Ten Most Common Breed Winners for Westminster Kennel Club's Best in Show

Written by:

PetMD Editorial
Published: February 10, 2012

A Paw Above the Rest

The Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) held their first dog show competition in 1877, and the rest is history. Every February, aficionados wait to see which breed will earn the prize of “Best in Show, ” or BIS. In this competition, four groups stand out: Non-Sporting, Working, Sporting and Terrier groups. Which one has garnered the most wins? Read on to find out …

Image: Mary Bloom

#10 Sealyham Terrier

Short, stocky, and usually white-coated, the Sealyham Terrier charmed judges with its agility, determination, and surprising grace. Known to be equal parts stubborn and intelligent, this canine from the Terrier group won the BIS prize four times – 1924, 1927, 1936 and 1977.

Image: Nata Sdobnikova / Shutterstock

#9 Poodle (Standard)

This curly-coated retriever breed was originally used to hunt and retrieve ducks. Intelligent, patient, and affectionate, it is no surprise that the Standard Poodle from the Non-Sporting group snagged Westminster's BIS prize four times as well – in 1935, 1958, 1973 and 1989.

Image: Krissi Lundgren / Shutterstock

#8 Doberman Pinscher

Handsome in carriage, and regal (if a little imposing), the Doberman Pinscher originated in Germany as a guard dog. Athletic and energetic, this breed from the Working group wowed the crowd and brought home the BIS prize four times – in 1939, 1952, 1953 and 1989.

Image: Dobermaraner / Shutterstock

#7 Boxer

The Boxer is known for its athleticism, bearing, and muscular frame. The Westminster Kennel Club certainly liked the cut of this member of the Working group’s high-spirited and responsive nature, enough for this breed to walk away with four wins – in 1947, 1949, 1951 and 1970.

Image: exposurefantasy / Shutterstock

#6 American Cocker Spaniel

The Westminster Kennel Club sorts the American Cocker Spaniel by three separate categories – Black, Parti-colored, and Any Solid Color Other than Black, or ASCOB. Despite its small stature, this canine belongs to the Sporting group, and has won the BIS prize four times – Parti-colored in 1921, Black in 1940 and 1941, and ASCOB in 1954.

Image: Lenkadan / Shutterstock

#5 Airedale Terrier

Noted as a favorite among U. S. presidents, this powerful and agile canine is also appreciated for its lively and versatile nature. Being the largest of the Terrier group, the Airedale Terrier won the coveted prize four times – in 1912, 1919, 1922 and 1933.

Image: jarobike / Shutterstock

#4 Smooth Fox Terrier

The Smooth Fox Terrier's quick and responsive reflexes make it a good hunting companion. This adventurous breed is categorized in with the Terrier group and claimed the BIS prize four times in a row – in 1907, 1908, 1909, and 1910.

Image: Laitr Keiows / Shutterstock

#3 English Springer Spaniel

Eager to please, and possessing seemingly boundless energy, the English Springer Spaniel is an especially popular companion to children. Its cheerful temperament also put the Westminster Kennel Club judges in a good enough mood to award this breed from the Sporting group the BIS prize six times – in 1963, 1971, 1972, 1993, 2000, and 2007.

Image: Manfred Steinbach / Shutterstock

#2 Scottish Terrier

Under the moniker “little diehard” the Scottish Terrier stands out from the crowd with its distinctive beard and bushy eyebrows. This short-legged breed from the Terrier group most often sports a dark top coat (but the colors can vary to brindle of any color), this fearless pooch pulls into second place as a WKC BIS favorite, boasting eight wins – in 1911, 1945, 1950, 1965, 1967, 1985, 1995, and 2010.

Image: eAlisa / Shutterstock

#1 Wire Fox Terrier

Having saved the best, or top dog, for last, this spry canine powerhouse has a winning combination of charisma, agility, speed, and a cheerful disposition. The clear winner of winners in Westminster's Best in Show category, the Wire Fox Terrier has swept the award thirteen times – in 1915, 1916, 1917, 1920, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1937, 1946, 1966, and 1992.

Image: PaulShlykov / Shutterstock