What Dog Breeds Have Been Most Successful At Crufts?

The world-famous Crufts dog show took place earlier on this month at the NEC arena in Birmingham, and as is normal, the rest of March in the dog world essentially turns into a huge discussion about the highs and lows of the show, as well as of course the winners and losers!

The most prestigious award at each year’s show is of course the hugely popular Best in Show event, which is the pinnacle of the show and concludes with the awarding of the trophy for the year’s winning dog. Naturally, interest in the winning dog itself and the breed as a whole rises exponentially over the following year too-but have you ever wondered which dog breeds have been the most successful at Crufts over its history, or what breed might be the most likely to win, based on their past track record?

In this article, we will look at the dog breeds that have achieved the most success at Crufts over the history of the competition, in terms of taking home the Best in Show trophy. Read on to learn more.

The background

Crufts has a long history that started back in 1886, but for five years prior to this, the show still ran, but was open to terriers only! The show later opened to all breeds, and aside from ten years where the event was unable to run due to wars, the show has been a reliable fixture in the calendar ever since. This means that this year (2017) was the 125th Crufts Dog Show, meaning plenty of past winners!

Next, we will look at the breeds that have won the Best in Show title the greatest number of times.

English cocker spaniel

The English cocker spaniel tops the list of breeds to back if you want to predict the most likely Best in Show winner! English cocker spaniels have won the title a total of seven times over the show’s history, beating the nearest trailing competing breeds by some way.

Interestingly, this year’s event was won by an American cocker spaniel (albeit one bred in the UK!) and the noticeable differences between the two breeds are certainly very distinctive.

On top of this, when it comes to individual dogs winning the event more than once, this has only ever happened with four individual dogs, and three of those were English cockers too-all owned by the same breeder (Herbert Summers Lloyd) whose notable breed lines also produced a grand six out of seven of the English cocker’s total wins!

Irish setter

The Irish setter ties for second place with two other breeds, all of whom have taken home the Best in Show title a total of four times. The Irish setter is often popular as one of the UK and Ireland native dog breeds, and while they are not as common today as they have been in previous years, the gleaming mahogany red coat of the breed and their noble, proportionate shapes mean that they are certainly eye-catching enough to turn the heads of the judges!

Standard poodle

The standard poodle is the largest of the three individual poodle breeds, and like the Irish setter, standard poodles have taken the title a total of four times over the years. Interestingly, when asked to guess the most common Best in Show winner, a majority of people are apt to name the poodle, because when groomed to perfection, this is largely what many people think of as the epitome of a show dog!

Poodles are another breed that are not as commonly seen today as they used to be, as many people find the coat care and grooming requirements of the breed rather onerous. However, you can see a huge number of poodle crosses out and about in the UK as the breed is widely used in the hybrid dog breeding schedules of dogs such as the Labradoodle, Cockapoo and many others, where they are desired for their low-shedding coats.

Welsh terrier

Finally, the Welsh terrier ties for second place with the poodle and Irish setter, having won the competition a total of four times as well. However, the Welsh terrier is also classed as a vulnerable native dog breed, being a breed that originates in the UK or Ireland whose numbers are on the decline.

This means that Welsh terriers are not only not very common out and about on the streets, but fewer of them are bred and shown each year, although winning the Best in Show title generally provides a much-needed boost to interest in the breed!

Biggest loser?

Wondering what breed of dog is the least successful at Crufts? Interestingly, you’d be looking at the boxer dog, which has never been awarded the Best in Show title once in the entire competition’s long history!


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