Every year the American Kennel Club holds the National Dog Show in Philadelphia. Watching the show has become a favorite part of my Thanksgiving tradition and I always cheer on the corgis. *grin*
This year, I thought it might be fun to try and predict the winning breeds. First, though, we should talk about how the show actually works.
There are seven categories and many breeds for each category: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Herding, and Non Sporting.
Now, it is impossible to know which specific dogs will be selected as best in breed and represent their breed in the show we all see on TV. This is because there is, first, a competition of each breed (sometimes hundreds of the same breed of dog will compete) to determine who is best in breed. The animals who are determined as best in breed will go on the complete against the other winners in each category to be best in show. Because of this, my guesses and hopes for which dog will win this year are purely guesses based on my preferences – not any kid of actual logic or ability to see how dogs from each group stand up againstthe others.
Since 2004, the winners of best in show were (in order): Fox Terrier, Bull Terrier, Toy Poodle, Australian Shepherd, Pointer, Scottish Terrier, Irish Setter, Wire Fox Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, and American Foxhound. I think I’m seeing a trend here… yes?
No matter, things can always change, right? So lets jump in and see what we think!
Sporting breeds were bred to assist with hunting by locating, marking, flushing out, and retrieving wild game. Breeds included in this group are: English Setter, Gordon Setter, Irish Setter, Pointer, German Shorthaired, Pointer, Weimaraner, Vizsla, Brittany, German Wirehaired, Pointer, Wirehaired Pointing, Griffon, Spinone Italiano, Flat-Coated Retriever, Curly-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling, Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, American Water Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Field Spaniel, Clumber Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel (ASCOB), Cocker Spaniel (Parti-Color), Cocker Spaniel (Black)
For the sporting group, I choose the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Not only are these dogs adorable, but they have a ridiculous name and probably deserve to win just for that.
Afghan Hound, Saluki, Ibizan Hound, Pharaoh Hound, Greyhound, Whippet, Borzoi, Scottish Deerhound, Irish Wolfhound, American Foxhound, English Foxhound, Harrier, Beagle (15 inch), Beagle (13 inch), Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Norwegian Elkhound, Basenji, Black and Tan Coonhound, Bloodhound, Otterhound, Petit Bassett Griffon, Vendéen, Basset Hound, Dachshund (Smooth), Dachshund (Longhaired), Dachshund (Wirehaired), Plott
For the hound group, my prediction is that the Beagle (let’s say the 15 inch) will win. Beagles were bred for tracking and are stubborn, smart, and full to the brim with energy. They also have beautiful coloring.
The working breeds were bred for intelligence and strength. These dogs have, historically, served as police dogs, guard dogs, and service animals. Included breeds are: Doberman Pinscher, German Pinscher, Black Russian Terrier, Giant Schnauzer, Standard Schnauzer, Rottweiler, Bernese, Mountain Dog, Greater Swiss, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Samoyed, Akita, Boxer, Great Dane, Bullmastiff, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Portuguese Water Dog, Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, Great Pyrenees, Kuvasz, Komondor, Anatolian, Shepherd Dog, Tibetan Mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux, Chinook
In this group, I’m going to vote for the Akita. These dogs are known for their intelligence, assertiveness, and protective nature. They can also be pretty aggressive, if not properly trained. Akita’s are so soft looking and I want to cuddle one.
Terriers were bred mostly in Britain for hunting small animals like rats and badgers. They are fast, energetic, and brave animals. Terrier breeds are: Airedale Terrier, Irish Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, Russell Terrier, Rat Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Border Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Manchester Terrier (Standard), Miniature Schnauzer, Australian Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Scottish Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Glen of Imaal Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, White Bull Terrier (White), Colored Bull Terrier (Colored), Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier
I’m rather partial to the Westie (West Highland Terrier) because of their sweet personalities. These little guys are affectionate and friendly, but much less hyperactive than many of the other terrier breeds.
The toy breeds were always meant for companionship and to be kept as indoor pets. This group includes: Italian Greyhound, Chinese Crested, Toy Poodle, Pomeranian, Smooth Coat Chihuahua, Long Coat Chihuahua, Toy Fox Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Toy Manchester Terrier, Havanese, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Cavalier King Charles, Spaniel, English Toy Spaniel (B&PC), Japanese Chin, Papillon, Silky Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon, Pug Pekingese
I love Yorkshire terriers for this group. The show dogs have such beautiful, long coats… I like to think about these dogs sitting on the laps of fancy ladies who have nothing else to do but brush their shiny coats.
Herding dogs were bred for just that, herding. These are hard working, intelligent animals who, historically, worked on farms to move sheep and cattle from place to place. Included in the herding breeds are: Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Briard, Collie (Rough), Collie (Smooth), Shetland Sheepdog, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Bearded Collie, Old English Sheepdog, Polish Lowland, Sheepdog, Puli, Canaan Dog, Australian Cattle Dog, Bouvier des Flandres, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, German Shepherd Dog, Swedish Vallhund, Beauceron
I can’t recall ever seeing a Pembroke Welsh Corgi outperform the others in this category, but Ollie seems to think this is their year. Let’s hope so! *grin*
And last but not least, the nonsporting group which is literally just a catchall for the leftover breeds. Because it’s a hodgepodge of different animals, it’s hard to think critically about what breed ought to win out over the others. This group consists of: Poodle (Standard), Poodle (Miniature), Bichon Frise, Löwchen, Dalmatian, Finnish Spitz, Keeshonden, American Eskimo Dog, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chow, Shiba Inu, Schipperke, Lhasa Apso, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier, Boston Terrier, French Bulldog, Bulldog
My favorite is the shiba inu. These dogs were bred in Japan as companions and hunters. They are very pretty dogs and very loyal to their families.
From these choices for best in breed, I would like to make my hopeful guess that a Pembroke Welsh Corgi will win the best in show. I’m a little biased, though, so if a corgi can’t win, my second choice is the west highland terrier.
I hope you’ll watch the National Dog Show with me tomorrow to see if my guesses and preferences match up with the reality!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Photos and research is thanks to: