If you’ve never been to the annual Westminster dog show—you should—it’s a fascinating spectacle of human behavior.
Director Christopher Guest’s famous “mockumentary” Best In Show barely scratches the surface.
— Westminster Dog Show (@WKCDOGS) February 13, 2019
The first time I went in person I was hit with the profound realization that we breed dogs the way we unawaredly breed ourselves—i.e. constructing race and our canine companions often reflect myriad aspects of the people and cultures that bred them.
“The domestic dog is a genetic enterprise unique in human history,” a team of biologists wrote in a 2004 paper in Science. The animals are all one species — Canis familiaris — but they range from the diminutive 8-pound Brussels griffon to the massive 150-pound Neapolitan mastiff.”
NBC News said it’s no surprise that King who hails from Brazil won: “Wire fox terriers have won 15 times at the nation’s most prestigious dog show, far more than any other breed (Scottish terriers, with eight).”
“[Terriers] are so outgoing and so full of themselves that they don’t get exhausted,” said terrier breeder Diane Orange said to NPR. “And they don’t stress out the way some of the more sensitive breeds do. Very few things bother a terrier.”
The word “terrier” says FiveThirtyEight comes from the Middle French chien terrier — literally, dog of the earth. The dogs were originally bred to kill vermin — there’s still a breed known as the rat terrier. And it is this hunter’s instinct, this fearlessness, that has come to define the temperament of the breed today.”
Some sore losers turned to Twitter to vent their frustration and anger—most suggested the reason King won was nepotism.
No nepotism in this show is there? The judge finds for the breed he’s always worked with. That stinks of “old boy’s club” at every level.— Arenlea Felker (@ArenFelker) February 13, 2019
King’s handler Gabriel Rangel, is an old pro, this is his third win at Westminster.
It was ruff competition, but King the Wire Fox Terrier has been crowned #BestInShow at the #wkcdogshow. @LaraSpencer tells us how he fended off his fluffy foes to take home the title. @WKCDOGS pic.twitter.com/9lzrYo9X1R— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 13, 2019
“I look at King, he’s like a beautiful painting, a piece of art,” Rangel said according to NBC. “The way he stands and performs, he’s the whole package.”