The Crufts Effect – how Best in Breed dogs capture the nation’s hearts
If you’ve not met many wire-haired dachshunds before, you can probably expect to see them everywhere in the next year or so as every year the winner of the nations’ biggest dog show also captures the nation’s hearts as well. This week we look back over the five most recent Crufts winners and find out a bit more about what to expect if you are thinking of owning one of these popular pedigree breeds.
2020 Crufts Winner – the Wirehaired Dachshund
Smooth-haired Dachsunds have become increasingly popular over the last few years after being featured prominently on TV shows, adverts and social media. So it was refreshing to see Wirehaired Dachshund Maisie (aka Silvae Trademark) win Best in Show at Crufts this year. After pausing to do something unmentionable on the way up to the podium, she looked particularly pleased with herself and basked in all the attention. She was certainly a favourite with viewers who voted for her to win in a BBC poll just before the official announcement. But what are Wirehaired Dachshunds like as pets?
Wirehaired Dachshunds are intelligent, energetic but sometimes stubborn. They are busy little dogs but they aren’t naturally bouncy so won’t jump up or get onto your kitchen cabinets. They aren’t suitable for handbags and are not submissive – many of them don’t enjoy being picked up. They have a lot of personality and character with a big bark, rather than yapping like some small dogs do. Unlike Smooth-haired Dachshunds, the Wirehaired Dachshund is known for being very friendly and outgoing and they really enjoy meeting new people. They are outdoorsy types, yet also suited to apartment living as they are equally happy with varied levels of exercise and are very adaptable. Apart from the stubbornness - which can be tackled with a good training regime – there’s a lot to love about these little dogs and we imagine they are going to experience a big surge in popularity this year.
2019 Crufts Winner – the Papillon
Last year a Papillon pup named ‘Planet Waves Forever Young Daydream Believers’ took the top gong. Named after the French word for butterfly – due to the shape of their ears - Papillons may look like lap dogs but they are bright, energetic and curious and tend not to sit still for long. They tend to be very alert which makes them great watchdogs too. They love people and are friendly and outgoing and despite being rather hairy they don’t shed as much as other similar breeds.
2018 Crufts Winner – the Whippet
Winning Whippet ‘Collooney Tartan Tease’ almost had her moment in the spotlight ruined in 2018 when some placard-waving protestors stormed into the arena. This beautiful brindle whippet was the youngest champion in the breed for 50 years and sparked a resurgence of interest in the breed, which were originally bred for hunting small game. Whippets are perfect all-rounders and great as pets or for competing in flyball or agility activities. They are suited to apartment living. In the home, they are very gentle and undemanding and simply enjoy being in their owners company. They usually love children and enjoy snuggling on the sofa or going for long walks – although they are just as happy lounging around at home too.
2017 Crufts Winner – American Cocker Spaniel
Afterglow Miami Ink was the exotically named American Cocker Spaniel that won Best in Show in 2017. Closely related to the English Cocker Spaniel, which is used to create the popular Cockapoo (Poodle crossbreed), this breed is popular both here and in the US (The first spaniel travelled to America on the Mayflower in 1620) and these little gundogs make terrific family pets. Generally they have a cheerful and endearing temperament. They are eager to please and very affectionate, although not always the brightest dog on the block. They are very loving and gentle and enjoy doing whatever you are doing. Their coat will need more grooming than other similar sized dogs but if you have a good grooming routine in place then the rewards of owning one of these charming pups far outweigh any effort you have to put in to grooming one.
2016 Crufts Winner – West Highland White Terrier
Often thought of as a ‘little old ladies dog’ West Highland White Terriers (Westies) like 2017 Crufts Best in Show winner, Burneze Geordie Girl, have so much more to offer! Whilst it is true they make excellent companions, they are also wonderful family dogs with affectionate and friendly temperaments. They are better suited to slightly older children – aged 6 and up – as they do not entertain being pulled around by toddlers and may snap if they are confused or frightened. Westies are very intelligent dogs and also very comical, they like to be where the action is and are very easy to train.
Shout out to the Poodles
So that’s the 5 most recent winners but we can’t sign off without a special mention for the poodles. This year’s runner up, miniature poodle Frankie came 2nd as Best in Show Reserve Champion for the second time and let the judges know exactly what she thought of this decision by jumping up onto Maisie the Dachshund’s winning spot on the podium before Maisie arrived. Poodles are becoming increasingly popular in the UK and are used in creating popular crossbreeding combos such as Cockapoos (Cocker Spaniel X Miniature Poodle) and Labradoodles and Golden Doodles (Labrador or Golden Retriever x Standard Poodle). They’re clearly popular with the judges too as Standard Poodle Afterglow Maverick Sabre won Best in Show back in 2014.
So that’s our round-up of what to expect from some recent Best in Show breeds. Has Crufts ever influenced your dog-choosing decisions? – Which breed is your favourite? Let us know in the comments section below.