Westminster Dog Show 2013: New Breeds Are Unlikely to Succeed in First Year

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2013

Treeing Walker Coonhound
Treeing Walker Coonhound

One of the more exciting moments of the Westminster Dog Show is seeing the debut of the newest breeds. Unfortunately, this year's group is unlikely to do well in the competition.

In 2013, only two new breeds will be a part of the prestigious event. 

The Russell Terrier is a smaller dog that was originally bred in 1800's and was used for fox hunting, according to the Westminster Kennel Club website.

Meanwhile, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is a little bigger and is described by the site as "intelligent, confident and sociable."

Unsurprisingly, they will compete in the terrier and hound groups respectively. However, recent history indicates that they will not do well in the first year at the event.

Last year, six different breeds debuted. This included the American English Coonhound, Cesky Terrier, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Finnish Lapphund, Norwegian Lundehund and the Xoloitzcuintli.

Despite the varied looks and attributes of each representative, none of these dogs were able to finish in the Top Four of their respective group.

The same thing happened in 2011, when six new breeds were all shut out from placing in their groups.

When it comes to Westminster, judges are much more likely to choose breeds that they are comfortable with seeing. Originality does not trump those that are the best in a common field.

This theory can be seen as recently as last year's event. The winner was Palacegarden Malachy, a Pekingese that reached the final round the year before.

While it was the first time a Pekingese won since 1993, that breed has won the toy group seven times since that year and was usually in the running for Best in Show.

It is obvious that the familiarity with the breed and the dog itself helped push the judges toward Malachy in the end.

The Treeing Walker Coonhounds and the Russell Terriers might end up being perennial contenders at some point down the line. Unfortunately, they should expect a quick exit in 2013.

Note: All photos courtesy of the Westminster Kennel Club.

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