14 Oldest Dogs to Win Best in Show — Westminster Dog Show

Stump, a Sussex spaniel, was the oldest dog ever to win Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. By: Kjunstorm/Flickr

Contrary to popular opinion, not all competitors at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show are young guns, no more than 2 or 3 years old.

Since the competition began in 1877, 14 dogs over the age of 5 have taken Best in Show.

Five years old might not seem ancient, but for show dogs, it’s the equivalent of “Hollywood old,” meaning that once these dogs are past their physical peak, they often retire.

Such was not the case with Stump (Ch Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee), a 10-year-old Sussex spaniel that took home the top honors in 2009, making him the oldest dog ever to win Best in Show at Westminster. That’s 56 years old in people years! Not only was Stump the oldest dog to win; he was the first of his breed to take home the top prize.

The next oldest dog was Kirby, (Ch Loteki Supernatural Being), an 8-year-old Papillon who had shown eight times, winning not only the WKC Best in Show title but also the 1998 World Show and the 1998 Canadian Royal Show — the trifecta of canine conformation competitions.

In third place is Manhattan (Ch Covy Tucker Hill’s Manhattan), a 7-year-old German shepherd dog that took home the prize in 1987. Terriers and spaniels can live to be about 15, but GSDs have a shorter lifespan, so a big win at nearly 8 years old is no small feat.

Oldest Dogs to Win Best in Show at Westminster

Here’s the complete list, by order of age:

2009 Spaniel (Sussex) 10 years, 2 months, 10 days
1999 Papillon 8 years, 1 month, 10 days
1987 German Shepherd 7 years, 9 months, 6 days
2003 Kerry Blue Terrier 6 years, 8 months, 13 days
2007 English Springer Spaniel 6 years, 8 months, 4 days
1946 Fox Terrier (Wire) 6 years, 5 months, 27 days
1985 Scottish Terrier 6 years, 3 months, 21 days
2013 Affenpinscher 5 years, 10 months, 13 days
1941 Bull Terrier (Colored) 5 years, 10 months, 6 days
1997 Standard Schnauzer 5 years, 9 months, 28 days
2006 Spaniel (Cocker) Black 5 years, 9 months, 8 days
1920 Fox Terrier (Wire) 5 years, 8 months, 30 days
2014 Fox Terrier (Wire) 5 years, 7 months, 24 days
2011 Scottish Deerhound 5 years, 1 month, 26 days

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  • cathy moore

    I had a female English mastiff live to 12 years weighing only 150 lbs. She turned out not to be show material as she was too small, the runt of the litter. Her health did not deteriorate till she was 11 years, when she developed myopathy, not surprisingly. My vet commended me for taking such good care of her saying, “I don’t know what you did that was so good that she lived so long, but you did a good job.”