Editor’s note: Determining the top AKC winners in any category is an inexact science. We explain why in a companion article: Biggest BIS Winner Tough To Call.

CH Altana’s Mystique is, to our knowledge, far and away the top Best-in-Show-winning Herding dog, and indeed the top Best-in-Show-winning dog or bitch of all breeds, of all time. According to her handler, the infamous Jimmy Moses, she won 275 all-breed Best In Shows in her career, as well as 30 Specialty BIS and three German Shepherd Dog Club of America Select awards. Born in May 1987, Mystique was bred by Maureen Charlton and owned by Mrs. Jane Firestone.

The Top Best-In-Show-Winning Dog of All Breeds of All Time
A look at the judges’ critiques from three years when she was Select at the GSDC of America National Specialty beautifully describes this absolutely correct German Shepherd Dog bitch (from The German Shepherd Dog Reviewed).

GSDCA 1989: “… a gorgeous, medium size black and tan with excellent pigment and in excellent condition. She was very flashy and clean on both ends with a strong desire to move. Very exciting to watch and beautiful in motion.” Judge Betty Razevich

GSDCA 1990: “… a very attractive, black and red/tan bitch of good proportion. Very appealing and elegant when posed. She is a coordinated mover who also retains her outline both tight or loose … She is clean coming and going, displaying good character, and is a very pleasing package.” Judge Ed Barritt

GSDCA 1992: “beautiful type and excellent quality. Excellent outline, nicely balanced front and rear, very nice reach of neck. Substantial, but feminine, with good head and dark eye. Even, easy mover, good coming and going. A willing worker…” Judge Ralph Roberts

Mystique came from a truly distinguished line of producers. Her dam, CH Covy’s Altana of Tucker Hill ROM, was by CH Covy’s Mazarati of Tucker Hill, sire of 55 champions and half-brother to Westminster BIS winner CH Covy Tucker Hill’s Manhattan, both out of CH Covy’s Rosemary of Tucker Hill. Rosemary is not only an ROM dam, but was also Grand Victrix at the 1976 GSDCA. Mystique’s sire, CH Proven Hill’s Up N Adam, is himself from a long line of ROM producers.

Top Best-In-Show-Winning Dog of All Breeds of All Time
Mystique topped all of the most prestigious events in the U.S., save one. She won the Herding Groups at Westminster in 1993 and 1994, but her uncle ‘Hatter’ remains the only German Shepherd Dog to have won Best In Show there. Still, Mystique’s legendary career will likely keep her in the record books for a long time to come.

(CH Covy’s Rosemary of Tucker Hill ROM was bred by Cappy Pottle and Jean Stevens, and owned by Cappy Pottle and Gloria Birch. CH Covy’s Mazarati of Tucker Hill ROM was bred and owned by Cappy Pottle and Gloria Birch, co-owned by Gary Cook and Gail Sprock. CH Covy Tucker Hill’s Manhattan ROM was bred by Cappy Pottle and Gloria Birch, owned by Jane Firestone and handled by James Moses. CH Covy’s Altana of Tucker Hill ROM was bred by Gloria Birch, Cappy Pottle and Mary Scanlon, owned by Maureen Charlton.)