Crufts vs Westminster; What’s The Difference?

Recently, an American Cocker Spaniel named Afterglow Miami Ink won Best In Show at Crufts in England. The winner was a two year old with flowing black and white fur out of the Hound Group handled and owned by Jason Lynn. Approximately 160,000 people packed the Birmingham NEC arena over the four-day competition.

I have never attended Crufts and many people might only be familiar with it from TV coverage. So I decided to give a brief overview of how this event compares to the Westminster Kennel Club and Dog Show held annually in New York City during February.


Recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the “World’s Largest Dog Show,” competition at Crufts covers four days and can be described as a more relaxed and informal affair – like a festival for dogs and owners. Almost a thousand pedigree dogs compete in more than 2,000 individual classes for the Best in Show title. But besides the beauty pageant, there are other events including agility, flyball, obedience, racing, duck herding and even dancing. The event was named after its founder, Charles Cruft, who worked as general manager for a dog biscuit manufacturer.

Westminster is Crufts’ American cousin and is sanctioned by the American Kennel Club (AKC). it is billed as the “Superbowl of Dog Shows in America.” Not all dogs that compete in Crufts can compete at Westminster. Some breeds in the United States have their ears cropped; the practice has been banned in Great Britain for more than 100 years. This means the dog would not conform to the standard set by the AKC. [source],



Westminster Kennel Club & Dog Show
Crufts Dog Show
FIRST EVENT 1877 1891
NEXT EVENT February 12-13, 2018 March 8-11, 2018
(previously USA Network)
(previously BBC)
LOCATION Madison Square Garden
New York City
National Exhibition Centre
Birmingham UK
MOST PROLIFIC BREED WINNER Wire Fox Terrier, Pumi, Sloughi (Arabian greyhound) English Cocker Spaniel
NEW BREEDS THIS YEAR American hairless terrier, Sloughi, Pumi Russian Toy, Bloodhound, King Charles Spaniel,
English Toy Terrier, Welsh Spaniel, English Setter,
Welsh Corgi
PARTICIPATION  2,800 dogs / 190 breeds  28,000 dogs / 200+ breeds
(including agility competition)
GROUPINGS Terrier, Toy, Working, Hound,
Sporting, Non-Sporting, Herding
Terrier, Toy, Working, Hound,
Gundog, Utility, Pastoral
2017 BEST IN SHOW WINNER Lockenhaus’ Rumor Has It V Kenlyn
German Shepherd
Herding Group
Sh Ch Afterglow Miami Ink
American Cocker Spaniel
Gundog Group


Here’s a brief explanation of the different breed groups:

Terrier: originally bred and used for hunting vermin and varmints ranging from rats to badgers to otters.

Working: selectively bred to become guards and search and rescue dogs – ie. the heroic canines in the world.

Hound: Originally classified as sporting dogs and used for hunting either by scent or by sight.

Sporting: includes whose bred to aid in hunting upland game birds or waterfowl. Generally, pointers and setters have the duty to point and mark game; spaniels flush game, retrievers recover dead and wounded game. However, some dogs are responsible for more than one type of task.

Gundog: similar to Sporting Group

Non-Sporting: The AKC originally registered dogs as either Sporting or Non-Sporting. Eventually, hounds and terriers were split from the Sporting Group, and the Toys and Working dogs were split off from Non-Sporting, with the Herding Group eventually splitting from Working. Today, the Non-Sporting Group is literally every breed that is left, resulting in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, hair, function and history.
Utility: meaning fitness for a purpose. Group includes miscellaneous breeds of dog mainly of a non-sporting origin.

Herding: dogs bred for gathering and moving livestock from one place to another like cattle, sheep, reindeer and other cloven footed animals.

Pastoral: similar to Herding Group

Toy: small companion or lap dogs.




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