Tonight, many a good dog will walk the floor that many a great dog walked before them. At Madison Square Garden, in the heart of New York City, the Westminster Dog Show will select one winner to stand above them all. But will that dog be a Terrier?
In a stunning article from FiveThirtyEight, Oliver Roeder chronicles the highs and lows of the Terrier’s accomplishments at Westminster. Mostly the highs, though, as the chart below will show.
A Terrier seems to have taken the Westminster title more often than not. But it hasn’t been all wine and roses for the Terriers, despite their consistent success at Westminster, since the elite competition does not always speak to popular sentiment.
These charts from FiveThirtyEight call careful attention to the history of Terriers, juxtaposing their successful dog show performances to their apparent decline in general popularity as other breeds rose to prominence.
So while the Terrier and its many forms have dipped in popularity compared to their previous popularity…
…and other breeds became more common household companions…
…one Terrier has stood the test of time. The Yorkshire Terrier, or Yorkie.
Rising in popularity as “dog parenting” became more socially acceptable (or stuck its foot in the door and refused to leave until you LET US IN!!!), the Yorkie only has one Westminster victory to its credit. So a Yorkie might not be the dark horse Terriers are pulling for in this competition, though the numbers suggest a Terrier still holds a good chance at victory.
Looking at the chart below, it’s easy to see how a Terrier could meet the high expectations of Westminster. They are the epitome of a proper-looking dog, with poise and grace to boot.
Good luck to all the pups competing tonight!