Daniel The Golden Retriever Deserved Better At Westminster

By Isaac Cabe  Published: February 13th, 2020 

There are a number of problems with dog shows, but what they all boil down to is that they’re trying to decide which of the dogs is the best in the show. Why can’t all the good dogs get a ribbon? It’s the only place where a participation trophy would be agreed upon by all.

This brings us to this year’s Westminster Dog Show. Held, for some reason, during the week and not adjacent to any other major televised events, you could be forgiven for not having realized it was happening. But what’s on a ton of people’s hearts and minds right now is Daniel, the Golden Retriever who was up for the top doggy prize.


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#DanielWasRobbed was the hashtag trending on Twitter, and if you’re wondering why anyone would rob anything from a pooch, you’re not alone. The way dog shows work, for those who aren’t familiar, is that dogs are generally grouped by their breed’s historical/cultural reasons for existing. Dog breeds with a history of hunting are in the Sporting group, a bunch of sheepdogs are in the Herding group, and so on and so forth. The dogs who are the best representation of their breed win their group, which ipso facto makes that breed the best representation of their group.


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Daniel the Golden Retriever (full name: GCHP CH HILLOCK’S JACK DANIEL’S RA JH CA RATN CGC) was the best of his group, Sporting, and would go on to compete against the other group winners for Best in Show. The winner was this black poodle named Siba (full name: GCHP CH STONE RUN AFTERNOON TEA). By the by, in case you were wondering what those smatterings of letters mean in their long names, they’re like abbreviated titles based on their status in the show dog world, sort of like if Michael Phelps’ legal name was changed to Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps.

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