One of Britain’s greatest and most popular show dogs of the ’00s, the Giant Schnauzer Ch Jafrak Philippe Olivier, has died at the age of 12. His wins made history for the breed and his final total of 14 all-breeds best in show wins, climaxing with top spot at Crufts, has been exceeded by only two other dogs.

Phil was owned by Kevin and Sandie Cullen and bred by Jack and Frances Krall who took his dam, Ch Jafrak Dolcelata, to be mated to the French dog Ch Luther King du Bujol, one of the early examples of the benefits of the pet passport scheme.

Ch Jafrak Philippe Olivier won his first group at 16 months and came out of retirement in 2008 to win BIS at Crufts. Photo by Johnson.

The litter was reared by the Cullens who had campaigned the dam to her title and group and RBIS awards.

Phil, always handled by Kevin with whom he had an unforgettable rapport, was best puppy in show at a breed show on his debut and won three RCCs while still a puppy before taking his first CC, BOB and BIS at the parent club show.

His title followed quickly and he won his first group at Bournemouth 2002 at 16 months.

It was at Bath the next year where he really made his presence felt, taking his first BIS award, following this up with the same award at the next two shows, Southern Counties and Three Counties, under judges from the US, Norway and the UK.

A little later in the year he completed the hat trick for the second time, with consecutive BIS at South Wales, East of England and Leeds, and all this made him the first Giant to take Top Dog all breeds in the UK.

In 2004 he was BIS at Paignton, National Working Breeds and Leeds, and ended up number three all breeds. He topped the working group at Crufts 2004 and ’05, and he was BIS at W/P Breeds of Wales, Scottish Kennel Club, Border Union, Blackpool and Darlington. He was top working for the second time and runner-up to the Top Dog.

After he won the champion stakes final his retirement was announced but he made a comeback at Crufts ’07 where he was group 2, and his thirteenth all-breed BIS came at Midland Counties.

Crufts ’08 looked promising, with the breed, group and BIS judges all having given him groups, and he made it through to the final for the third time where he put on a magnificent performance to achieve an acclaimed BIS win under Clare Coxall. After that he really did say farewell to the show ring to enjoy his well earned retirement at home.

In a short stud career he sired several champions including group winner Ch Riesenheim Suited N’Booted for Dalieden.

His owners said this week: “Phil lived out his retirement at home, happily doing the things he had always done, but he never forgot the show bag and would guard it with his life thinking it contained his liver. He was very bossy to the youngsters whom he kept in order and they all respected him and behaved themselves around him.

“Phil loved lots of affection and was forever offering his own. We will always miss him.”

Reprinted with permission from Dog World-UK.