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, 13 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|
|2006||Spaniel (Cocker) Black||5 years, 9 months, 8 days|
|1997||Standard Schnauzer||5 years, 9 months, 28 days|
|1920||Fox Terrier (Wire)||5 years, 8 months, 30 days|
|2011||Scottish Deerhound||5 years, 1 month, 26 days|
You might also want to check out my post on popular dog breeds that have never won Best in Show. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love Pets Adviser’s popular email newsletter. It’s free to sign up, and you’ll also be among the first to get alerts about major pet food recalls: Learn more here.