Crufts: A look back on the young and the old, Best in Show winners

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Crufts' youngest and oldest, Best in Show winners

Crufts, the world’s largest and most prestigious dog show, is set to return on March 7-10, 2024 held at NEC Birmingham. 

The event will feature over 20,000 dogs competing in various categories, such as agility, obedience, and breed conformation. The highlight of the show will be the Best in Show competition, where the top dogs from each group will vie for the ultimate honour.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As we anticipate the next champion, let us take a moment to appreciate some of the most memorable winners from the past. In particular, two dogs stand out for their remarkable achievements for their age: Chuckles the Bulldog, who was the youngest ever winner, and Jet the Flat Coated Retriever, who was the oldest.

Noways Chuckles

Noways Chuckle, a bulldog, wins the Keddell Memorial Cup for Best In Show at the Crufts international championship, Olympia, London, UK, 11th February 1952. Also pictured are the Countess of Northesk (left), wife of the Vice-Chairman of Crufts, and the dog's owner, Mrs M. Barnard. (Photo by E. Round/Fox Photos/Getty Images)Noways Chuckle, a bulldog, wins the Keddell Memorial Cup for Best In Show at the Crufts international championship, Olympia, London, UK, 11th February 1952. Also pictured are the Countess of Northesk (left), wife of the Vice-Chairman of Crufts, and the dog's owner, Mrs M. Barnard. (Photo by E. Round/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
Noways Chuckle, a bulldog, wins the Keddell Memorial Cup for Best In Show at the Crufts international championship, Olympia, London, UK, 11th February 1952. Also pictured are the Countess of Northesk (left), wife of the Vice-Chairman of Crufts, and the dog's owner, Mrs M. Barnard. (Photo by E. Round/Fox Photos/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The Youngest Winner Chuckles, owned by Mr John T Barnard and Mrs M. Barnard from Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, made history in 1952, when he won Best in Show at the tender age of 1 year and 3 months. 

He was the first and only Bulldog to ever win the title, and the youngest dog of any breed. His adorable wrinkled face and determined spirit charmed the judges and the audience alike. Despite his tender age, Chuckles demonstrated exceptional breed characteristics and charisma, proving that greatness knows no bounds, even in puppyhood.

Chuckles’ victory was a testament to the popularity and quality of the Bulldog breed, which had been revived after nearly going extinct in the early 20th century. Chuckles became a celebrity and a symbol of British pride, appearing on covers and receiving fan mail from all over the world.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Vbos The Kentuckian (aka Jet)

Jet,  celebrates winning 'Best in Show' at the 2011 Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre on March 13, 2011 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)Jet,  celebrates winning 'Best in Show' at the 2011 Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre on March 13, 2011 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Jet, celebrates winning 'Best in Show' at the 2011 Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre on March 13, 2011 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The Oldest Winner Jet, owned by Jim Irvine from Edinburgh, Scotland, on the other hand, achieved glory in 2011,  when he won Best in Show at the ripe age of 9 years and 7 months. 

He was the second Flat Coated Retriever to win the title, and the oldest dog of any breed. His glossy black coat and soulful eyes radiated wisdom and grace. 

Jet’s victory was a tribute to the Flat Coated Retriever breed, which is known for its intelligence, versatility, and loyalty. Jet was a champion in both the show ring and the field, having won several working tests and field trials.  He demonstrated the enduring spirit of our canine friends, showing that age can be an asset rather than a liability. 

Jet, and Jim Irvine (L) from Edinburgh, Scotland is awarded 'Best in Show' after earlier winning the Best Gundog category at the annual Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, central England, on March 13, 2011. (Photo credit PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)Jet, and Jim Irvine (L) from Edinburgh, Scotland is awarded 'Best in Show' after earlier winning the Best Gundog category at the annual Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, central England, on March 13, 2011. (Photo credit PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Jet, and Jim Irvine (L) from Edinburgh, Scotland is awarded 'Best in Show' after earlier winning the Best Gundog category at the annual Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, central England, on March 13, 2011. (Photo credit PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

These two dogs exemplify the diversity and excellence of Crufts, which has been running since 1891. The show has seen 78 Best in Show winners, representing 43 different breeds. The most successful breed is the Cocker Spaniel, with seven wins, followed by the Irish Setter, Poodle, and Welsh Terrier, each with four wins.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Crufts celebrates the diversity and excellence of dogs, as well as the bond between dogs and their owners. It is a cultural phenomenon that attracts millions of viewers and visitors every year. Whether young or old, big or small, purebred or mixed, every dog has a chance to shine at Crufts.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.