I only like the theatrics involved in Thanksgiving. I’m not much of a fan of the history, the actual cooking aspect or sitting around a table with random distant relatives. But, I am definitely a fan of two things: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the National Dog Show. And though I truly love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, there’s something that just makes it less fun. It’s painfully early in the morning. Not to ruin the magic, but I’m at a time in my life where I just record it and watch it later on. 

The National Dog Show, though, has perfect timing in the afternoon. You can curl up with a glass of wine or a festive cocktail and watch some dogs you didn’t even know existed prance around on the carpet as deep voices talk about their “coats” or “curl pattern.” 

The National Dog Show, or the Kennel Club of Philadelphia Dog Show, has been around since 1879, but started airing after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2002. Since then, 20 dogs have been named “Best in Show.” Simply due to the fact that I have no shame and do not believe in the concept that “every dog is cute,” I’m going to rank some of the real winners here. 

I have no knowledge in dog breeds or what makes one dog more special than another, this is a completely shallow all-by-looks list. So without further ado, here’s my list. 

  1. “Buff Cap Creslane Arctic Mist” the Australian Shepherd:

I’m sure I should say something about how these people choose to name their dogs, but I feel like this name speaks for itself. I also get the feeling that these are similar to “drag names” for the dogs and their families actually call them something else. As on the Wikipedia page for the 2005 “Best in Show” winner “Rocky Top’s Sundance Kid” it has “aka: ‘Rufus’” right next to it, so “Buff Cap” seems to be a stage name for this queen of a dog. I just love Australian Shepherds. They’re cute little spotted things and I love that they tell you to be cautious with them around small children because they herd. Buff Cap was cute, spritely and for no reason other than I like them, they’re coming in at number one. 

  1. “Roundtown Mercedes of Mary Scot” the Scottish Terrier: 

I think one of these dogs is in my future. I mean they’re classy, Scottish, and look like little slippers! What more could you want? “Roundtown” is on this list simply because of her Scottish descent and her beautiful color. The black Scottish terriers have a bit of mystique about that that I’m truly a fan of. She’s also one of only two of the dogs with her own Wikipedia page, so that’s pretty cool. She was the first-ever Triple Crown winner, as she secured the National Dog Show, the AKC National Championship, and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This is all pretty cool, but she secured her spot on my list because of her slipper-looking body and based on the fact that there is a good chance that I’ll have one of these dogs one day. 

  1. “Windntide Mr. Sandman” the Irish Setter: 

I love a dog that’s all legs and the Irish Setter is just that dog. It just looks like if it stood up on its hind legs it’d give you a great hug and that’s why it’s here on this list. Mr. Sandman also gets this spot simply because there’s a photo on the website announcing her unfortunate passing of him in rain boots with a beautiful yellow sweater thrown over her shoulders. He’s giving style, grace and thus she comes third on my list. 

  1. “Flessner’s International S’cess” the Bloodhound:

This dog gets this position for two reasons. Firstly, the dog’s actual name is Nathan and there’s very little more hilarious than naming a dog Nathan. Secondly, I love the look of bloodhounds and their connection to the detective lore and thus Nathan has a deserving spot on this list at number four. He’s not as high as the other dogs, just because he lacks the boots and personality the other dogs have. But, his ability to aid in the pursuit of criminals makes him deserving of this position. 

  1. “Cragsmoor Good Time Charlie” the Skye Terrier:

This dog looks like a swiffer for dust-related messes. That and its generally poor name leads it to my fifth and final ranking. He just could’ve been better in all categories, but since his ears look like little space buns, he’s able to make my list.

There are many more dogs who won “Best in Show” but just didn’t stand out as deserving a place on this list. Maybe it’ll change after this coming holiday season; I’ll be watching and I hope you will be too.


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