October 22, 2021

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25 of the Most Decorated Dog Breeds

Over the last 100 years, dog owners around the world have enjoyed showing off their pets in dog shows.

Crufts, the largest dog show in the U.K., was first set up in 1891 by the showman Charles Crufts and has become one of the most important canine events in the world.

From tiny Dachshunds to giant Irish Wolfhounds, all sorts of dogs take part in the competition every year. Throughout the many shows, however, it has become clear that some breeds win more than others.

Here are some of the top breeds to win Best in Show, as of 2020.

English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel has won Best in Show at Crufts more than any other breed, winning an astonishing seven times. These dogs belong to the sporting group and, according to the American Kennel Club, are energetic and bred to follow instructions from their owners.

A woman grooms her cocker spaniel on the first day of the Crufts dog show in 2019. English Cocker Spaniels are highly decorated at shows.
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Irish Setter

Irish Setters have won Best in Show four times in the modern history of Crufts. These dogs are happy, affectionate and eager to please, making them a strong breed in competitions. The AKC states these dogs like having tasks to do.

irish setter
An Irish setter at the Crufts Dog Show in 2016. Irish setters are an energetic, loyal breed.
Ben Prunchie/Getty

Standard Poodle

Poodles are often standout at dog shows with their elaborate hairstyles, but these dogs are extremely intelligent and energetic too. These dogs are easily trained and enjoy taking part in agility events.

Standard Poodle
A Standard Poodle competes at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Standard Poodles are popular show dogs
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Welsh Terrier

The Welsh Terrier was a latecomer to the British show-ring, but that hasn’t stopped the breed has won Best in Show four times. These dogs are friendly, outgoing and love exercise.

Welsh Terrier
A Welsh Terrier at a dog show. Welsh Terriers are active and love to perform
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

English Setter

English Setters are sensible, friendly and loyal companions. The breed has won Best in Show three times, but according to the AKC, these dogs are sensitive and respond best to positive reinforcement during training.

English Setter
English Setters are playful and intelligence
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for their work in the police and the military, but they are also a strong breed in competitions too. These dogs are confident and learn commands quickly.

German Shepherd
German Shepherds are popular working dogs and assist in the military
Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic

Greyhound

Belonging to the hound group, Greyhounds are known for reaching top speeds when running. These dogs have won Best in Show three times and love to do tasks with their owners.

Greyhounds
Greyhounds are known for racing events but do well in competitions too
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world and are known for their friendly demeanor. This happy, energetic breed has won Best in Show three times.

Labrador retriever U.K. 2018 dog show
A Labrador at the Crufts dog show in 2018
Getty Images

West Highland White Terrier

Terriers might be known for their tendency to be stubborn, but the breed has won Best in Show three times. In 2016, a Westie called Devon—described by her owner as very independent and a tomboy—won the top prize.

Westie
Marie Burns exhibits Devon the West Highland White Terrier at the Crufts dog show in 2016
LEON NEAL/AFP via Getty Images

Whippet

Like Greyhounds, Whippets are known for their high speeds but they are also a strong breed in dog competitions too and love agility activities and games.

Whippets
Whippets compete at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2018, in New York City. Whippets do not need a lot of grooming, other than a weekly brush
Drew Angerer

Wire Fox Terrier

Wire Fox Terriers are smart, agile and responsive, making them a good bet in dog shows. The American Kennel Club describes the breed as a “master show dog” and these dogs have won Best in Show at Crufts three times. Wire Fox Terriers have also taken home an amazing 34 wins in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show too.

Wire Tox Terrier
A Wire Fox Terrier gets its nose powdered in the grooming area of a dog show
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hounds have long, silky hair and are popular in dog shows because of their elegance and style. However, these dogs can be tricky to train because of their independent streak.

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An Afghan hound yawns while sitting backstage at a dog show. These dogs have long, silky hair
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Airedale Terrier

Airedales are clever, eager to please and the fact that they bond closely with family members can make training easy. The breed has won Best in Show at Crufts twice.

