Golden Retriever called Jack Daniels steals hearts at National Dog Show

Show Golden Retriever Jack Daniels dog-happy
© justinkirkland4 - Twitter

It's a hugely important occasion in the doggy competition calendar. But while he may not have won the top prize, it was a Golden Retriever who stole hearts this year.

By Zoe Monk

Published on the 02/12/2019, 18:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:36

The National Dog Show Presented by Purina® is an annual event in the US, held in Philadelphia. It’s an all-breed show where any dog registered with the American Kennel Club can enter to compete. It sees over 2,000 primped, groomed and expertly manicured competition to win the most coveted titles in the canine world.


The judges scrutinise the dogs and place them according to how each dog compares with the judge’s expectation of how the perfect dog should be according to its breed. The judges take into consideration the dog’s overall appearance, structure and temperament. They also look for characteristics that enable the dog to perform the function for which their breed was originally bred.

Thor the Bulldog

This year it was Thor the Bulldog who won the sought after Best in Show title.

Jack Daniels the Golden Retriever

But it was a Golden Retriever called Jack Daniels, who became the real winner. Known simply as Daniel, the handsome dog was among finalists for the top prize after winning the Sporting Group title for the second year running.

Daniel belongs to proud owner Tammy Tomlinson from Pennsylvania.

Best In Breed

For a dog to win the much sought after ‘Best in Show’ award, they must first be judged as the best of all the dogs of the same breed competing at the show. Some breeds have over 100 dogs entered, so competition can be tough. The winner of the breed moves onto the group judging.

At the start of the show, Daniel was already considered to be one of the best Golden Retrievers in the country after a number of other victories in other shows around the country. Daniel has already won an impressive 19 Best in Shows and 26 Best in Specialities.

Last year, Tammy told "He is exactly what a Golden Retriever should be. This is our practice year. 2019 is when we're going to get really serious with him."

Tammy’s prediction couldn’t have been more spot on.

Expert breeding and training

Tammy runs a kennel where she breeds Golden Retrievers. She explained that Daniel’s success was down to expert breeding, years of hard work and training.

"This particular dog is many generations of my own breeding, and not many people in the country get to that particular level," she said.

"Great name"

Referred to as simply Daniel during the shows, his full name is Jack Daniels and the handsome chap caught the attention of many Twitter users thanks to his rather unique name.

New breed

This year, the show featured a new breed of dog, Azawakh. These dogs are known for being taller than they are long and bred in Africa to be a hunting dog.

Well done Thor

But it was ultimately Thor who won the top title and coveted the red, white, and blue ribbon. He not only beat Jack Daniels, but also a handsome Old English Sheepdog, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, a Pharaoh Hound, a Siberian Husky and a Havanese.