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16 dog breeds that have never won the Westminster Dog Show

16 dog breeds that have never won the Westminster Dog Show
  • Some of the most beloved dog breeds in America have never won the Westminster Dog Show.
  • Labradors are the most popular dogs in the US, but they've never taken Best in Show.
  • Golden retrievers, French bulldogs, and dachshunds also haven't had much luck.

Labradors are the most popular dog in the US, but they've never won Best in Show at Westminster.

Labradors are the most popular dog in the US, but they've 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 dog breed in America for more than a quarter-century, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC).

And while Labs often receive some of the biggest cheers at Madison Square Garden, where the Westminster Dog Show is held every year in Manhattan, they have never taken home Best in Show — or even best of their group.

Many have tried to understand why Labradors can't catch a break. Some believe they aren't extravagant enough. Others think their lovable personality gets in the way.

"There are a lot of Labradors that have given me goose bumps, but I think it's an acquired taste," Cindy Vogels, a Westminster Best in Show judge, told The Wall Street Journal in 2013.

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Golden retrievers are the third most popular dog breed in the US, yet they've also never been named Best in Show.

Golden retrievers are the third most popular dog breed in the US, yet they've also never been named Best in Show.
Golden retrievers are seen in the grooming area during the Westminster Kennel Club 140th Annual Dog Show on February 16, 2016 in New York. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Although golden retrievers have placed five times in their group since they began competing at Westminster in 1928, they've only ever won Best of Group once — in 2006.

"If you had a popularity contest, we would win," Christine Miele, the Eastern vice president of the Golden Retriever Club of America, told The New York Times last year. "We have everything in the world going for us except Westminster, and I think we're okay with that."

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Dachshunds, the twelfth most popular breed, have won Best of Group at Westminster a whopping 11 times.

Dachshunds, the twelfth most popular breed, have won Best of Group at Westminster a whopping 11 times.
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 pint-sized sausage dogs have never taken home the top prize.

Many believe that dachshunds have struggled in the competition because of their small size.

"I think one of the reasons some breeds don't make it to the end is that they just aren't the glamour breeds who are so flashy in the group," Walter Jones, a vice president of the Dachshund Club of America, told the Times last year.

"Dachshunds compete against many larger breeds in the hound group that are simply more impressive," he added.

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While bulldogs have taken Best in Show twice (in 1913 and 1955), the smaller Frenchie hasn't had as much luck.

While bulldogs have taken Best in Show twice (in 1913 and 1955), the smaller Frenchie hasn't had as much luck.
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, which are the fourth most popular breed in the US, have been exhibited at Westminster since 1897. But they've only won Best of Group once — back in 2010.

Frenchies compete in the Non-Sporting group, where they face stiff competition from the standard poodle (which has won Best in Show four times).

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Rottweilers may be the eighth most popular dog breed in America, but they've had little luck at the Westminster Dog Show.

Rottweilers may be the eighth most popular dog breed in America, but they've had little luck at the Westminster Dog Show.
A Rottweiler competes in the Westminster Dog Show on February 11, 2014 in New York City. Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The breed, known for being loyal guardians, has only won Best of Group once (back in 2006).

They often lose out in the Working Group to the boxer and Doberman Pinscher breeds, which have each taken Best in Show four times, according to the AKC.

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They're called the "Apollo of Dogs," but Great Danes have had a harder time winning over the hearts of Westminster judges.

They're called the "Apollo of Dogs," but Great Danes have had a harder time winning over 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 shown at the Westminster Dog Show since 1887.

But Great Danes have only won Best of Group five times, the latest being all the way back in 1983.

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The Pembroke Welsh corgi can count Queen Elizabeth II among its fans. Westminster? Not so much.

The Pembroke Welsh corgi can count Queen Elizabeth II among its fans. Westminster? Not so much.
A Pembroke Welsh corgi runs the agility course on February 13, 2016 at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

These adorable pups have managed to win Best of Group seven times. But it hasn't been enough to take them to the top spot.

