After hours of consideration and showings of the beautiful dogs, there was finally a winner! If your not familiar with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, this is how it goes.
There are seven classes, each class contains a number of different breeds. The judge looks at each breed and chooses the best looking dog compared to the perfect condition of that breed. There is a first, second, and third place in that class. The best in class goes on to the final seven, for the judge to decide which is the best in show.
The Hound Group
For the first group, we have the Hound Group. In third place for the Hound Group is the Scottish Deerhound:
Characterized as “the most perfect creature” by Sir Walter Scott, where do we find the essence of this graceful and stately sighthound? Great stature with greyhound-like curves and a natural, wiry coat with shaggy beard and brows give him a wise appearance and reinforce his natural dignity. Keenness, great speed, and endurance make him formidable in the field. A Deerhound breeder once said that Deerhounds steadfastly believe the best of their humans. Their quiet dignity, readiness to forgive injury and remember kindness, sudden fits of irresponsible gaiety, wistful expression, and unfaltering friendship are their hallmarks.
In second for the Hound Group was the amazing and gorgeous Greyhound:
A swift and ancient coursing breed dating from the time of Cleopatra, Greyhounds accompanied Spanish explorers to the New World in the 1500’s and were present in the Colonies by the Revolutionary War. English and Irish imports of the 1800’s used their talents to control wild game in the developing American West, and today’s show Greyhounds descend from imports in the early 1900’s. Built for speed, the Greyhound is powerful, symmetrical, balanced, and keen. Greyhounds adore human companionship, and indeed are happiest when engaged in play and running. Today, Greyhounds are successful show dogs and compete in obedience, agility, and coursing events.
And coming in first for the Hound Group was the Whippet:
The Whippet was probably bred from Greyhounds crossed with terriers and established as a breed in Northern England nearly 200 years ago. Recognized by the AKC in 1888, the Whippet, because of his natural athletic abilities and endearing personality, has continued to gain popularity since. He is affectionate and intelligent. He is clean because of his smooth short coat and his needs are simple – comfort and human companionship. A versatile sighthound, he can be a bed warmer or couch potato or a small-game hunter or race dog extraordinaire. He is a show dog or, most importantly, a delightful and adaptable pet.
The Toy Group
Next up we have the Toy Group, probably the cutest, and all around favorite class. In third we have the Shih Tzu:
The Shih Tzu, according to tradition, was developed in China’s Imperial courts by the crossing of ancient Chinese and Tibetan breeds. This royal Toy dog became extinct in China following the revolution of 1949 but fortunately, a number of Shih Tzu had been taken home by diplomats so the breed was continued in England, Norway and Sweden. In recent years the breed has become enormously popular in the United States as a sturdy, lively, alert Toy dog that is a happy companion. Shih Tzu in the show ring have a long flowing double coat; family pets look charming in a variety of short-hair clips.
In second for the toy group we have the Pekingese:
Always a favorite pet of the American and European aristocracies, the Pekingese is an ancient toy breed originating in China dating back to 800 A.D. It is one of the few breeds drawing its name from a capital city – Peking, now Beijing. Pekingese were the favored breed of the Chinese Imperial Court and were brought first to England, then from there to America. Legend attributes their origin to a mythical cross between a lion and a marmoset. The smallest Pekingese are known as “Sleeve Dogs” because they were carried in the voluminous sleeves of the Chinese nobility. The Pekingese is a long-lived, active breed that is as ideal for apartment living as it is for a palatial home.
And in first for the toy group we have the Toy Poodle:
Don’t be fooled by the Poodle’s fancy haircut – this is a dog for all reasons (and comes in three sizes!). Whether you desire a charming companion, show dog, hunting retriever with a sense of humor (forgives you if you miss a shot), the Poodle fits the bill–and mostly because he or she is bright, alert and trainable. The Poodle originated in Germany, and has become one of the most popular dogs in America. Toys are up to 10 inches high, Miniatures between 10 and 15 inches, and Standards over 15″.
Third we have the non-sporting group, in third place we have the bulldog:
In America this breed is simply called ‘Bulldog’, not ‘English Bulldog’. Though originally bred for the brutal sport of bull baiting, the bulldog today, is ‘Non-sporting”. His tough-guy good looks, courage and tenacity have made him a symbol of determination for many sports teams, but don’t be fooled! A well-bred bulldog is a fun-loving and extremely affectionate family member. He adapts well to a family with playful children or to sedate apartment living. As a wash and wear breed to show, he is a popular owner-handled dog.
