Had you ever heard of the PBGV before now?
handler leads Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen at the Westminster dog show
Credit: Timothy A. Clary / Getty Images

A rare breed that's quite the mouthful has won Best in Show at the 2023 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Buddy Holly the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen ascended from a field of more than 2,500 dogs to earn the trophy Tuesday night in New York. It's the first-ever Best in Show victory for the PBGV. 

"[I'm] overwhelmed. I never thought a PBGV would do this. I have dreamed of this since I was 9 years old," owner and handler Janice Hayes said. 

The two-day conformation show was held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens for the first time. Thousands attended the second night of judging in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

After winning the Hound Group on Monday, 6-year-old Buddy Holly—registered name CH Soletrader Buddy Holly—shared the Best in Show ring with the six other group winners: Australian shepherd Ribbon (Herding), Pekingese Rummie (Toy), French bulldog Winston (Non-Sporting), English Setter Cider (Sporting), giant schnauzer Monty (Working), and American Staffordshire terrier Trouble (Terrier).

Best in Show Judge Elizabeth Sweigart selected the Pekingese as the Reserve Best in Show before announcing Buddy as the overall winner.

In a conformation show like Westminster, the dogs are judged on how well they meet their breed's standard. They compete at the breed, group, and Best in Show level. Each time, the judge selects the dog they believe meets his or her standards the best.  

Buddy Holly's ownership group includes Hayes, Lizzie Cadmore, Cathy O'Neill, and Donna Moore. Gavin and Sara Robertson were his breeders.

Hayes said Buddy Holly is the "epitome" of a show dog, though he was getting a little hungry when he finally finished showing just before 11 p.m.

"We're just so proud of him," she told the FOX broadcast after receiving the trophy. 

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen—PBGV for short—is rare in the United States. According to the American Kennel Club, the breed ranks No. 154 in popularity. Regardless, these smaller hounds are social, high-energy dogs. They're plenty affectionate with their families, but they have an high prey drive and an independent streak.

So you'll need to put in the training work. But after you've gotten to know each other?

"They make you laugh every day no matter what," Hayes said.