For 22 years, Labrador retrievers have been America's most popular dog breed. But being adored by the unwashed masses isn't enough to earn those lovable pups the top prize at the high-falutin' Westminster Dog Show. In all of its 136 years, Westminster has never awarded a Lab the coveted Best in Show honor. So if you're a dog-loving gambler, you'll want to steer clear of those big, happy people-pleasers and set your sights on the Doberman Pinscher. While the Doberman isn't one of America's most popular breeds (it's number 12), the intelligent and loyal dog has the best odds — 7-to-1, according to Wynn Las Vegas — of winning Best in Show at the Westminster event being held this week in New York City. Here, for all you dog show gambling enthusiasts, a rundown of the odds on America's 10 most popular dog breeds:
1. Labrador retriever: 450-to-1 odds
Not only have Labs failed to take Best in Show — the affable pets haven't even made it out of their sub group. The Sporting group is made up of energetic powerhouses, including pointers and spaniels, and has produced 19 Best in Show winners over the years. So why can't the Lab eke out a win? Experts say what makes the dogs so popular among owners is exactly what sets them back — their good temperament. Labs aren't divas, and they're not good enough at being selfish or stealing the spotlight to stand out for the judges. For these reasons, the Labrador remains, as Ben Cohen in the Wall Street Journal says, "the Chicago Cubs of show dogs: The most lovable of four-legged losers." (Robert Dowling/CORBIS)
2. German Shepherd: 28-to-1 odds
This highly intelligent breed is a part of the Herding group, composed of independent thinkers who can both take commands and make decisions on their own. That unique ability is one of the reasons German Shepherds are the world's number one police dog and have been used in the military, in search and rescue, as guide dogs, and family pets. While the German Shepherd has only earned Best in Show once in Westminster's history, in 1987, this might be the breed's year. A German Shepherd named Capi is the number one Herding dog in the U.S. Capi is on a big-time streak, having won his group not only in last year's Westminster show, but also the December American Kennel Club/Eukanuba National Championships. (Benelux/Corbis)
3. Golden retriever: 150-to-1 odds
Golden retrievers have never won Best in Show. But the lovable pet has managed to win its Sporting group twice, most recently in 2006 when 8-year-old Ch Chuckanut Party Favour O Novel took the prize — perhaps because its name was as close to diva as a dog was going to get. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
4. Beagle: 350-to-1 odds
These adorable hound dogs are easy on the eyes and friendly to boot, so it might surprise you that the breed has won Best in Show only once. In 2008, Uno beat out two poodles, a sleek Weimaraner, and a lively Australian shepherd, among others, for the number one spot and instantly became a hit. A clear fan favorite, Uno received a standing ovation from the New York crowd and went on to "throw" the first pitch at a baseball game, ride in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and even visit the White House. But prior to that historic win, no beagle had even taken the hound group since 1939. And the chances of the playful canine doing it this year appear to be just as slim. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
5. Bulldog: 275-to-1 odds
The stout breed has been competing in Westminster since 1877, and has won Best in Show two times — but not since 1955. The "non sporting group" contender was originally bred for the horrifically brutal event of bull-baiting — a sporting pasttime in England in the early 16th century. With a bull tied to an iron stake, the small but tough dog would attempt to immobilize the bull by grasping hold of the bull's snout, it's most sensitive body part. The tenacious dogs would fight so hard and for so long that they would often get thrown, die, or break their limbs. Luckily the bulldogs' hard days are behind it, and the dogs are now considered a multipurpose companionable breed. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
6. Yorkshire terrier: 600-to-1 odds
This diminutive breed, a part of the toy group, seems to have had its heyday back in the late '70s, when it won its first and only Best in Show title. While it has beaten out its toy group competitors five time in Westminster history, the Yorkshire hasn't managed a group win since 1978. The toy group, to be fair, is a fierce one, filled with some serious divas preening with personality. Take, for example, last year's Best in Show winner Malachy the Pekingese — a fluffed-out wig that knows how to strut. While the toy group has earned the top prize 10 times, the odds are against the competition's pint-size entries this year, with the only dog with a fighting chance being this odd, mini-Chewbacca-looking fellow, an Affenpinscher named Joey. (Michael Nagle/Getty Images)
7. Boxer: 38-to-1 odds
The stately boxer actually has a pretty good chance of taking the cake this year. The athletic dogs have dominated the working group, winning a whopping 23 times, and have taken Best in Show four times. The working group is by far the show's most competitive this year, containing five of the country's top 15 dogs. The favorite to win is last year's group winner, Fifi the Doberman, known ridiculously as "The Fifinator." But the boxer still has a good chance, says Gayle Falkenthal at The Washington Times, and "it will come down to the dog who's at his or her best on this one night." (Robert Dowling/CORBIS)
8. Poodle: 22-to-1 odds
Of all the popular dogs, the standard poodle has the best chance at taking the top prize. And among its non-sporting competitors, it reigns supreme, having won the group 12 times in the last 25 years. The absurdly glamorous, puffed-up look, however, doesn't come naturally or easily. This year's top poodle contender, a black standard named London, spends four hours in the makeup "chair" while he is combed and shaved, his hair coated in oil, and then wrapped to achieve a fur pompadour that would make even Elvis jealous. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
9. Rottweiler: 225-to-1 odds
The athletic Rottweiler is happiest when given a job to perform, which is why it is a part of the working group. While it has never won Best in Show before, the Rottweiler has taken best in group once, in 2006. But his striking muscular look hasn't gone completely unnoticed. A Rottweiler named Kaz won an Award of Merit in 2009. "He definitely did beautifully," said handler Michelle Scott at the time. "It's hard for a big dog in there because it's so hot. I think he showed like a champion." (Robert Dowling/CORBIS)
10. Dachshund: 250-to-1 odds
Despite there being three different types of the wiener dog that compete in Westminster — the longhaired, the smooth, and the wire-haired — none have ever won Best in Show. While trophies are few and far between, the Dachshunds, admirers note, have other accolades, including being a favorite companion among writers and artists. Vladimir Nabokov, E.B. White, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol all owned the petite pups. It's their thoughtful temperament that likely makes them ideal for sitting on a writers' lap while they type away for hours on end. "And like writers," says Alexander Nazaryan in the New York Daily News," they can be both prissy and stubborn, selfish and saturnine. Give its elongated back, the dachshund has a facile constitution — an artistic constitution, one might say." (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
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