The first annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show took place in New York City in 1877. Now in its 143rd year, making it one of America’s longest-running sporting events (second only to the Kentucky Derby at the iconic Churchill Downs), the televised contest serves to celebrate the companionship of dogs while promoting responsible ownership, health and breed preservation.
Over the course of two days, there are multiple competition categories including hound, toy, sporting, non-sporting, herding, working and terrier, and the winning breed from each of those groups competes for the top honor of Best in Show. Nearly 3,000 dogs will go paw to paw for the Best in Show title.
Best in Show was first awarded in 1907, when the honor went to a smooth fox terrier named Ch. Warren Remedy. (Ch., for champion, is an earned title added to the dogs’ names.) She also won the following two years, and remains the only dog to ever win three times. Six other dogs have won Best in Show twice; the most recent was springer spaniel Ch. Chinoe's Adamant James in 1971 and 1972. But according to the American Kennel Club, there’s one breed that’s won more than the others.
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The wire fox terrier is the winningest breed of them all with 15 Best in Show titles, the most recent being Ch. King Arthur van Foliny Home in 2019. The fashionable, family-friendly canine has a soft underbelly and hard, non-shedding outer coat, making this breed a fine contender for allergy sufferers in search of a four-legged friend that won’t make them sneeze.
The second most-winning breed is the Scottish terrier, which has taken Best in Show eight times. The small but chic black dog has a serious and dignified demeanor. While it might not be considered the friendliest breed, its deep loyalty to a special few is lifelong. The last Scottie to win Best in Show was Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot in 2010.
To find out who takes the grand prize this year, watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2. The competition, which takes place at Madison Square Garden, begins Monday, Feb. 10 at 8 a.m. Eastern and ends on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 11 p.m. Who knows, Best in Show just might go to the most popular dog breed in America.