Understanding the Key Factors Behind a Westminster Best in Show Winner

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By 5mustsee.com

Every year in May, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center hosts over 2,500 dogs from across the U.S. and 12 countries for the prestigious dog show. Among various prizes, the ultimate accolade is the Best in Show title.

In the history of the competition, only 116 dogs have claimed this top honor, representing 46 different breeds. By analyzing data from the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and the American Kennel Club, Stacker has identified trends in the winners of the Best in Show category throughout the event’s existence.

Participating in the Westminster show is no trivial feat. Owners invest extensive time and effort in their dogs’ care, including diet management, grooming, dental hygiene, and training to ensure they excel in the competition.

Lori Pelletier, a terrier breed judge at Westminster, emphasizes the dedication required to prepare each dog physically and mentally for the rigorous competition.

The Best in Show title is the culmination of a series of competitions starting with individual breed shows that lead to group division winners. Ultimately, the top dogs from each group face off to determine the overall winner.

During the judging process, each dog is evaluated against a breed-specific Standard that defines the ideal characteristics in terms of size, shape, and temperament. Judges pay close attention to details such as eye shape, neck muscles, and gait to ensure the dog meets the Standard.

For instance, in German shepherds, key attributes like eye shape and gait play a crucial role in the judging process. Any deviation from the ideal traits can lead to disqualification.

Terrier judge Pelletier not only assesses adherence to the Standard but also looks for the characteristic “terrier spirit” in these dogs. This spirit reflects their historical roles as working dogs and is observed through their movement and behavior.

Judges have a limited time to evaluate each dog, but their assessment begins the moment the dog enters the competition ring. Pelletier emphasizes the importance of breed type and attitude in capturing the judge’s attention.

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