The wire fox terrier continued a dominant tradition at last year’s Westminster Dog Show.
With the breed’s Best in Show win in 2019, it marked the 47th victory by a terrier at the premiere event, according to Paul Myerberg of USA Today, the most of any group. More specifically, the wire fox terrier has won 15 times, the most of any breed, including twice in the last six years.
Can a terrier add to that legacy this year? The 2020 Westminster Dog Show began over the weekend, continues Monday and concludes Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
It’s the 144th annual edition of the show, which features more than 200 dog breeds competing against the others in its category and looking to advance to the Best in Show competition.Here’s everything you need to know about this
In order to advance to the Best in Show competition, a breed must win its respective group’s competition. The seven groups are herding, hound, non-sporting, sporting, terrier, toy and working. The group competitions will take place Monday and Tuesday, before the event culminates with the Best in Show finale on Tuesday night.
The top four finishers in each group receive a prize, but only the winners advance to Best in Show.
Here’s what the dogs will be judged on: general appearance, movement and temperament, coat, colors, eye color and shape, ear shape and placement, feet and tail, among other factors.
“Say if you had two very different dogs like German shepherds vs. corgis, you’re going to be judging whether it’s closer to that ideal German shepherd or corgi,” Westminster Dog Show national spokesperson Gail Miller Bisher said, according to Janine Puhak of Fox News. “It’s much more detailed than people think. It’s not a beauty contest at all. There’s history involved, there’s science involved—there is a lot more to it.”
Each year, there is usually at least one new breed participating in the show. The Azawakh is making its Westminster Dog Show debut this year. According to Myerberg, the Azawakh “is a sighthound, a breed that includes certain types of greyhounds, and originates from West Africa.”
If history is any indication, there’s a solid chance that a terrier breed could again win this year’s Best in Show. Behind the terriers’ 47 wins, no other group has more than 18 total victories.
However, the last five winners have come from different groups, as well as six of the last seven. And with some strong competitors in other groups, there’s a chance a non-terrier wins the top prize.
But the one thing viewers can always expect from the Westminster Dog Show is getting to see some of the best, most well-trained dogs competing for these top honors.