Scottish Terriers at the Crufts Dog Show

How do Crufts and Westminster compare?


Given that the Scottish Terrier and Dog News provided extensive coverage of the Westminster Dog Show last month, we don’t want to devote too much attention to Crufts, its Euro competitor. If this strikes you as unfair given that Crufts — just like Westminster, describes itself as the world’s greatest dog show — you’re right about the injustice of it all.

The trouble is we don’t want the Scottie News to become too dog show oriented. As much as I enjoy the pageantry of dog shows, there are other aspects of them that I’m less fond of. So, part of the reason we won’t be giving Crufts the same coverage as Westminster is simply because it comes later in the year, and the other is that Scottie News has far fewer readers across the pond than in North America.

We will, however, cover the Scotties, other terriers and any big stories that emerge from Crufts. And today, we’ll get give you a primer to get you ready for the show which starts Thursday March 6th and ends Sunday March 9th , the day the Scottish Terriers are judged.

Unlike at Westminster, where Scottish Terriers have won the Best in Show title six times, only one Scottie, the full-figured Heather Necessity, has won Crufts Best in Show and that was back in 1929. While Crufts judges like terriers, they’re not quite as terrier crazy as the Westminster judges, and, according to past Best in Show results, they also seem to have a thing for Spaniels.

In recent years, Crufts has not been without its share of controversies. The Sunday Telegraph reported last year that some British breeders are upset by the flashier American-style elements that have become part of the annual competition. “It has led to quite a dramatic change in the presentation of some of the dogs at Crufts. Some now reflect that kind of North American glamor that you see in Hollywood starlets, who are all teeth and hair. The British still tend to present their dogs in a more traditional, less flamboyant way,” British and Irish Dog Breeds Preservation Trust official Paul Keevil told the Telegraph.

Worse yet, Britain’s K9 Magazine recounts accusations that a Doberman was drugged by a jealous rival and that the 2006 Best In Show Winner, Danny, the Pekingese, “had received a ‘facelift’. The claims were later proved to be false and Danny was able to keep his title, his owner putting the whole affair down to the jealousy of a fellow Crufts competitor.”

Drugs, cosmetic surgery, conspiracies…Westminster looks downright clean compared to Crufts. Wonder if that’s why the Scotties have only one win while West Highland Terriers have won twice. Westie winners wer eCh Olac Moon Pilot in 1990 and Ch Dianthus Buttons in 1976.

If you know anything about the Scottish Terriers competing this year, please let us know in the comments.
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