National dog show: revisit the previous Best in Show champions

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The Philadelphia Kennel Club Dog Show airs throughout Thanksgiving and features the nation’s top winning dogs. Maybe you know it as the show that follows Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the one you leave on TV and forget about until you drop onto the couch and think, “Oh yeah, that’s one thing.”

But this puppy contest is more than a background noise to cook up Thanksgiving dinner. These prestigious dogs, trained and groomed for years for their few minutes on the national scene, deserve your attention. So ahead of this year’s competition, get to know the past decade of National Dog Show Champions, who represent America’s cutest, hairiest and best-behaved puppies.

Do not let Claire’s scruffy coat and an intimidating size fools you – she’s a darling at heart.

Last name and first name: Foxcliffe Claire Randall Fraser
Height: Large enough to eclipse a toddler and the whole toy group.
Favorite Compliment: Commentator David Frei said Claire was “perfectly built, had an active and easy gait” and an elegance worthy of a puppy of her pedigree.
Fun fact: Claire comes from a long line of winners: her grandmother Hickory took top honors at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and her mother, Chelsea, was named reserve best-in-show at the National Dog Show in 2015. (a reserve winner takes the Best of Show coat if the original winner is disqualified).

2019: Thor the Bulldog

A dark horse from the National Dog Show, this chubby young cannon has a superheroic spirit.

Last name and first name: Thor. Only Thor.

Age at time of victory: 2 – practically a baby!

Preferred descriptors: “Fabulous.” “A handsome kid.” “Athletic.” “Perfection.”

Favorite quote: From his master, Eduardo Paris: “I love this dog. Thor gives me his heart every time.”

Favorite superhero: Black Panther. (Okay, we don’t really know.)

Fun fact: Thor is a citizen of the world – born in Peru, he first dazzled his co-owners after winning Best-in-Shows at a Brazilian dog show.

2018: Whiskey the Whippet

The curious but mellow whiskey won 23 Best-in-Show titles before scoring big at the 2018 National Dog Show.
The whiskey owes its name to an alcohol that it cannot drink.
Last name and first name: Pinnacle Tennessee Whiskey

Age at time of victory: 3

Love: Show off, win, relax on your dog-sized orthopedic mattress.

Do not like: Losing, especially to his classmates.

Preferred expression: Perpetual alarm.

Fun fact: Although Whiskey is named Volunteer State and its sister Bourbon is named after Kentucky’s favorite alcohol, both Whippets were born in Georgia. These are peaches to the heart.

2017: Newton the Brussels Griffon

This chic little man has the face of a Wookie and the heart of a champion.

Newton displayed a rare smile during his winning performance at the National Dog Show.
Last name and first name: Somerset Wynzall Hashtag

Age at time of victory: 3

Favorite Compliment: “He’s got one of the best faces I’ve ever seen,” his trainer, Susan DePew, told Purina ProClub.

Celebrity lookalike: Chewbacca (although David Frei once called him an Ewok).
Spiritual parents: Grumpy Cat – they share a same frown.

Fun fact: Newton loves to be cradled like a little baby and fall asleep in his master’s arms.

2016: Gia the Greyhound

It’s impossible to resist Gia’s gentle demeanor and inquiring eyes.

Gia politely refused to jump on the National Dog Show stage so as not to hurt the slower dogs.  feelings.

Last name and first name: Grand Cru Giaconda

Age at time of victory: 4

Favorite Compliment: “She has a snakehead and can really gallop.” – Judge Best in Show 2016, James G. Reynolds.

Height: Intimidating.

Fun fact: Gia is a dedicated mother – some of her youngsters have even been on shows themselves, although Gia is still the reigning champion in her family.

2015: Charlie the Skye Terrier

Petite and capriciously hairy Charlie has short legs and a long history in the entertainment circuit.

Charlie can't see his beloved fans behind his shaggy mane.

Last name and first name: Cragsmoor Good Time Charlie

Age at time of victory: 4

Favorite Compliment: According to manager Larry Cornelius, Charlie is “long, low and level” – the three traits that make a successful Skye Terrier.

Seen: Embarrassed by her blunt bangs.

Fun fact: Charlie’s victory at the National Dog Show was his 79th Best in Show title and, like this writer, he hails from central Florida.

2014: Nathan the Bloodhound

So this this is what the dog from “The Fox and the Hound” looks like!

Nathan has had wrinkles for days.

Last name and first name: S’Cess International by Flessner

Age at time of victory: 4

Ears: Soft.

Wrinkles: Too many to count.

Fun fact: Nathan is more than a pretty face, he’s a working dog! He won the title of “Maintrailer”, by Purina, which means he is able to follow a person by following their specific scent. He’s a schnoz worthy of awards.

2013: Jewel the American Foxhound

Not to be confused with the folk singer of the same name, this Jewel is a real gem.

Jewel arrived at the National Dog Show with the confidence of a champion.
Last name and first name: Kiarry’s Pandora’s Box

Age at time of victory: 3

Favorite song: “Whip My Hair”, Willow Smith, according to its owner, Lisa Miller.

black beast : When people think she’s a beagle. Have you ever seen a beagle with such long legs?!?!?

Fun fact: According to Miller, Jewel is a “tomboy princess,” with a crown.

2012: Sky the Wire Fox Terrier

This perfect dog is painfully cute – and this smile!

Sky could be one of the cutest dogs to ever walk on Earth.
Last name and first name: After all paint the sky

Age at time of victory: 4

Love: Growing a beard, photoshoots, full-mouth kisses.

Do not like : When people don’t accept her open-mouthed kisses.

Favorite movie: “Bringing Up Baby,” which featured another famous Wire Fox Terrier.
Fun fact: Two years after her victory at the National Dog Show, Sweet Sky took top honors at the Westminster Dog Show – the latest outing for the fuzzy retiree.

2011: Eira the Corded Fox Terrier

The red-haired terrier conquered hearts and more than a national title.

Eira sported one of the best beards ever seen on the National Dog Show stage.
Last name and first name: Steele your heart

Age at time of victory: 4

Love: To be an absolute queen of drama. Her breeder Torie Steele said in 2012 that Eira sees herself as the “queen bee” who hogs hotel beds and prepares them for cameras.

Do not like : Anything that will soil her immaculate white coat.

Fun fact: “Eira” is the Welsh word for “snow” – appropriate for this puppy, who was born from frozen sperm from top terriers of the mid-1980s, according to his breeder.

2010: Clooney the Irish Setter

Clooney’s silky red mane rivaled that of Julianne Moore, Carrot Top, and Prince Harry.

Clooney didn't explain what conditioner he used to make his hair so smooth.
Last name and first name: Windntide Mr. Sandman

Age at time of victory: 3

Favorite hair product: He would never say it!

Do not like : To be perhaps the fourth most famous Clooney in the United States, behind George, Amal and Rosemary.

Fun fact: Clooney beat Beyoncé – in this case Beyoncé was an Australian Shepherd who ultimately lost Best-in-Show to Clooney. Clooney had no regrets.

CNN’s Austin Steele contributed to this report.

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