Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950
Caption from LIFE. With composure befitting the Weimaraner's station in dogdom, the Duchess of Weimar and her 8-week-old son sit for a family portrait.Bernard Hoffman—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950
Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950
Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950
Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950
Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950
Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950
Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950
Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950
Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950
Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950
Caption from LIFE. With composure befitting the Weimaraner's station in dogdom, the Duchess of Weimar and her 8-week-old
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Bernard Hoffman—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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See Photos of One of Westminster's Most Lovable Underdogs

Feb 16, 2016

On Tuesday night, judges at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will crown one lucky pooch this year's best in show. Bookies in Las Vegas —yes, they bet on dog shows, too—give a German Shepherd named Rumor 4-to-1 odds to win. But one pup that's not likely on their radar, despite its steadily increasing popularity since the 1940s, is another German breed, the Weimaraner—which will be judged on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

When LIFE published a photo essay on the breed in 1950, there were 1,500 Weimaraners in the U.S., all owned by members of the Weimaraner Club of America. The club tightly controlled breeding to ensure that each generation retained the best of the breed's characteristics: namely, a distinctly friendly and loyal personality and a solid record as a hunting companion.

Despite its good looks and nature, the breed has never been named best in show. The year these photographs were published, that honor went to a Scottish Terrier named Walsing Winning Trick of Edgerstoune.

Christina Goldsmith and her Weimaraner puppies. Bernard Hoffman—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images 

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

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