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Among the three sizes of Schnauzers, the Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular in America by a mile.

Among the three sizes of Schnauzers, the Miniature Schnauzer is the most popular in America by a mile.
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

It takes the 19th spot in the AKC ranking, while the Giant Schnauzer is ranked 78th and the Standard Schnauzer is at 89th place.

Yet only the Standard Schnauzer has won Best in Show at Westminster (once, in 1997).

The Miniature Schnauzer has also only won Best of Group once, all the way back in 1947.

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Chihuahuas are the 33rd most popular breed, but they have found little love at Madison Square Garden.

Chihuahuas are the 33rd most popular breed, but they have found little love at Madison Square Garden.
A Chihuahua is groomed at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York on February 11, 2019. Xinhua/ via Getty Images

From Taco Bell commercials to a co-starring role in "Legally Blonde" and Paris Hilton's purse, chihuahuas have always been pop culture phenomenons.

And while they've been competing at Westminster since 1904, the sassy breed has only won Best of Group once. Elle Woods would not approve.

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The Shih Tzu may have noble roots, but the adorable toy dog has yet to take the crown at Westminster.

The Shih Tzu may have noble roots, but the adorable toy dog has yet to take the crown at Westminster.
A Shih Tzu gets groomed at the Westminster Dog Show in February 2013. Mary Altaffer / AP

Ranked 20th among the top dog breeds in the US, the Shih Tzu has managed to win Best of Group five times since it began competing in 1969.

But the grand prize has evaded the playful pup, often losing out to the pekingese (which has won Best of Show four times) and the toy poodle (which has won twice), according to the AKC.

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Australian shepherds are the 15th most popular dog in the US, yet they've struggled to find the same popularity at Westminster.

Australian shepherds are the 15th most popular dog in the US, yet they've struggled to find the same popularity at 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're nicknamed, have received some spotlight since they debuted at the competition in 1994.

The breed took Best of Group in 2008, showing it may have more luck in the future.

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The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is the 18th most popular breed in the US, yet it has never won Best in Show - or even Best of Group - at Westminster.

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is the 18th most popular breed in the US, yet it has never won Best in Show - or even Best of Group - at Westminster.
A Cavalier King Charles spaniel at the Westminster Dog Show in New York City. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

But the beautiful breed has only been competing at Westminster since 1997, so time will only tell if it can make a real splash.

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Shetland sheepdogs are known for being extremely intelligent, yet their wits haven't swayed the judges at Westminster just yet.

Shetland sheepdogs are known for being extremely intelligent, yet their wits haven't swayed the judges at Westminster just yet.
A Shetland sheepdog at the 138th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Madison Square Garden on February 10, 2014. Ben Hider/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

But the herding breed, which takes the 25th spot on AKC's popularity ranking, has come close to the top spot. Shetland sheepdogs have won Best of Group five times since their debut at the show.

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Terrier breeds have won big at Westminster through the decades, but the Boston terrier has had far less luck.

Terrier breeds have won big at Westminster through the decades, but the Boston terrier has had far less luck.
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

The wire fox terrier and Scottish terrier alone have taken Best in Show more than 40% of the time during the competition's history, according to the AKC.

But the Boston terrier has never won, despite being the 21st most popular dog in America.

The playful pup, nicknamed the "American Gentleman," is still waiting to join its fellow terriers at the top.

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Dalmatians are among the most famous pups in American pop culture, but they still haven't felt the love at Westminster.

Dalmatians are among the most famous pups in American pop culture, but they still haven't felt the love at 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 coat hasn't been enough to catch the eye of the Westminster judges.

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Mastiffs also have yet to win big at Westminster.

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 prodigious strength."

"The mastiff is docile and dignified, but also a formidable protector of those they hold dear," the description adds.

It's a rousing introduction, but these massive dogs have still had a hard time winning the hearts of the judges at Westminster. No mastiff breed has ever won Best in Show at the competition.

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