In second we have the Chinese Shar-Pei:
The Chinese Shar-Pei is a unique and intelligent dog most often recognized for its wrinkles. Initially developed as an all purpose Chinese farm dog, the breed does well today in obedience, agility, herding and tracking, with skills that would have been needed on the farm. Because the name “Shar-Pei” means “sand coat”, harshness is a distinctive feature in its two accepted coat types, either horse (short) or brush (up to an inch long). Other unique qualities include black mouth pigment, a slightly “hippo-like” head shape, small ears, deepset eyes and rising topline.
And coming in first place in the non-sporting group is the French Bulldog:
The French Bulldog is a small, compact, heavy-boned and short-haired dog whose ‘bat’ ears and short face give it a sweet but pugnacious expression. Frenchies originated in the 1800’s from the same ancestor as modern Bulldogs, and their original function as a companion dog and lap pet are still their main “job” for which they are admirably suited by their strong attachment to people. Though some like to hunt, retrieve, and pretend to be guard dogs whenever a stranger is at the door, most French Bulldogs excel at being friendly, loving clowns whose raison d’être is to be adored.
In the fourth group, the herding group, in the third place we have the Bearded Collie:
Bearded Collies were developed as herding dogs and family companions in Scotland, reaching U.S. shores in the 1950s. Their medium size, shaggy appearance and bouncy enthusiasm quickly won them fans. In 1977, the breed received AKC recognition. Despite the dogs’ winsome appearance, they are not pushovers and need training for humans and canines to be content. Today Beardies are popular partners in almost any activity: conformation, obedience, agility, herding, flyball, freestyle, therapy and as just plain friends. Beardies were first eligible to compete at Westminster Kennel Club in 1978.
In second place we have the Belgian Sheepdog:
As the name implies, the Belgian Sheepdog is a sheep-herding dog from Belgium. During World War I they were used extensively on the battlefield as message carriers, ambulance dogs, and for pulling machine guns. The breed was first seen here in 1907. True to their origins, they continue to be successful herders, as well as excelling in many of today’s competitive activities. They are prized for their intelligence, desire to learn and work as a partner with their owners, and for their agile, efficient working structure. They are devoted companions and willing to give their all to those they love.
And in the first place, we have the beautiful Puli:
The Puli is a medium-sized sheepherding dog from Hungary. He is a compact, square appearing, well balanced dog who is vigorous, alert and active. Perhaps his most distinctive feature is his densely corded coat, which can reach down to the ground at maturity. The cords start to form naturally at about 9-12 months of age. The Puli’s characteristic shaggy coat, light-footed movement, agility, and enthusiastic personality have fitted him for the strenuous work of herding flocks on the plains of Hungary. The Puli fares best with firm but gentle obedience training as a youngster and frequent bathing as an adult.
The Sporting Group
The third place winner went to the Gordon Setter:
The Gordon Setter combines beauty, brains and “birdsense” in a good-sized, sturdily built, black and tan dog. Developed as a hunting breed – a pursuit today’s Gordons still excel at – they can adapt to nearly every living situation. However, as a high energy, intelligent breed, they need plenty of physical and mental exercise and human contact to maintain peak condition. Gordons are alert, lively and loyal dogs, devoted to family. They are gentle with children and tend to show strong protective instincts toward “their” kids. They tolerate attention from people they do not know rather than seeking such attention.
In second place we have the Irish Water Spaniel:
The Irish Water Spaniel is the sole surviving water dog of the British Isles. Its exact origins are unknown, although it is generally thought to have evolved in part from dogs brought to Ireland by way of the Iberian Peninsula. By the mid-nineteenth century, the breed had been developed as a retriever of waterfowl, and soon became America’s most popular retrieving breed. Its eager disposition, curly coat and rat-like tail made it uniquely qualified for water work. Today, the breed retains all of its original characteristics, and enjoys a special prominence in the home as a bold and dashing companion animal. The Irish Water Spaniel looks much like an un-shaved poodle.
