The 10 Cutest Dogs in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Photos of the best-looking pups, according to me.

Television has probably rotted my brain, but I can’t seem to stop watching. Sometimes I enjoy bad TV just as much as good TV. The Wire was great, but did it have a moment as good as Brooke’s freakout on Real World: Denver? I’m not sure where the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show fits on this list, but I do know I enjoy it as much as anything on TV. I first started watching the dog show when it would occasionally pre-empt professional wrestling (speaking of great bad TV) as a kid. I liked it immediately. It was even more exciting than the Repo Man repossessing Macho Man’s hat.

The dog show has turned into must-watch viewing. It’s the Super Bowl for American dogs, so the show is essentially the best of every dog—in both looks and behavior—broadcast in 1080i high definition. I could never announce a dog show, because I’d spend the whole time just going, “Awwww!”

Although it’s the yearly big event for the dogs, the broadcast of Westminster is more like the Olympics: Excellent, appropriately serious coverage of the event interspersed with puff pieces on the athletes (or dogs). The great Mary Carillo even does coverage for both! In a way, the dog show is better, since the puff pieces are just about how cute the dogs are instead of the athletes overcoming a tragic backstory.

There’s even a chance to yell at the TV, as the dog show usually picks an ugly dog to win. For the past few years, Westminster has picked cute dogs—a beagle, a springer spaniel—but this year they returned to the ugly dog rule and picked a Pekingese. Hey, at least it wasn’t one of those dogs with a football-shaped head. I’m sure the Pekingese is a great companion, but when I’m watching on TV all I care about is cuteness.

As such, I bring you the real top 10 dogs at the dog show, in no particular order. Consider this one veteran TV watcher’s best in show.

How did this dog not win? He’s learned how to use Facebook! I know dogs are judged by how well they conform to the breed standard, but if a dog learns how to use social media you maybe need to throw the rules out and just declare him the winner.

And what of Scooby-Doo, the official state dog of Pennsylvania? I figured the state dog was chosen by some backdoor deal to a friend, but according to State Symbols USA there’s actually a portrait of William Penn and a Great Dane in the Governor’s reception room. That site also quotes the resolution that made the Dane the state dog: “When the Speaker of the House called for a voice vote to designate the Great Dane, yips, growls and barks assaulted his ears from every part of the chamber!” This is the best thing the state legislature will ever do.

The English Springer Spaniel is the most successful cute dog at Westminster, and as such is always one you should be rooting for. (This is fact. Look it up.)

What’s really great about the dog show is, after a dog wins the Best in Group, all the dogs and their handlers rush to the center to greet each other and congratulate the winner. Do fights ever break out? Oh, I hope fights sometimes break out. Between the handlers, not the dogs.

That dog earlier knew how to use Facebook. What about these dogs, who bested Jim Cramer in a stock-picking contest? Okay, maybe that’s not the hardest thing in the world, but I’m still impressed. (Note: I didn’t watch this episode of Mad Money. I’m just assuming that’s what happened.)

Otterhounds are pretty cute, and you only get to see them at a dog show since nobody really has them as pets. But—aww!—this guy’s name is Under the Influence. They should have given him the win just for that.

Martha Stewart’s dog, Genghis Khan II, won Best in Breed at Westminster but didn’t advance any farther. I would never want to cross Martha Stewart, so I fully expect something terrible to happen to the Westminster Kennel Club now. Also, this Chow Chow is pretty cute. But I guess obviously she has good taste.

Did Cavalier King Charles Spaniels get a huge boost in popularity from Sex and the City? Did they get a huge boost in popularity because they’re adorable? What’s nice about seeing a Cavalier is it reminds you of the funny TV show and not the terrible, terrible movies.


When they announced the beagle, they mentioned that Uno the Beagle won in 2008 and the Madison Square Garden crowd cheered like Jeremy Lin had just hit the game-winning three. Can we get him to play one-on-one with Lin? They’ve both had equally long careers.

Announcer David Frei said of the golden retriever: “I get that question everywhere I go, ‘How come a golden retriever has never won Best in Show at Westminster?'” That’s a travesty, but I hope if any of you ever see David Frei you ask that question. Don’t accept any answer, even if he’s dining in a fancy restaurant with friends and family. Maybe if we all pester him enough we’ll finally get a golden as champion.