What Breed of Dog Did Winston Churchill Own?

Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Winston Churchill owned brown miniature poodles. These poodles were named Rufus and Rufus II, but Churchill insisted that “the II is silent” in the second poodle’s name.

The first poodle, Rufus, was Churchill’s companion throughout World War I. Rufus died after he was ran over by a car when Churchill was away at the Conservative Party Conference in 1947. Rufus II was a gift from Walter Graebner, the London correspondent for Time-Life; the dog died at the age of 15 in 1962.

According to University Archives, Churchill doted on his pets, especially his dogs. Rufus II sat on Churchill’s lap one evening as they watched “Oliver Twist.” At the point in the film when Bill Sikes was about to drown his dog, Churchill covered the poodle’s eyes and said, “Don’t look now, dear. I’ll tell you about it afterwards.”