Westminster's Most Successful Dog Breeds

By Michelle Fox, CNBC.com

Westminster's Top Dog Breeds and Their Prices

For 135 years, breeds of all shapes and sizes have vied to be named top dog at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This year, 185 breeds and varieties will be competing for the title Best in Show. Some breeds have grabbed the coveted title more times than others.

Here, we look at the breeds that have won the most Best in Show awards and how much it would cost to purchase a puppy in that group. Since several factors affect the price of a potentially award-winning pup, each breed has a price range. Those factors include pedigree, location of the breeder, age of the puppy and whether it was bred to be a pet or a potential show dog. To purchase an older show dog, especially one that has won awards, expect to dig even deeper into your wallet.

See the slideshow: Westminster's Most Successful Dog Breeds


PekingesePekingesePekingese

Number of wins: 3
Price: $500-$2,000

The Pekingese, named after the ancient Chinese city of Peking, was originally bred as an "ornamental accessory for Emperors and courtiers," according to the Pekingese Club of America. The exact date of the breed's beginning is unknown, but its image can been seen in Chinese artwork dating to the 8th century.

They are small dogs but are not dainty. Instead, the American Kennel Club says they have a "lion-like" image, which implies dignity and courage. Pekingese are also described as smart and affectionate.


PointerPointerPointer

Number of wins: 3
Price: $800-$2,000

According to the American Kennel Club, the pointer is a "hard-driving hunting dog possessing stamina, courage, and the desire to go."
The breed was developed in England in the 1600s to assist hunters in finding and retrieving game, and it's still at it today. However, the dog's agreeable nature makes it a good pet. Just remember to give it lots of exercise.


Airedale TerrierAiredale TerrierAiredale Terrier

Number of wins: 4
Price: $1,00-$2,500

The Airedale is the largest of the terrier breeds and is believed to have originated in the valley of Aire in England.

The Airedale is a well-rounded dog and has been used as a messenger, wartime guard and hunter. It was also one of the first breeds used as police dogs in Britain and Germany. The canine has a sweet temperament but will assert itself if challenged.


BoxerBoxerBoxer

Number of wins: 4
Price: $1,500-$2,500

The boxer has not only won over the judges' hearts four times to win Best in Show at Westminster, it is also one of the most popular dogs in the U.S. Their popularity stems from their personality - while boxers are protective, they also crave human affection and love children.

Before reaching beloved pet status, boxers worked as war-time couriers and seeing-eye dogs. The breed originated in Germany in the 19th century and was initially used as dog fighters and hunters.


Doberman PinscherDoberman PinscherDoberman Pinscher

Number of wins: 4
Price: $500-$1,500

This muscular breed makes an excellent guard dog, but it has also been described as a loving and loyal companion. In fact, Doberman pinschers are nicknamed "Velcro dogs" because they like to stick to their owners. Since the canines are smart and easily trained, they've been a popular choice for police and war dogs.

The Doberman pinscher originated in Germany and is named after Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, who created the dog by combining several different breeds. A Doberman is born with floppy ears and a long tail, but many have their ears "cropped" so they stand up straight and their tails shortened, or "docked."


Sealyham TerrierSealyham TerrierSealyham Terrier

Number of wins: 4
Price: $1,500-$2,000

This small dog is "charming and inquisitive," according to the American Kennel Club, but it's also "spirited" and therefore needs to stay active.

The Sealyham gets its name from Sealy Ham, the estate of the man who developed the breed, Capt. John Edwards. The hunting dog was developed to track game above and below ground, and its white coat helps it stand out from the animals it goes underground to capture.


English Springer SpanielEnglish Springer SpanielEnglish Springer Spaniel

Number of wins: 6
Price: $1,200-$2,500

The English springer spaniel is a sporting dog, originally bred to flush out game for hunters. The breed competes in show competitions as well as field trials, where the dogs show off their hunting skills.

Springers first came to North America in 1913. The American Kennel Club says the canine, which is enthusiastic and eager to please, is recognized for its "ability to keep going and going under adverse hunting conditions." Springers are also said to make great pets thanks to their affectionate nature.


Scottish TerrierScottish TerrierScottish Terrier

Number of wins: 8
Price: $1,500-$2,500

The Scottish terrier, or Scottie, not only holds eight Best in Show awards, it is also the only breed of dog that has lived in the White House three times. Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and George W. Bush all owned Scotties during their time in office.

Originally bred to hunt vermin on farms, the Scottish terrier came to the U.S. in the 1890s and is now a popular pet. Just don't forget to send it to obedience school - the American Kennel Club says the dogs have "spirited natures."

PoodlePoodlePoodle

Number of wins: 9
Price: $1,000-$2,500 (standard poodle)
$1,000-$2,000 (miniature poodle)
$1,200-$2,500 (toy poodle)

Poodles come in three sizes - standard, miniature (pictured left) and toy - and all three compete separately at Westminster. It's also one of the most popular breeds in America.

Of the group, the standard poodle, which is over 15 inches tall, has racked up the most Best in Show awards, with four. The miniature poodle, between 10 and 15 inches tall, has won three times and the toy poodle, which is 10 inches or less, has captured the title twice.

Poodles were originally water retrievers and were given a "poodle clip" - a stylish fur clipping for which the breed is now known - to allow them to move through water more efficiently. Fur is left on areas of the canine's body to protect its joints and vital organs.


Fox TerrierFox TerrierFox Terrier
Number of wins: 17
Price: $1,200-$2,500 plus (wire fox terrier)
$700-$1,500 (smooth fox terrier)

Fox terriers have dominated the Best in Show awards, pulling in the most wins in Westminster history. The wire fox terrier (pictured left) and the smooth fox terrier were originally in the same category but have been considered two separate breeds since 1984. Combined, fox terriers have had 17 Best in Show trophies, including 13 for the wire fox terriers.

Fox terriers originated in the British Isles in the 17th century and were bred to drive fox and other game from their dens. Despite their roots, they are not generally used for hunting these days. However, they are known as excellent watch dogs.



Cocker SpanielCocker SpanielCocker Spaniel Number of wins: 4 Price: $500-$1,500
There are three varieties of the cocker spaniel - black, A.S.C.O.B. (any solid color other than black), and parti (any color plus white). Each competes separately at Westminster. The black cocker spaniel has won Best in Show twice, and the A.S.C.O.B. and parti have each captured the title once.
Cocker spaniels like to hunt and can assist hunters in retrieving game. They are also among the most popular dogs in the U.S. and "thrive" as part of a family, according to the American Kennel Club.




See the full slideshow: Westminster's Most Successful Dog Breeds


Watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Monday, February 13 at 8 p.m. on USA Network, continuing at 9 p.m. on CNBC, and Tuesday February 14 at 8 p.m. on USA Network.


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