“This morning, he dug himself a nice hole in the backyard and decided to lie in it,” she added.
Ms. Tomlinson, who runs Hillock Golden Retrievers in Ligonier, Pa., said it was “a wonderful feeling” hearing the audience chant Daniel’s name.
But, she said, “it was Siba’s night. She’s a beautiful, beautiful representation of her breed.”
The decision rested with the judge’s preference, she said.
“Another night with a different judge,” she said, “the outcome would be totally different.”
Siba is the fifth standard poodle to receive Westminster’s top honor and the first since 1991. In nearly a century and a half, a golden retriever has never gotten the top prize from the judges.
Could the breed be too common? Golden retrievers, along with labradors, German shepherds, French bulldogs and bulldogs, are among the most popular breeds, according to the American Kennel Club, but no Labrador, golden retriever or French bulldog has ever won best in show.
Or perhaps too good looking? One could call the golden retrievers the Brad Pitt of dogs, with silky blond tresses and sympathetic eyes. It took Mr. Pitt decades to be recognized with an Oscar for his acting.
Representatives for the Westminster Kennel Club could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon.
Ms. Tomlinson, who has four decades of experience breeding and showing golden retrievers, did not have an answer.