Whiskey the whippet wins 2018 AKC National Championship

Credit: Mitchell Orr/ Unsplash

Credit: Mitchell Orr/ Unsplash

A 35-pound ball of energy won Best in Show at the AKC National Championship in Orlando, Florida, last month.

Whiskey the whippet is used to winning. He won the National Dog Show in November, beating more than 2,000 dogs from 192 breeds. It's his 21st Best in Show title, according to People.

His December win makes him the winner of the biggest field in the dog show world, outpacing more than 5,000 other dogs in the contest and taking home $50,000.

"That's the largest show a whippet has ever won since the AKC began keeping records," said Whiskey's breeder, owner and handler, Justin C. Smithey.

>> Read more trending news

Smithey, 35, breeds, boards and shows dogs all over the world, for himself and for clients, but Whiskey, and his sister Bourbon, have an inside track. They get to stay in the master’s suite, and sleep on his bed in his Sugar Valley, Georgia, home.

Bourbon has also triumphed at national competitions, making the brother and sister an unusual pair of littermates.

Smithey drives to competitions, and put 60,000 miles on his Ford Transit high-roofed cargo van in the past year. Whiskey travels with him in a crash-proof crate with an orthopedic mattress.

Whiskey tolerates the driving but enjoys the shows, according to Smithey.

“His personality -- in addition to his good looks -- have helped him,” he said. “He’s a very relaxed, easy dog, he knows when to rest whenever we’re not showing.”

When the lights come on, the 3-year-old is ready.

“I can ask him to look alert and he will snap right back into it,” Smithey said.

It can be expensive to show dogs, but this season Whiskey has earned his keep. In addition to the Best in Show prize at the AKC, Whiskey won another $16,000 in other categories.

Also known as GCHP CH Pinnacle Tennessee Whiskey, Whiskey is co-owned by Dr. Ken Latimer, professor emeritus of veterinary medicine at the University of Georgia.

About the Author