Airedale Terrier
An owner grooms her Airedale Terrier during the first day of the Crufts dog show in 2013. The breed comes from Yorkshire.
BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

Flat-Coated Retriever

Flat-Coats are very intelligent, responsive and eager to please. Vbos the Kentuckian, also known as Jet, was a Flat-Coat show dog bred by Jim Irvine who won Best in Show at Crufts in 2011.

Flat Coat Retriever
Jet, a Flat-Coated Retriever, was awarded Best in Show in 2011
PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Kerry Blue Terrier

A Kerry Blue won Crufts in 2000, but these dogs are quite unusual and rare. Puppies are born black, but the blue appears gradually as the puppy grows older, usually up to two years of age.

Kerry Blue Terrier
A Kerry Blue Terriers are known for their show-stopping dark blue-grey coats
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Lakeland Terrier

Lakelands are big dogs in little bodies and look like a smaller version of an Airedale. These dogs come from the Lake District in England and are loyal, loving pets.

Lakeland Terrier
A Lakeland Terrier at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Matthew Eisman/Getty

Lhasa Apso

Zentarr Elizabeth, also known as Elizabeth, was a Lhasa Apso show dog bred and handled by Margaret Anderson who won Best in Show at Crufts in 2012. Originating from Tibet, these dogs were traditionally used as indoor guard dogs.

Lhasa Apso
Long-haired Lhasa Apsos originate from Tibet and are popular because of their looks
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Pointer

Pointers make great pets, but they excel in many arenas, from the field to the show ring. These all-rounders are good at agility, easily trained and are pretty obedient.

Pointer dogs
Kanix Chilli the pointer dog at the Cruft’s dog show at the NEC Arena in 2018. The breed is used to find game when hunting
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Scottish Terrier

The Scottie dog is so iconic that it features on the Monopoly board, but these little terriers do well in competitions too. Scottish Terriers have won Best in Show at Crufts and done well in the Terrier Group competitions too.

Scottish terrier NYC dog show 2010
A Scottish terrier seen at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2010.
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Toy Poodle

Toy Poodles are smart, easily trained and look the part too, making them popular in dog shows. These dogs have a similar temperament to their larger cousins, the Standard Poodle.

Toy Poodle
A Toy Poodle’s head is held during the World Team Dog Grooming Championships in Barcelona, Spain
David Ramos/Getty Images

American Cocker Spaniel

American Cocker Spaniels require a great deal of grooming if they have a long, silky show coat. Cockers are best trained using food, which they can’t resist.

American Cocker Spaniel
An American Cocker Spaniel is awarded Best In Show at Crufts Dog Show in 2017
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Australian Shepherd

Aussies are popular among cowboys, but their good looks and eager-to-please personalities make them good show dogs too. An Australian Shepherd dog was named Best in Show at the 115th Crufts dog show in 2006.

Australian Shepherd
Chance an Australian Shepherd poses next to the trophy with his handler Larry Fenner after winning ‘Best in Show’ at the 103rd Crufts dog show
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Basenji

The Basenji originated from Central Africa and were used to hunt and control rodent populations. Unusually, these dogs are silent because they tend not to bark. A Basenji hound won the Best of Show title at Crufts 2001.

Basenji
Basenji dogs are known as a “barkless” breed
Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP

Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie dog breed was developed in Scotland to herd sheep and cattle. Although they are usually scruffy and suited to the Highlands, these dogs can do well in competitions with their obedience and agility.

Bearded collie Crufts dog show U.K. 2015
A bearded collie dog seen at the Crufts dog show in 2015. These herding dogs are extremely obedient
Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Bulldog

In recent years, judges at Crufts have taken a stance not to reward breeds that typically have a higher number of health problems, including flat-faced breeds such as bulldogs. However, these dogs aren’t just popular pets – their strong appearance makes them popular in competitions too.

Bulldog
A British bulldog is pictured in its kennel at the Crufts Dog Show in 2009. Evidence suggests that Bulldogs were created in 13th-century England, according to the AKC
IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images