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We Were Right! Miss P, Flame, and Swagger Win at Westminster

See where others, including Patty Hearst's Rocket the Shih Tzu, placed in their groups at Monday's Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

Caroline Coile  |  Feb 17th 2015


We’re feeling pretty smug about our predictions for Monday’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show competition. Here’s who took home top honors in the Hound, Toy, Non Sporting, and Herding groups.

The Hound Group winner: Miss P. the Beagle

First group of the night was the Hound, and as we said, the Bloodhound, Nathan, and Beagle, Miss P, were challenging each other for the Blue. Miss P, who won more Group honors last year than any other hound, was first, while Nathan, last year’s Westminster group winner, was ranked second.

Third went to the Otterhound, DUI (pronounced Dewey), who we had a hunch would do well if he came to New York, and fourth to the Black and Tan Coonhound, Moses, the first to ever place at Westminster. Also in the final cut was our Whippet, Afghan Hound, and Greyhound.

The Toy Group winner: Rocket the Shih Tzu

The Toy group judge didn’t read our predictions, or at least he didn’t follow them as far as first, but we did suspect that if the Rocket Powered Shih Tzu showed up, he would be a contender — and we were right, as Rocket, co-owned by heiress Patty Hearst, rocketed his way to first! Do you think those blue bows he was sporting were a sign?

Next was our predicted Pomeranian, Danny, followed by two we had not counted on — the Yorkshire Terrier and the Havanese!

But the Toy Manchester Terrier stole the show by jumping inside the Toy stanchion box on his go-round. We like a dog who doesn’t beat around the bush in his hints to the judge.

The finalists also included our Chihuahua pick, Sonnito.

The Peke winner, a young dog, asked to be excused as he was uneasy in the big arena. A smart move from a handler caring about his dog’s well-being and future confidence.

The Non-Sporting Group winner: Flame the Standard Poodle

We predicted that Flame the Standard Poodle would win the Non-Sporting group, and she was on fire as she pranced her way to first. But our Shar-Pei pick did not feel the love, and did not even make the final cut, to everyone’s surprise.

Instead, our prediction for third, Armani the Xoloitzcuintli, placed second, and a Bichon Frise was third. An amazing American Eskimo Dog placed fourth, following her seventh year winning her breed at Westminster.

The Herding Group winner: Swagger the Old English Sheepdog

Swagger the Old English showed he is well-named, winning the Herding Group as we predicted. His main rival, CoCo the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, was defeated in breed judging.

We warned to not discount the Bouvier des Flandres, and he delivered with a Group second. The Australian Shepherd had no reservations about grabbing third, and our German Shepherd favorite, Rumor, was fourth.

So far, we’re ahead of the game in the predictions, but what will today bring when the Terrier, Sporting, and Working groups are judged on the green carpet? And then there’s Best in Show …

Follow the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Facebook for more updates, and we’ll keep you posted on Dogster. You can watch live streaming of all breed judging at westminsterkennelclub.org and on the official 2015 Westminster Show App. The show will air live Tuesday night on USA from 8 to 11 p.m. ET (5 to 8 p.m. PT). See your local TV listings for rebroadcasting details.

Read more about the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club dog show:

About the author: Caroline Coile is the author of 34 dog books, including the top-selling Barron’s Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds. She has written for various publications and is currently a columnist for AKC Family Dog. She shares her home with three naughty Salukis and one Jack Russell Terrier.