Sunday, December 03, 2023

Local pup battles to maintain winning title at Westminster Dog Show

Staff Writer | May 4, 2023 1:00 AM

A 4-year-old rat terrier from Sandpoint and his human will be working to defend his three-time title in the Big Apple next week at the Westminster Dog Show.

Dinero (more formally known as GCHS CH Indigo Igo Legacys Next Phase Shake Ur Money Maker) and his “mom” Jennifer Wilburn, owner of ShakaPaw Pet Market in Sandpoint, have been working hard for months to prepare for the show. From a completely raw diet to daily morning hikes to get him in shape, Dinero is strong, his coat is shiny and he’s ready to win Best of Breed for the fourth time in a row in New York next week.

“I wasn’t planning on showing him at such a high level,” Wilburn said. “But Dinero was a machine from the get-go. He’s got what it takes and he loves it.”

The rat terrier has reached Platinum status in the dog show world, meaning that he has beaten over 800 other dogs of his breed in previous shows. Walking into ShakaPaw, ribbons three times the pup’s size hang from the walls, boasting championships, one Best of Show and two Reserve Best of Shows – a feat almost unheard of for this breed.

While Dinero has been to the Westminster Dog Show three times previously, Wilburn has never gone with him, instead hiring handlers to show him at the event. However, this will be Dinero’s last major show as he’s retiring from the spotlight soon and Wilburn wants to be there to witness his last big run.

“It’ll be my first year going with him, which I’m really excited about,” she said. “I just hope I can keep up with him.”

Although Dinero won’t be competing in shows every weekend across the country like he used to, he will still attend a handful of competitions here and there. But for now, he’ll be spending most of his time just being a dog.

“He’s going to enjoy being a regular dog again,” Wilburn said. “He’ll get to run around the house, eat snacks, take long naps, dig holes – the good stuff.”

As for Wilburn, she might get some free time back to herself … maybe.

“I know there will come a time when I’ll stop showing rat terriers,” she said. “So I’m trying to enjoy it while it lasts. But I give up a lot for these dogs. All my free time goes into working with them. I’m not able to enjoy other hobbies I want to pursue. And on top of that, this is not a cheap hobby. Dinero here has cost me a small fortune, no joke.”

Despite the huge commitment it takes to show these dogs, Wilburn said her satisfaction comes from being able to show how wonderful of a breed rat terriers are.

“For me, it’s not really about the glamor of the shows,” she said. “It’s about getting to show people what my dogs can do; showing what a great breed they are, what they can accomplish and all that they can be with the right diet and exercise and care.”

Catch Dinero and Wilburn in the spotlight May 8-9 in both the individual breed category as well as the group ring.

For a schedule of the Westminster Dog Show on Fox Sports, go online to; or stream the show online at

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