Why Don’t Golden Retrievers Win Dog Shows?

One of the many things that any golden retriever owner wonders about is why golden retrievers don’t win dog shows, and if you think about it it’s quite odd, you are definitely not alone.

As a golden retriever owner myself, it crossed my mind a few times, so I finally decided to do my research and here’s everything you need to know.

So, why don’t golden retrievers win dog shows? Golden Retrievers don’t win dog shows because they have deviated too much from their original breed standard, and they are a hugely popular breed which makes it hard to decide the breed standards.

There are many other reasons why golden retrievers don’t many dog shows, some of which are official, some of which are not. This was the short answer but to truly know why you don’t see many goldens on TV with medals around their necks, keep reading.

Why Don’t Golden Retrievers Win Dog Shows

There are three major reasons why golden retrievers don’t win dog shows, which are:

  1. The breed standard 
  2. The popularity 
  3. The judge’s knowledge

The breed standard 

It’s a known fact that in these shows they do not compare dogs to each other but they compare each dog to its breed standard.

So, it can be a problem for both golden retrievers and labrador retrievers because they evolved a lot over time, Also, different regions have unknowingly created very slight variations of both breeds.

This deviation from the breed standard is normal considering the huge popularity of both these breeds.

This deviation from the breed’s original standards makes it difficult for the judges to decide based on their breed standard and it’s much easier for them to choose from the less common breeds.  

One of the many ways goldens change is in their coat and coat color, and you can learn why do golden retrievers change their fur color here.

The popularity

The most important reason is popularity as the judges do not want a dog that is too popular such as golden retriever (third most popular breed).

You can easily see that none of the popular dog breeds won that show before by watching the dog shows and going through the history of the winners of that show.

The judge’s knowledge 

One of the reasons why goldens don’t win dog shows is the judge’s knowledge about the breed.

The judges in any dog show are professionals and they can have more knowledge about some dogs than about others, so they may not have the best knowledge about golden retrievers and it can be down to luck of the chance to which judge is at the show on that specific day.

What is the Westminster Dog Show? 

A dog show to illustrate why don't golden retrievers win dog shows

The Westminster dog show is an all-breed conformation show, there is a requirement for entry.

The Westminster kennel club predates the formation kennel club by seven years and became the first club admitted to the AKC.

The breed parent club creates the standards for judging their breeds with the AKC administering the rules about shows and judging.

Every dog is judged by their breed standard, the standards include items such as tail carriage, color, eye shape, and more.

However, animal-rights advocates such as PETA protest the show because that show celebrates purebreds ultimately and will lead to millions of dogs dying in the shelters.

You can watch the video below from Purina to learn how a dog wins the Westminister Show:


What Breeds Win Dog Shows the Most? 

The breed that has won the most dog shows is the wire fox terrier, which has won 14 times.

Here’s a list of other dog breeds that won dog shows the most:

English springer spaniel(1993), (2000), and (2007)
Pointer (german shorthaired)(2005) and (2016)
Bichon Frise(2001) and (2018)
Scottish terrier(1995) and (2010)
Norwich terrier(1994) and (1998)
Pekingese(1990) and (2012)
Beagle(2008) and (2015)
Standard schnauzer(1997)
Standard poodle(1991)
Miniature poodle (2002)
Kerry Blue terrier(2003)
Colored bull terrier (2006)
Sussex spaniel(2009)
Scottish deerhound(2011)
German shepherd(2017)

Dog Breeds that have never won Westminster Dog Shows 

Here are the dog breeds that have never won Westminster dog shows

  • Golden retriever 
  • Labrador retriever 
  • Dachshund 
  • French bulldog 
  • Rottweiler 
  • Great Dane 
  • Pembroke welsh corgi 
  • Miniature schnauzer 
  • Chihuahua 
  • Shih Tzu 
  • Australian shepherd 
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel 
  • Shetland sheepdogs 
  • Boston terrier 
  • Dalmatian 
  • Mastiff

What is the best show dog?

The best show dog was a smooth fox terrier named Ch. Warren remedy, that dog was the first winner of best in the show and the only dog to have won it on three different occasions.

Has a husky ever won best in the show?

Yes, the Siberian husky did win best in the show at the 2020 Beverly hills dog show that was presented by Purina, the husky beat out hundreds of dogs, the dogs represented over 165 breeds and the varieties recognized by the American kennel club.

How much do the winners of the Westminster dog show win?

The winners of the Westminster dog show do not receive any money, however, that dog goes on to compete in more lucrative dog shows later in the year in a competition such as the AKC national championship and they can win $50,000.

Has a collie ever won Westminster?

Yes, a collie did win Westminster once in 1929. A puppy named Laund loyalty of Belhaven.

The puppy won best in the show at the Westminster kennel club.

It is the only collie to ever go best in the show at the world’s premier dog event.

How much does it cost to enter the Westminster dog show?

It costs $100 to enter the Westminster dog show, but the owners of the show dog will spend more money on other expenses.

Most owners prefer to hire professional handlers to show their dogs and the high-end handlers are so expensive that they can make six figures a year.

What breed won the national dog show?

Here’s a table for the dog breeds that previously won the national dog show

Standard Poodle2020
Bulldog 2019
Whippet 2018
Brussels griffon 2017
Greyhound 2016
Skye terrier 2015
Bloodhound 2014
American foxhound2013
Wire fox terrier 2012
Wire fox terrier 2011
Irish setter 2010
Scottish terrier 2009
Pointer 2008
Australian shepherd2007
Toy poodle 2006
Colored bull terrier2005
Smooth fox terrier2004
Doberman 2003
Standard poodle2002
Labrador retriever 2001

How much do Westminster dog handlers make?

Westminster dog handlers can make between $60 and $100 per day plus expenses.

If the dog handler is showing wins best in the show at Westminster they can make up to $2.500 in one shot.

Has a Boston terrier ever won Westminster?

No, the Boston Terrier has never won Westminster in 142 years, but they won plenty of other competitions such as an American kennel club grand champion.

What are show dogs worth?

 A purebred show dog can cost you from $1,000 to $5,000 and you probably guessed that the rarer the breed is the more the dog will cost you.

What makes a good show dog?

You can take your dog to conformation classes because it teaches you how to present them in the show ring, also you must learn how to restrain them and not just for the show but in life in general. 

What do dog judges look for?

The judges compare them to their mental image of the perfect dog as described in their standard, they will examine the dog closely, and they will consider their appearance, temperament, and structure.  

Related Questions 

Has a Golden Retriever Ever Won Best in Show? 

No, the golden retriever has never won best in the show, but they won best of group 2 times in 2006 and 2020, they came 2nd place one time in 2009, 3rd two times in 2014 and 2017, and 4th place one time in 2005.

Which breed of dog has never won best in the show?

The breed of dogs that has never won best in the show are both Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers but unlike golden retrievers, the labrador never even won the best of the group but they won 11 times in different places such as 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

Who won the Westminster dog show in 2020?

Siba standard poodle won the Westminster dog show in 2020, the siba standard poodle  has just been crowned America’s top dog at the 144th edition of the Westminster kennel club’s annual competition, dethroning the king who won last year’s best in the show (wire fox terrier)


Siba the Standard Poodle Wins the 2020 Westminster Dog Show With a Regal Attitude

Westminster Dog Show 101


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind Retrievershub.com. With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting Retrievershub.com and being part of our vibrant community.

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