A shih tzu called Rocket was picked as the top toy dog at Madison Square Garden.
Hearst is the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst and gained great notoriety in 1974 when she was kidnapped by the radical group the Symbionese Liberation Army. She was seen brandishing a semiautomatic rifle while robbing a California bank, pictured in the group's poster holding a machine-gun and later spent almost two years in prison.
Her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter. President Bill Clinton gave her a full pardon.
"People move on," she said, smiling at Rocket. "I guess people somehow imagine you don't evolve in your life. I have grown daughters and grand-daughters and other things that normal people have."
She also has appeared in films including "Cry-Baby" and "Serial Mom." She's done television roles and charitable work.
Hearst has been involved in the dog show world for more than 10 years. She said many are surprised to find out she's moved on to play with pooches.
Listed as Patricia Hearst Shaw, she turns 61 on Friday and is one of Rocket's three co-owners. She's mostly worked with French bulldogs and one of them won an award ribbon earlier in the day.
Hearst's dog will be one of seven in the championship ring Tuesday night when best in show is chosen. That will cause her to do some shifting — she didn't originally have tickets for the finals.
Even though Hearst loves dogs, her two daughters own cats.
"I don't know what I did wrong," she said.