20 Times Show Dogs Went Hilariously Off Script and Stole Our Hearts

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By Ariel Wodarcyk, BetterYou

These show dogs didn’t win any prizes, but they made a lasting impression in our hearts. Some were so excited they ignored the agility course set out for them and sprinted around the stage, while others were more focused on preening for the crowd than crushing a record time. Keep reading for 20 hilarious dog show snafus.


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Mia, the beagle, was more interested in sniffing her own behind and preening for the crowd than completing the 2017 Westminster Dog Show agility course. When Terry Simons, a commentator at the Westminster Dog Show for the past seven years, saw Mia get distracted, he urged, “Don’t be a beagle! Don’t be a beagle!” Then he worried his comments might get misconstrued by ardent beagle fans. “The beagle people are going to hate me!” Terry told Better You. Instead, multiple people came up to him after the show to express how much they loved that comment—beagles are silly dogs.


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The agility course is intended to show off prized pooches’ astonishing speed and nimbleness—one dog took only 40 seconds to complete the round at Westminster in 2019 . Not Winky. “She had this nonchalant attitude, like she was out having a glass of wine on the patio with the girls,” Simons said. “She wasn’t fazed.” The bichon frise took her sweet time at that same competition—100 seconds, to be exact. She also made 92 mistakes. At one point, she paused on top of a climber to stare out at the audience; then she totally skipped several of the obstacles she should have been running through.


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At Westminster 2012, Connie Newcomb, dog handler and author of Dog Show Confidential: Sneaking in the Back Door Of Westminster was showing her smooth coat Chihuahua, Rocky, when he peed on her foot during breed judging.

Surprisingly, she said, none of the judges noticed. “I acted cool about it,” Connie told Better You. Even if they had seen, the judges are forgiving because of the stress of the show and the long hours indoors. “He did it a lot,” Connie said. “Sometimes they just have to go.”

Ninja Zippy

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We don’t blame Ninja Zippy for suffering a classic case of stage fright. Crufts is the world’s largest dog show,  with 27,000 dogs competing and upwards of 160,000 audience members each year. But with a name like Ninja Zippy, we expected this sweet cocker spaniel to complete the Crufts 2019 agility course in no time. Instead, Ninja Zippy was so timid, he spent a full six seconds standing at the opening of the tunnel (an eternity in dog years).


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We’ve never seen a show dog have as much fun as Kratu did when he made his own obstacle course during the 2019 Crufts agility round. The Romanian rescue was a huge fan of the course’s signature green tunnel. Instead of running through it like his competitors, though, he sat inside and peered sheepishly at his owner. He only came out when his owner came to pet him and give him more attention. Then he doubled back just to run through the same tunnel again. If there was a freestyle round, Kratu would have won first place!


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Olly tore through the 2017 Crufts agility course like a bolt of lightning. There was even a crash—but it wasn't thunder. Immediately upon starting the race, the Jack Russell terrier collided head-on with one of the hurdles and went tumbling across the course. Most dogs would have been down for the count, but not Olly. He jumped right back up and zoomed through the rest of the round. When he reached the ramp, he ran underneath to check things out—then he made it to the top and took a flying leap.


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Milo let his curiosity get the best of him as he wandered through the agility course at the 2019 Crufts show. After exiting the tunnel and jumping over a hurdle, the cross-breed jogged around the ring and gave a quick “hello” woof to the audience. His 5-year-old owner, Isi, handled his distraction like a pro. She waved him through the tunnel, up the ramp, and shouted him along as he stopped at the end of a seesaw to bark at the audience. We hope these two have a long, fun career together.


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Tatty, the rescue mutt said, “No, thank you” to the crowds at the 2019 Crufts show. Instead of lining up with the other dogs to start the agility course, Tatty sprinted offstage. “He’s not too fond of this arena,” commentator Peter Purves said as an attendant led Tatty back onstage to join the lineup. “A rescue dog being rescued!” he added. Because of Tatty's diversion, Buttons, another canine competitor, got to run before him on the course.

Tinklebury Bingo

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This 4-year-old papillon spent nearly a minute-and-a-half fleeing the Crufts 2018 agility course. Each time Tinklebury Bingo’s owner prompted her to jump the first hurdle, the little dog flounced off toward the edge of the arena. It was as though she was trying to get as far away from the hurdles as possible. Maybe she had better things to do, such as eating treats or barking at people through a window. Tinklebury made it over one hurdle with the rule-breaking help of a judge before her handler, Melinda Savva, escorted her offstage.


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Unlike some of the dogs on this list, Zeus, the mastiff, made it through the entire course at the 2014 Rocky Mountain Cluster Dog Show in Denver, Colorado. About 3,000, dogs compete in the show each year, and many handlers use the event to qualify their dogs for the big leagues, such as Westminster. But Zeus didn’t let the pressure faze him. He sauntered through at his own—very leisurely—pace, finishing in a minute-and-a-half. At Westminster, dogs complete similar courses in about 40 seconds, less than half of Zeus' time. What we love most about Zeus’ run is the slower he moved, the louder the audience cheered for him.


