The Real Rufus

Up close and personal with the donut-loving Bull Terrier who won Best in Show at the 2006 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.


When most people think of a Westminster show dog, they imagine a perfectly poised canine specimen attentive to his handler, absolutely obedient, and quite proud of himself. But no matter how perfect these dogs look in the show ring, they are real dogs, with funny quirks and mischievous habits, just like our own pets. Here's a real-life look at Rufus, the Krispy Kreme-loving Bull Terrier who took Best in Show in 2006.

Rufus - Ch. Rocky Top's Sundance Kid. Photo © Mary BloomCh. Rocky Tops Sundance Kid
Call name: Rufus.
Breed: Bull Terrier.
AKC group: Terrier.
Age: 5.
Owners/Breeders: Tom and Barbara Bishop; William and Rebecca Poole; Norma Shepherd.
Handler: Kathy Kirk.
Home: Holmdel, N.J., with the Bishops.

 Favorite toy:
Planet Dog Earth Ball.

 Favorite reward: Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

 Best canine buddy: A white Bull Terrier named Emily, the grande dame of the household.

 Canine nemesis: At times, Emily (even though she's his best buddy). Friendship can be like that!

 Quirk: The hucklebutt. He takes off at top speed, then does a quick spin and turns around, usually in a small area. He gets about three feet in the air, all four feet off the ground, then lands on his feet he's very agile.

 What drives him nuts: Applause! When he's in the ring and the crowd cheers for him, his whole demeanor changes he loves the attention.

 Sleeping spot: Rufus always sleeps in bed. Barbara is lucky to get a few inches at the edge, and maybe a little piece of pillow.

 Favorite contraband treat: Vienna Fingers cookies.

Typical day: Wakes up and eats a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast, then goes out in the yard to play. He comes in and goes back to bed, then goes out again around noon. Then it's time to run errands with Barbara, where he sits in the front seat with his doggie seatbelt on. Later, he goes for a walk, eats dinner, and hangs out in the yard. Finally, he watches a bit of TV before bed. The night before a show he gets a bath, which he doesn't mind. The only difference between his life and a non-show dog's life is that on most weekends he's on the road. Rufus is a house pet who just happens to be a top-winning show dog, too.

                                   - More Show Dogs -


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Steven   Cheswick, Pennsylvania

8/17/2014 2:18:24 PM

Even years after his death, i can't forget this adorable dog. i have always been a fan, and even named one of my own dogs "Rufus", after him. ( a Chow/Shepard so handsome, he always attracts attention)

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Jennifer   Brier, WA

10/20/2007 3:01:28 PM

I fell in love with Rufus the moment I saw him for the first time on TV during the Eukanuba Championship show on Animal Planet. Unfortunately, the first time I saw Rufus was after he had already won the Westminster Championship because as it turns out I was watching re-runs. I would have been SO excited had I known about him when he won the Westminster. Because of Rufus, I want to purchase a mini bull terrier and name him Lil' Rufus.

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Julie   Minneapolis, MN

11/10/2006 8:26:10 PM

I saw rufus on tv. rufus is amazing.

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