Westminster Dog Show Winners

Shove over, Rover and Spot. Coco and Riley are moving in. As Westminster begins, name expert Linda Rosenkrantz analyzes doggy data to predict the top canine names of tomorrow. Plus, view our gallery of Westminster winners.

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo

Mary Altaffer / AP Photo

2011: Foxcliffe

Full Name: Foxcliffe Hickory Wind
Breed: Scottish Deerhound
A Scottish Deerhound trotted away with the big prize at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday night. The female, named Foxcliffe Hickory Wind, is the first of her breed to win the big prize, and topped her own showing of third place in last year’s competition after apparently getting used to the big city. “This dog isn’t used to cities or venues this size,” said her handler, Angela Lloyd, referencing the show’s setting at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “It is used to chasing squirrels and deer all day on a big farm.”

2010: Sadie

Full Name: Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot
Breed: Scottish Terrier
Four-year-old Sadie became the latest top dog to earn the coveted silver bowl at Westminster and she knew it was her time to shine. As the favorite black silky Scottie entered the purple circle at the center of Madison Square Garden for her prize, she jumped up on her hind legs in celebration and did not let two PETA protestors who rushed the ring ruin her moment. “She had a lot of things going for her,” the show’s longtime host David Frei said, citing her 2009 Westminster win in the popular terrier group and also her championing at every big canine show this year. “It’s her world and we’re just living in it.” The material pure-breed is seemingly a born show dog. “She loves everything about it,” said Sadie’s handler of his hat trick-winning prestigious pup—she’s the first dog to win Westminster, the National Dog Show, and the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. But now, Sadie is ready for a break. “She likes to watch TV,” her handler said of the dog’s down time. “We have dinner together at the hotel and watch Animal Planet.”

Janette Pellegrini,WireImage / Getty Images

2009: Stump

Full Name: Ch. Clussexx Three D Grinchy Glee
Breed: Sussex Spaniel
The reigning Westminster champion was certainly the underdog in 2009, but the Houston-raised Sussex spaniel overcame some serious obstacles to take home the coveted Best in Show. Stump, nicknamed for his stubby, tree-like legs, won the Sporting Group title at Westminster in 2004, but a series of bacterial infections kept him out of the spotlight in the five years that followed. Just one week before the 2009 championship competition, Stump's handler decided to give the comeback canine one last chance and it paid off—the 10-year-old dog became the first of his breed to be awarded the top prize as well as the oldest champion in the show's history. “He's just everything that you'd want in the breed, and I couldn't say no to him,” one judge said of her vote for Stump.

Chris McGrath / Getty Images

2008: Uno

Full Name: Ch. K-Run's Park Me In First
Breed: Beagle
As the first beagle to claim the Best in Show honor, Uno proved that personality mattered when he happily pranced through Madison Square Garden in February 2008. While popular American breeds tend to be more favored by children at dog stores than Westminster judges, 3-year-old Uno won both groups over in the show. “I'm lucky to be at the end of his leash,” Uno's trainer, Aaron Wilkerson, said. The top dog's victory lead to many spoils—first-pitch appearances at the Milwaukee's Miller Park and St. Louis' Busch Stadium, a patriotic collar from his White House visit with George W. Bush, and a ride on the “Peanuts” float at Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Uno did Snoopy proud.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

2007: James

Full Name: Ch. Felicity's Diamond Jim
Breed: English Springer Spaniel
James' Best in Show win at Westminster in 2007 was his 51st and final time earning a title. “I knew from the day he was born that he could be a once-in-a-lifetime dog,” his owner said of James' symmetrical brown and white coloring. “Then you pray that his personality develops such that he loves to show.” Though it did, after the then-6-year-old English springer spaniel reached the pinnacle of his show career, his owners decided it was time for James to retire and focus his career instead on working as a certified therapy dog from his Virginia-based home.

