The winner of the 2017 National Dog Show is capturing the hearts of dog lovers – and Star Wars fans – across the internet. Newton, a red-rough variety of Brussels Griffon, bears a striking resemblance to Han Solo’s sidekick, Chewbacca the Wookiee.
Newton took the Toy Group title before going on to beat the best of the hound, herding, working, terrier, sporting, and non-sporting categories.
Newton’s adorably furry mug has also inspired references to another beloved Star Wars species – the Ewoks of Endor, first seen in 1983’s Return of the Jedi.
On a serious note, little Newton should be commended for his victory. It marks the first win for a Brussels Griffon since NBC rebranded the Kennel Club of Philadelphia Dog Show as the National Dog Show in 2001.
“He just has marvelous breed type and attitude. He has the whole package,” said handler Susan Depew.
The plucky little fella beat out the Portuguese Water Dog, English Springer Spaniel, Old English Sheepdog, Whippet, French Bulldog, and American Staffordshire Terrier to take home the title.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) November 23, 2017
And speaking of the American Staffordshire Terrier, the controversial breed won the Terrier Group; an important victory for a dog targeted by misinformation, breed bans, and unwarranted discrimination.
Louie won Best in Breed at the Westminster Dog Show two years in a row and serves as a breed ambassador for the American Kennel Club’s Meet the Breeds events. He is also a therapy dog in his spare time.
Along with his Handler Kim Rudzik, Louie is working to dispel the myths about Staffies and other blocky-headed dog breeds.
Congratulations Newton and Louie! You are both wonderful representatives of your breeds!