Siba, A Standard Poodle, Crowned Top Dog At Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

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Siba, a standard poodle, won the Best in Show title at the 144th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (J. Grassa /C. Frausini for Westminster)

Though there are numerous dog shows held around the US every year, none are considered as prestigious as the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Now celebrating its 144th year, the "Super Bowl" of the canine world, is America's oldest dog show. This year's event, which took place at New York City's Madison Square Garden from February 8 to 11, 2020, attracted 2,500 competitors representing 204 breeds from 49 states and 19 countries.

To whittle down the large number of entrants to seven finalists, the dogs first have to compete and win in one of seven categories — sporting, non-sporting, toy, hound, working, terrier, and herding. This year's final contenders included Bourbon, a whippet who won the hound group; Bono, a Havanese, who snagged top honors in the toy group for the second consecutive year, and Wilma, a boxer who won the judge's nod in the working group. There was also Conrad, a Shetland sheepdog who led the herding group; Vinny, a fox terrier, who won in the terrier category, and Daniel, a golden retriever who beat out 31 other breeds to snag the top honors in the sporting group. The gorgeous pooch also won the hearts of the hundreds of people at Madison Square Garden and those watching at home. Many hoped he would become the first golden retriever to win the coveted Best in Show title in the competition's 144-year-history.

Daniel, a golden retriever, was the crowd favorite at the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show (Credit: Andrew Bliefernicht/Twitter)

However, it was the winner of the nonsporting group — a standard poodle, with shiny black hair and a shaved backside, named Siba — who won the judge's nod for the championship title. Though the decision seemed to stun the audience, her handler Chrystal Murray-Clas was not surprised, saying, “She’s beautiful and has that something." The win could not have come at a better time for the 3-year-old pooch, who was competing in her final show. Siba is only the fifth standard poodle ever to win the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show title, and the first of her breed to do so since 1991.

Along with the prestigious accolade, Siba also received the customary purple and gold rosette and a massive silver trophy. The sleek pooch also got to enjoy some of the perks of being America's top dog before heading back home to Allentown, Pennsylvania. These included interviews on several national television shows, a visit to the Empire State building, a special meal at New York's legendary Sardi's restaurant, and even a private meeting with American fashion designer Michael Kors!

Standard poodles, which typically stand over 15 inches tall are the largest members of the three categories of poodles, with females weighing between 40 to 50 pounds and males as much as 70 pounds. Though grouped under the nonsporting category, they are great hunters and love to swim. The calm, confident, and happy canines also make great service dogs. As you may have guessed, the dogs do require extensive grooming. According to Siba's owner, Connie S. Unger, the pooch's weekly routine takes about six hours — two to three hours for the bath and another two to three hours to properly dry out her dense, thick coat!

Resources: Mcall.com. Washingtonpost.com, NPR.org,Pennlive.com

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67 Comments
  • pm-olm
    pm-olmSunday, February 16, 2020 at 8:59 am
    These dogs are sooooo cute!
    • current_event
      current_eventSunday, February 16, 2020 at 3:19 am
      Woah, at first I thought it couldn't see because it is far more fluffy than the average fluffer
      • emolady
        emoladySunday, February 16, 2020 at 1:28 am
        I'm not a fan of poodles.
        • penguinpop
          penguinpopSaturday, February 15, 2020 at 6:05 pm
          FLUFFY!!!!😆
          • orangehamster
            orangehamsterSaturday, February 15, 2020 at 3:26 pm
            I like all of them, the poodles haircut is weird though...... XD Still cute
            • canine
              canineSaturday, February 15, 2020 at 12:35 pm
              love dogs so much........well any canine really (look at my username) :) #DOGSRULE
              • canine
                canineSaturday, February 15, 2020 at 12:35 pm
                siba is ugly
                • reinasailormoon
                  reinasailormoonSaturday, February 15, 2020 at 8:18 am
                  They are all so fluffy and cute
                  • am-olm1
                    am-olm1Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 7:46 am
                    I don’t like dogs very much
                    • potterforever
                      potterforeverSaturday, February 15, 2020 at 6:15 am
                      I love dogs!!! I have 2, I'm not a fan of poodles but I love the golden retriever!😍