2019 WKC Dog Show: Our expert staff predictions

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Best in Show winner Flynn, a Bichon Frise, poses for photos at the conclusion of the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at The Piers on February 13, 2018 in New York City. The show is scheduled to see 2,882 dogs from all 50 states take part in this year's competition. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Best in Show winner Flynn, a Bichon Frise, poses for photos at the conclusion of the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at The Piers on February 13, 2018 in New York City. The show is scheduled to see 2,882 dogs from all 50 states take part in this year's competition. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) /

Which breeds will be top dogs at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show? Our experts weigh in with their 2019 WKC Dog Show picks.

The 143rd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show presented by Purina Pro Plan will be held Monday, February 11 and Tuesday, February 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and broadcast on FS1. But which breeds will come out on top in each category at the 2019 WKC Dog Show? Our staff give their expert analysis and predictions.

Over two thousand dogs are competing, with over two hundred breeds and varieties competing for the seven category wins in order to be named Best in Show.

(For more on how dog shows work, read our explanatory guide here.)

There’s still time to enter the Pro Plan Bracket Challenge for a chance to win up to $1 million by going to ProPlanBracket.com.

The Herding Group

Wesley: This is a fantastic category filled with great breeds. I think the Border Collie actually has the best chance to win here, as one claimed the category during the 2018 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin in December.

But for my pick here, I’m going with the Australian Shepherd, because they’re the total package: they’re extremely intelligent, they’re athletic, and they’re pretty. Also, the first dog I remember that we had growing up was a purebred Aussie named Sport, so I’m a little biased here.

Kimberley: For me this is one of the harder categories to choose a winner because there are so many excellent breeds in the mix. However, I am going to allow my own personal bias to shine through and go with the Border Collie.

Having had one when I was younger, I know these dogs are not only the total package, but a Border Collie already proved that they were the one to beat this year.

The Hound Group

Wesley: Whiskey the Whippet is on a tear right now, as the reigning champion of the Hound Group in the most popular dog show (the National Dog Show) and the most important (the AKC National Championship). He also won Best in Show at both of those events. He will claim the group title in the most prestigious show as well.

Kimberley: I know Whiskey is the favorite and likely to take the top prize in the Hound Group, but I think it is only fair to throw out another possibility. I am going to give this one to the Smooth Dachshund. It is partially personal bias, but also based on the breed’s overwhelming popularity. These dogs are friendly and curious, and definitely deserve a chance to shine.

The Non-Sporting Group

Wesley: I think it’ll be a French Bulldog who wins this category, largely because Frenchies seem almost designed for the show ring.

Kimberley: I have to throw my vote to the Chow Chow for this one. Not only because I grew up with them, but because I know these dogs are dignified, extremely smart, and very serious. They can be the complete package, and it would be nice to see a Chow Chow win not only their group, but Best in Show as well.

The Sporting Group

Wesley: There are a lot of great breeds in this group, but I’m going with the Irish Setter, largely because they’re beautiful canine supermodels.

Also, most of my casual knowledge of the dog show world (before researching them for work) came from reading Jim Kjelgaard’s Big Red trilogy of novels in middle school; they follow a family of Irish Setters.

Kimberley: I am going to go out on a limb here and predict the Labrador Retriever as the winner. Not only are Labs the most popular breed, but it is time for one win. These dogs have never won their class or Best in Show, and I think it is time for that to change. And considering how active, friendly, and generally outgoing these dogs are, they have what it takes to be top dog.

The Terrier Group

Wesley: I’m not sure what the popular terriers are right now in the show ring, but I’m choosing the Wire Fox Terrier as my pick here, because its head has an interesting profile. If I could draw, it would be a good breed to sketch or draw.

Kimberley: Another dog that deserves a win finally would have to be the American Staffordshire Terriers. These dogs are smart, confident, and very good-natured, which is important for a show dog. As guardian dogs, I think they could pull an upset and win their breed this year.

The Toy Group

Wesley: While the Shih Tzu can be annoying at times with its frequent barking and yapping (based on experience with neighborhood dogs), that energy can be focused as an asset in the show ring.

Kimberley: I am definitely giving my vote to the Pomeranian in this category. Not only do they have a winning history, but these dogs are inquisitive by nature, very bold, and have immense personality. And speaking from experience, Pomeranians love the spotlight, which is definitely important for a dog show.

The Working Group

Wesley: There’s a lot of good choices here, but I’m going with the Great Pyrenees, because we currently have three of them, and so I see them nearly every day. With the exacting attention of groomers and their natural air of quiet dignity, this should be the breed to win the Working Group.

Kimberley: This is definitely the hardest category for me to choose from because there are so many impressive breeds in the Working Group. While I am a fan of the Husky and Samoyed, I am going to choose the Akita as my pick to win the group.

Again, some of this is based on personal bias, but it also has to do their with personalities, and the fact that they are very loyal, courageous, and extremely dignified. Akitas have a lot to offer, so I have to give them the win in this category.

Best in Show

Wesley: Whiskey the Whippet adds yet another title to his rapidly expanding trophy case.

Kimberley: I am going to go with the Pomeranian for Best in Show. Whiskey the Whippet might pull out the win in the end, but I think a Pomeranian could bring an upset to the show.

Next. Pro Plan, WKC Dog Show teaming up for bracket challenge. dark

The 2019 WKC Dog Show will air on FS1 on Monday, February 11 and Tuesday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET.