Meet Rufus, the Colored Bull Terrier who took Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show earlier this year. He’s got style and a sense of humor, not to mention the honor of being the only dog of his breed to take home a Best In Show ribbon from America’s most prestigious dog show.
The Westminster Kennel Club, founded in 1877, exhibits only the crème de la crème of purebred canines during its annual dog show. Rufus has previously received 32 “Best in Show” awards from various competitions as well as the coveted Silverwood trophy from the Bull Terrier Club of America. Other front runners up at Westminster included a Golden Retriever, a Rottweiler, a Dalmatian, a, Old English Sheepdog and a Scottish Deerhound, but Rufus triumphed over all. Animal Fair spoke with Rufus’ owner, Barbara Bishop of Holmdel, New Jersey, and found out how this champion kicks back at home after his biggest win to date.
AF: Tell me about Rufus; how did he get involved in dog shows?
BB: Rufus is a six-years-old Bull Terrier. He is the top winning Colored Bull Terrier of all time. Rufus has been with my husband Tom and me since he was 10 weeks old. When I saw him… I knew I had something special. When he started winning at his first show, I knew my feeling was correct.
AF: In what ways have you made your home pet friendly for Rufus, and do you have anything designed for your home that helps with his dog shows abilities?
BB: Life with Bull Terrier is not easy. My home is an open floor plan with many gates. Bullies are clowns and they are into everything. They have to be supervised [or] crated when left alone. I have nothing that they find interesting within their reach; they are like having a two-year old child. Rufus won many trophies during his career and they are displayed on high shelves. I did buy him a Jog-A-Dog that he loved when he first saw it at a show, but once it was delivered he refused to get in it.
AF: So how do you “design” a winner?
BB: There is no sure way to ensure a win. Dogs are judged as they appear at the “moment” to the judge. We try to keep him in good condition, watch his weight, and keep him happy and relaxed at the show.
AF: Do you plan on entering Rugus in another show anytime soon?
BB: At this moment, he is retired from AKC confirmation events. Once a dog wins BIS at Westminster… there is nothing that can really top that. Most dogs just retire after that. We are very proud that he has completed his AKC Canine Good Citizen Certification and his Therapy Dog International certification since his Westminster win.
AF: How interested is Rufus in pet fashion? What kind of clothes does he wear?
BB: Bull Terriers love attention and Rufus loves to get dressed up. He has a Burberry coat that he loves to strut around in. I am always putting hats on him and he will wear most any outfit I put on him. He has quite a wardrobe, although it is difficult to get things in his size, which is very disappointing.
– Brittany Jasnoff