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Which Westminster Pooch Would Be Best in Show in Your Home?

March 4, 2015 | By and

It was an adorable 4-year-old beagle named Miss P who bested six other distinguished dog breeds to win Best in Show in this year’s Westminster Kennel Club. Watching these Best of Breed dogs walk the famed green carpet in Madison Square Garden may have left you wondering how these adorable pooches would look walking the carpets in your own home. It may have also left you wondering if these dogs would be better suited for life in the big city (and a small apartment) or out in the country?

What makes a good city dog? Qualities like having low energy and being fairly calm indoors and polite with the other residents are all good qualities, says Dr. Eric Chafetz, DVM of Vienna Animal Hospital in Vienna, VA. Best choices include toy breeds, some terriers, and some non-sporting breeds, he says.

Dogs like terriers, sporting dogs, and hounds that love to run and explore often make great country dogs. But by the same token, all that running around increases their risk of injury. Just ask Cindy Hullett, pet mom to 7-year-old Chance, a beagle whose curiosity led him to explore the sights and scents outside and around his fenced yard in their St. Petersburg, FL, neighborhood. “We came home to a large hole in the backyard and a missing Chance.”

When Chance did make his way back home, he arrived worse for the wear. After dealing with costly vet bills, Hullett decided to “beagle proof” her family’s backyard by filling up any small gaps or potential escape routes.

Better safe than sorry.

With that in mind, how would this year’s group winners at Westminster handle city or country living? Here’s how we’d call it.


Beagle (winner of Best In Show and best hound)

Pets Adviser

Miss P, this year’s Best In Show. (Pet Adviser)

Pros: Great family dogs with a happy-go-lucky attitude and friendly disposition.

Cons: Beagles can become easily bored, and can get in trouble when unsupervised.

Better Suited for: Country living


Skye Terrier (winner of Reserve Best In Show and best terrier)


(2013 Royal Melbourne Show)

Pros: Easy to exercise, requiring only walks and play sessions.

Cons: Prone to “chasing,” Skyes should never be let off leash unless in a safe, enclosed area, says Michele Welton of Your Purebred Puppy.

Better Suited For: City living


English Springer Spaniel (best sporting dog)

Paul Squires

(Paul Squires)

Pros: Lots of energy and great pets for owners with homes with large yards.

Cons: Need regular exercise and would do best with an owner who can spend quality time together being active.

Better Suited For: Country living


Portuguese Water Dog (best working dog)

(Andrea Arden)

(Andrea Arden)

Pros: Enjoy doing a “job” preferably in the water (even a pool).

Cons: With too little exercise, can become bored, and chew, scratch, or otherwise be destructive. “They are active athletes, far from couch potatoes,” says Susan Teasley, a member of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America.

Better Suited For: Country living


Shih Tzu (best toy dog)

(Russ Sandlerin)

(Russ Sanderlin)

Pros: Probably one of the best breeds an apartment dweller could own, these dogs are happy just to follow you from room to room.

Cons: Require some training and grooming.

Better Suited For: City living


Standard Poodle (best non-sporting dog)



Pros: Active dogs that can readily adapt to apartment life.

Cons: Require at least an hour of daily walking and its fast-growing coat should be kept trimmed.

Better Suited For: City living


Old English Sheepdog (best herding dog)

(Keith Davenport)

(Keith Davenport)

Pros: Great family dogs if you have the room and an accommodating schedule, but it coat “requires a lot of maintenance,” says Chafetz.

Cons: Big, hairy, and sometimes boisterous. You’ll want to place your breakables up high and on solid perches.

Better Suited For: Country living


Mixed Breeds (featured in the first-ever Masters Agility Championship)



Pros: Adopting from a shelter or rescue organization lets you choose a dog that matches your lifestyle.

Cons: Pay special attention to notes on compatibility with other dogs, cats, or children if that’s a concern for your home.

Better Suited For: City or country living






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