The Plott Hound is probably not the sort of beast one expects to find among the carefully coiffed poodles and other aristocratic breeds at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. First bred in the Great Smoky Mountains back in the 1700s to hunt boar, the big-boned scent hound with the brindled coat and bugle-like call is more likely to be found tied up somewhere in the backwoods of Tennessee or North Carolina, where it's the state dog.

But defying all stereotypes, three Plotts competed in the elite show for the first time -- one year after the hound was fully recognized by the American Kennel Club -- with a Pennsylvania dog named Black Monday taking the best of breed prize. Though the dog didn't win the hound group competition that had it going nose-to-nose against cuter types like dachshunds, the Plott's very presence marked a triumph of sorts for this thoroughly Southern and all-American breed.

To read more about the fascinating history of the Plott Hound and the significance of its appearance at Westminster, check out this terrific story by Richard B. Woodward in Slate Magazine.

(Plott hound photo from American Kennel Club Web site)