Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles King, the dog, is enjoying a steak, well-done, at Sardi's, the famous theatre-district restaurant in New York. He deserves it, because he just won Best in Show at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club dog show, in 2019. Then he tried to eat a microphone. King is at the end of a long list of terriers to win Best in Show at Westminster. But King, as wonderful as he is, will almost certainly not do what this dog did. This is the only dog to win Best in Show at Westminster, 3 times in a row. That's a 3-peat! How did she do it? And was she really the greatest dog of all time? The answer involves a breed, a socialite, and the short life of a legend, named Warren Remedy. This is not a steak. This is a rat. Terriers made their reputations as rat catchers. First bred in the British Isles, the smooth fox terrier and wire fox terrier crossed over to America. Warren Remedy was a smooth fox terrier while King is a wire fox terrier. The dogs don't just share a "Best in Show" title, but also a common fox terrier heritage. With just a few exceptions. The American smooth fox terrier started off in the 1880s in the oldest of our great kennels, Warren Kennels, the one started by Winthrop Rutherfurd. Rutherfurd was a wealthy Manhattan socialite. He dated a Vanderbilt before marrying a Vice-President's daughter. He was also really into terriers. Rutherfurd was president of the American Fox Terrier club, funding it and working to boost the breed's clout. He also raised them at his estate in Allamuchy, New Jersey. Allamuchy Township Tax and Animal Licensing office. Hi, uh, what county are you in? Warren County. So that's why his kennels were called Warren Kennels. Oh, what kennels? So that is where Warren Remedy got her name. All the Warren Kennel dogs were Warren something. And all that stuff sets the stage for the confluence of events that would make her not just a dog, but an icon. Let's go back to King. King didn't just win for being the best dog. He won according to standards used by Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show judges. Standards of what an ideal wire fox terrier is. He has small, v-shaped ears of moderate thickness, a flat top-line of the skull, a coat with dense wiry texture. It's not just an awesome dog, but the dog that best exemplifies the breed. Winthrop Rutherfurd helped write the standards for the smooth fox terrier for his club and Westminster. The Westminster Kennel Club started shows in 1877, just a few years before Rutherfurd's Warren Kennel started. It didn't have Best in Show, a competition between breeds, until 1907. By then, Rutherfurd was a member of the Westminster Bench Show Committee, and guaranteed prize money for the smooth and wire fox terrier categories. He ran one of the two top smooth fox terrier kennels in the country. Other dogs were measured by the type he'd established. His dog, Warren Remedy, won shows around the country. The judges called her the “sprightly clean-limbed little miss” and raved that she was truest to type. But is it any wonder that she won Westminster specifically again, again and again? The surprise isn't that she won three times. It's that she lost a fourth time to the other big fox terrier breeder out of Texas, Sabine Kennel's. Even though Sabine beat Warren Remedy, it wasn't really a loss for the Rutherfurd type. A dog from the Sabine Kennel sired Warren Remedy: he was her dad. So, what do we do with Warren Remedy? Was she really the greatest dog of all time? After the reign of the smooth fox terrier, wire-fox terriers became cooler, all the way up to King in 2019. A smooth fox terrier never won after 1910. Regulations also got stricter in 1924. There have been a couple of repeat winners since, but no three-timers, and no two-timers since 1972. That's over. Before that, even an elite dog like Warren Remedy had a window. A 20-year smooth fox terrier trend. A short 7-year life. And 3 years as Best in Show. In 1906, she needed a little size yet, but had time. By 1909, even when she was queen of all dogs at Westminster, Sabine Kennel dogs were winning other competitions across the country. But for a couple of years, she had the glory. She endorsed Spratt's Dog Cakes. She earned all those front-page headlines. Maybe those three wins, maybe they were about socialites, and structure, and trends. Maybe she wasn't the greatest dog of all time. But the window's small for every dog. Maybe they're all the greatest, for a moment. Maybe all the dogs deserve one night when they get the steak. So maybe you're curious when the terrier reign over Best in Show finally ended, and it didn't happen until 1913 when a bulldog — this big boy, named Strathtay Prince Albert — managed to pull off the victory.