We have all heard of the coveted “Best In Show” title at the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show every year, and chances are that you love to see who wins it each year. The breed, the color, the style, the size – no matter what draws you to see who wins the best in show title each year, every dog owner can see a bit of their best furry friend in that show dog. Most dog owners aren’t familiar with all of the work that goes into getting a dog ready for a dog show. Even more owners have no idea what it takes to win the best in show title over the hundreds of other dogs that are at the show. So what does it take for a specific dog to win “Best In Show”? And what does the “Best In Show” title even mean for those who win it at the Westminster Dog Show?
Let’s start with the title itself and what it means at the Westminster Dog Show every year. The “Best In Show” title is given to the overall winner of the show itself. The judges view hundreds of dogs each year at the annual contest and the overall winner of the show is given the “Best In Show” title. The Westminster Dog Show is an all breed show, meaning that every dog there is judged overall together for the best title as well as several other different awards throughout the show. So, this means that Great Danes will go up against Chihuahuas, Rottweilers will go up against Silk Terriers, and so on, no matter what breed you enter into the show, it will be judged against all of the others. To win that coveted “Best In Show” title, means simply that specific dog is the very best one in the whole show according to the judges.
Now, let’s get into what makes up a “Best In Show” dog and how they are chosen. Every dog in the Westminster Dog Show are judged by the overall standards of their breed. For example, each different breed, such as the English Bulldog, have specific standards according to the Westminster Kennel Club and each English Bulldog in the show will be judged by those standards. These will be different for every breed and every dog entered. Once a “Best Of Breed” winner is crowned for each different breed of dog at the show that year, they then go into a competition with all of the other “Best Of Breed” winners for the “Best In Show” title.
The judges will get all of the “Best Of Breed” winners together and they will take their time going over every one and how high they rank on that breed’s standards. From there, they have to decide which of the “Best Of Breed” winners takes the title of “Best In Show”. Once a winner is crowned, they then start their responsibility of becoming “America’s Dog” and traveling all over the US to different events, shows, and fairs. The winner of the “Best In Show” also gains almost immediately popularity, meaning that any offspring of that particular dog will be highly sought after for many years.