hasn’t been able to get one single win since.

Golden Retrievers have fared even worse than the Labs by placing only three times. A Golden finished in second place as recent as 2009, in fourth place in 2005 and won Best of Group in 2006.

So, success is seemingly starting to blossom, but will it be enough for the breed to finally earn top-dog honors?



The 18th-most-popular American breed has performed dismally at Westminster since it began competing in the Toy Group in 1904.

Chihuahuas have only placed four times over that span, winning Best of Group once (1984), third place twice (2004, 2006) and notching one fourth-place finish (1993).

This breed has become a cultural staple thanks to Taco Bell advertisements and Paris Hilton, but its popularity has waned over the last few years.