In the wonderful first place for the sporting group we have the Brittany:
A medium size, strong, energetic hunter, the Brittany was originally developed in the 1850’s from crossing English Setters and French Spaniels. This produced an athletic dog that today boasts more Dual Champions (holding both conformation and field titles) than any other sporting breed. Brittanys have passed the test upon every type of game for which pointing dogs are used. They have the disposition of the best house dog. They excel in the field, obedience, agility and show rings, and make excellent therapy dogs. They are happy, alert and intelligent, and require a home with an active lifestyle.
The Working Group
For the third place winner, we have the Portuguese Water Dog:
The Portuguese fisherman prized this seafaring breed for their spirited yet obedient nature. A robust dog of medium build, the Portuguese Water Dog can complete a full day’s work in or out of the water. He is a loyal companion and an alert guard. Two coat types, either curly or wavy, and two clips, either retriever or lion clip, distinguish this highly intelligent, utilitarian breed. With an impressive head, rugged well-knit body, and a powerful tail, the Portuguese Water Dog provides the impression of a strong, spirited working dog.
Second place went to the Boxer:
The Boxer is a highly intelligent, medium-sized square dog with clean lines and balanced proportions. He was refined and bred from ancestors in Germany called Bullenbeisers–historically used to run down and hold large, formidable game animals–bear and boar. Today’s Boxer is fearless but tractable, energetic, and wonderfully patient with children. Extremely intuitive, he is at all times responsive to his master’s moods. He is the ideal family dog, but can be protective when called upon. Not a dog for the frail or timid, he is boisterous and clownish, cherishing his toys and his family into oldest age.
And for first place of the Working Group we have the Doberman Pinscher:
The Doberman Pinscher is best described as “an elegant athlete in a tight-fitting wrapper.” This square, compact and muscular dog gives the immediate impression of grace, beauty and nobility, while at the same time being energetic and fearless. It has made its mark through the years as a police, military and service dog. But it is best known today as an intelligent, affectionate and obedient companion. A spectacular Doberman Pinscher sculpture, “Always Faithful,” a tribute to war dogs and veterinarians, is on permanent display at the U.S. War Dog Cemetery in Guam, at the Quantico Marine Corps Research Center in Virginia, at the University of Tennessee Veterinary School, and at the AKC Museum of the Dog in St. Louis.
The Terrier Group
In third place came the Norwich Terrier:
The ancestors of today’s Norfolk and Norwich Terriers originated in England. There, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, breeders bred and sold small, harsh-coated, red terriers to Cambridge University students to rid their dorms of rats, and to local horsemen to work as barnyard ratters and fox bolters. The breed was officially recognized as Norwich Terriers in England in 1932 and in America in 1936. Originally registered as Norwich – Prick Ear or Drop Ear, the two ear types became separate breeds in England in 1964 and in America in 1979. Prick ears retained the name Norwich, while drop ears became Norfolk Terriers. In America, both breeds are represented by a single parent club-the Norwich and Norfolk Terrier Club (NNTC).
In Second we had the Smooth Coated Fox Terrier:
Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers originated in 19th century England where they were bred to “bolt” the fox out of its den. Weighing about 20 pounds, Fox terriers are a high energy breed, cheerful, lively, intelligent, independent, and affectionate. Excelling both as hunters of small game and family pets, their compact size makes them at home in city or country. Smooth Fox Terriers feature an easy-care coat, while Wires must be plucked or clipped, but do not shed. Fox Terriers such as “Asta” have starred in films and the breed excels in earthdog, flyball and agility competition and in careers from circus performance to drug sniffing.
And in the first place of the class and the whole show, receiving the coveted “Best In Show” award, we have the Scottish Terrier:
The Scottish Terrier was originally bred to rid highland farms of ground-dwelling predators. In the early 20th century, the breed became a popular show dog and family pet in England and the United States. Despite its small size, the Scottish Terrier is a powerful dog with well-developed hunting and digging instincts. Scotties are supremely independent little dogs who can be stubborn and sensitive at the same time. They are often aggressive with other dogs of the same sex, but can usually learn to respect a cat. Scotties require regular grooming to keep their smart appearance. Scotties are inclined to ignore strangers until they have been properly introduced.
Congratulations to all the beautiful dogs who even made it into the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show 2010! There was so many gorgeous dogs, and I’m sure it was very tough for the judges to pick the best!
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