Frank Franklin II / AP Photo

2006: Rufus

Full Name: Ch. Rocky Top's Sundance Kid
Breed: Colored Bull Terrier
On Valentine's Day 2006 at the 130th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, judges fell in love with an unlikely pup—a 5-year-old colored bull terrier named Rufus from New Jersey. The first non-white of his breed to take home the honor, Rufus was an unsuspecting crowd and critic-pleaser. “He's the cutest dog around,” his biased handler said of Rufus, a tan short-haired terrier with a strong wedge-like white snout, who pranced proudly around Madison Square Garden.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

2005: Carlee

Full Name: Ch. Kan-Point's VJK Autumn Roses
Breed: German Short-Haired Pointer
Five-year-old Carlee, with her brown face and white-and-liver spotting, stood proudly for the judges at Westminster 2005—her perfect “free stack,” as the solo still stance is called in dog-show lingo, made Carlee a standout among more than 2,500 canine competitors. But besides being an honor for Carlee, the dog's Best in Show win was the second consecutive prize for her handler, Michelle Ostermiller, a rare feat. “I am stunned,” she said. The dog's co-owner from Castle Rock, Colorado, was even more surprised by the attention the German short-haired pointer earned. “I've just heard our state senate wants to proclaim a Carlee Day. That's over the top!” she said of her dog, who appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman. “She's just a brown and white tick dog.”

Stephen Chernin / Getty Images

2004: Josh

Full Name: Ch. Darbydale's All Rise Pouch Cove
Breed: Newfoundland
Seemingly, size mattered at the 2004 Westminster Show when bulky black Newfoundland Josh took home the top honor, as slobber, not tears, poured down his face. Though the show tends to favor smaller dogs, at 155 pounds, Josh tied the record for the biggest dog ever to win at Westminster, with the only other winning Newfoundland two decades earlier in 1984. The New Jersey-raised four-year-old Baby Huey of a pup barked proudly in celebration of his win. “That's his signature,” his handler joked of the dog, who had retired two months earlier, but returned for a final hurrah.

Mario Tama / Getty Images

2003: Mick

Full Name: Ch. Torums Scarf Michael
Breed: Kerry Blue Terrier
The 2003 Best in Show winner at Westminster was also, fittingly for the year of his honor, a triple crown winner—Mick had already earned the top honor at Crufts in England, as well as at the American Kennel Club's national invitational, among his 113 titles. The 6-year-old terrier, the breed that most commonly takes the title, was also a victor off Westminster's green carpet. As his California handler says, bitches were all over the bluish-gray, bearded dog show stud. Mick defeated a son in 2002 and a daughter in 2003 at Westminster. Since retiring from competition that year, 20 of the 45 Kerry blue terriers shown at Westminster were Mick's offspring. “When the bitches were in season, he might have two or three bitches in a day,” his handler said. “He was always a stallion.”

Ron Frehm / AP Photo

2002: Spice

Full Name: Ch. Surrey Spice Girl
Breed: Miniature Poodle
All of the stereotypical high-maintenance paid off for Spice at Westminster in 2002, when she took home the top prize. The notorious flirt of the show's green carpet, who, her handler says, enjoys the sound of cellphones ringing, was the first of her breed to win in 40 years. “She was gorgeous,” one best-in-show judge said of the tiny 3-year-old miniature poodle. “Size, balance, coat, feet, movement, she had it all. She never took a wrong step.” With her breed's black signature coiffure in place, this Spice Girl may have out-shown Victoria Beckham. “From the time she started her career, she was never overlooked,” her handler said. “She has always been a stunner.”

Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

2001: J.R.

Full Name: Ch. Special Times Just Right
Breed: Bichon Frisé Though his breed may be known as the choice of wealthy suburbanites, bichon frisé
J.R. set out to prove he was no powder puff and in 2001, the time was just right. The then 3-year-old dog became Westminster's Best in Show, the first of his breed to do so. This top dog was seemingly aware of his achievement and visibly clapped his front paws in excitement—something his handler says he does when he's happy. J.R. was shampooed five hours before the final round of competition commenced, perfecting his pristine snowball look. “He's as close to perfection as you can get,” one judge said of the champ, who was destined for superstardom. “Winning Westminster didn't change his life,” J.R.'s handler said later. “He's always been the center of attention. He was the only puppy in the litter, so he was spoiled from Day One.”

Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

2000: Samantha

Full Name: Ch. Salilyn 'N Erin's Shameless
Breed: English Springer Spaniel
At the turn of the century, then-5-year-old English springer spaniel Samantha followed in the footsteps of her father, the 1993 Best in Show Westminster winner, Ch. Salilyn's Condor. Samantha is the only top title-earner to be the direct offspring of a previous Westminster Best in Show winner. Samantha was bred and co-owned by the acclaimed Julia Gasow, who died in 1999 after devoting 63 years to the breed. But the picture of canine prestige still has her human preferences. “If we go through the drive-through and she smells those French fries when they're hot,” her handler and co-owner says of Samantha's favorite treat. “She goes absolutely crazy.”