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Salukis can run up to 30 to 35 miles an hour, and Lucas is no exception. At the 2014 Crufts show, he made it through the first tunnel of the agility competition before he sprinted offstage in search of his owner, who sat out due to illness. It was Lucas’ first time running with handler Jenny, and he missed his real owner too much. Lucky for us, Lucas returned to the stage, not to complete the round, but to run “a lap of honor,” one commentator said.


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After a long day of indoor competition in front of thousands of audience members, it’s only natural that a dog’s gotta go. Unfortunately for Libby, her accident occurred just as she was picking up steam in the middle of the Crufts 2012 agility course. At the 30-second mark, she couldn’t hold it any longer. The 5-and-a-half-year-old cross-breed was immediately disqualified. When asked the reason for the disqualification, a commentator responded, “Pooing on the course, now that’s not very nice, is it?” Westminster judges are more forgiving of such incidents, but since Crufts is the world’s largest dog show, the bar is raised.


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“He’s just having a little think about it,” one commentator said as Timmy, the German spitz, paused for three seconds after the first hurdle in the 2019 Crufts show. Then he took another four-second pause to look at the tunnel he had just passed through. Unfortunately for Timmy, returning to a previous obstacle leads to immediate disqualification. Timmy made it through the rest of the course in a quick blur of fluff, until he got sidetracked again showing off for the paparazzi when he should have been weaving through obstacles.


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Murphy is a Romanian rescue who used the agility course to show off his speed rather than his precision. “He’s going back to Romania, isn’t he?” one commentator said as the mutt made rapidfire laps around the course at the 2017 Crufts show. The 1,000-foot-wide course has 15 to 20 obstacles, the majority of which Murphy ignored. He was running in circles so fast, his owner gave up on trying to collect him and stood in the middle of the course, watching Murphy release his zoomies.


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If you’re going to have an accident on national television, it’s best not to do so directly in front of the judges. The show is also live-streamed worldwide on the Crufts YouTube channel. Max, a white and tan springer spaniel, didn’t get that memo before the 2015 Crufts competition. He had no shame when he popped a squat a mere 14 seconds into the agility round. Max’s owner, Dylan Thomas, calmly cleaned up the mess with a doggy bag.


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Our heart goes out to handler Sarah Murphy, whose miniature pinscher, Timmy, broke free during the 2014 National Dog Show group judging. Timmy ran in front of a handler while she was showing her Cavalier, so there was no way the judges could miss him. Sarah had never shown Timmy before; according to her, showing a miniature pinscher “is like having a hummingbird on a string.” Though she looked on the verge of tears when she collected Timmy, Sarah insisted she wasn’t crying. “My only regret is making that face!” she said. “Why couldn’t they show me kissing him right after that?”

Golden Retriever

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The televised Finnish dog show Koira Mestari, which translates to “dog champion,” values dogs with speed, obedience and laser focus, none of which were top priorities for this distractible golden retriever. In the pet’s defense, the course is littered with goodies such as tennis balls, stuffed animals and dog food. The pup preferred to sniff around the course and chow down on kibble. Who’s the real winner here—the dogs who ran straight through the race, or the dog who scored a free meal along the way?

Nova Scotia and Border Collie

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This Nova Scotia and border collie know there’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition, especially to warm up before the real show. When the Nova Scotia saw the border collie shoot down the course during a test run for the 2014 Crufts flyball relay race, he was too impatient to wait for his turn to go. The two dogs collided at the end of the course and chased each other around the stage. “What a good start—a shambles!” the commentator joked.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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This staffy decided to skip the Crufts 2013 agility course to hang out with the fans instead. When his owner tried to leash him for judging, he decided to make a game out of it and ran toward the red steps that lead out of the arena. Then he slipped under the “Reserved Seating” rope to join the crowd, who roared with laughter. “If you’ve got sandwiches on your knees, put them away now!” the commentator cautioned as the dog bounded into the audience. “She particularly likes chicken and tuna.” We think she should win extra points for politely greeting each audience member.


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Mike, the Irish setter, gets an A+ for his enthusiastic sprint across the stage during the Crufts 2017 group judging. He left his owner in the dust to go play with a fellow setter. Sadly, the other setter wasn’t quite as social. As Mike jumped on and licked him, his target retreated toward his owner. The owner attempted to bat away playful Mike. Unlike most competitors, Mike was 100 percent here to make friends.

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Pets Magazine: 20 Times Show Dogs Went Hilariously Off Script and Stole Our Hearts
20 Times Show Dogs Went Hilariously Off Script and Stole Our Hearts
These dogs are No. 1 in our hearts and unranked everywhere else.
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