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Gentle giant Lulu is 2003
Westminster Dog of the Year

On Monday, 20th October, Westminster hosted one of the hottest ‘pawlitical’ standoffs as the nation’s Top Dogs came together to compete for the prestigious title of the Westminster Dog of the Year, organised by Dogs Trust, the new name for the NCDL, and the Kennel Club.

Nipping at the heels of the Tory Party Conference, the Westminster Dog of the Year competition could have been another chance for Mr. Duncan Smith to shine.


But, despite being the proud owner of two likely looking pooches, the leader of the opposition failed to field a candidate. Pundits say he has dropped the bone on what might be his chance to finally become THE top dog.

This year’s eventual winner was Lulu, the gentle giant Newfoundland, pictured on page 1 with her owner Roger Gale MP. Lulu was running on a ‘Free Slobber For All’ ticket which was obviously a winner at the polls!

The canine candidates were judged by Clarissa Baldwin Chief Executive of Dogs Trust, Rosemary Smart, Chief Executive of the Kennel Club and John Whittingdale MP with his dog, Humphrey, who was runner up in last year’s competition.. Respects were paid to last year’s winner, the late Lord Williams of Mostyn who has sadly passed away.

This year the competition was as hot as ever and nine of the country’s most powerful pups were set to go barking mad to win! The canine candidates this year included some famous names:

Elvis, a charming West Highland White Terrier gaining ground with Siobhan McDonagh MP.

Snoopy, the Jack Russell feted by the Earl of Arran. Snoopy and considered a strong contender in this race, he’s well known for disappearing into the undergrowth!

Bobby, a cunning brindle Cairn Terrier backed by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe. Bobby was running on a strictly ‘bundle of joy’ agenda.


Denzil, the Norfolk Terrier running on the Viscount Colville of Culross QC’s ticket and a real crowd pleaser. ready to perform all manner of tricks to get his message across.

Maxwell, the Standard Poodle backed by Lady Harris, the gentle ‘people’s dog’ of the competition.

A Bedlington Terrier with vision, supported by Vera Baird QC MP, Zack is one of the favourites to fetch that coveted stick first.

Vicky, the ‘discerning’ Cavalier King Charles Spaniel running with the approval of Lord Williams of Elvel.

Lotte, the Dachshund contender supported by Lord Bowness, in her quest to be ‘top dog’.

The Westminster Dog of the Year competition is open to dogs from both Houses, and is now in its eleventh year. This year’s dogs were as always judged on their good deeds and behaviour rather than looks or pedigree. The competition is open to dogs of all ages, shape and political persuasion, pedigree and crossbreed alike, with the aim is to highlight the very special bond between dogs and their owners.