Start the Paw-liday Season with the National Dog Show

Parade, Football and Dogs!

Many American families have Thanksgiving traditions. Some center around the annual football games, others are all about waking up early to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. But for some, it's all about the National Dog Show which premiers right after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. Have you ever watched the National Dog Show? It averages over 20 million viewers each holiday season. While it may be something you have on in the background while you're cooking, it's an event with a rich history and lots of fun facts tied to it.

Based on a Movie

The National Dog Show takes place at The Kennel Club of Philadelphia and started in 1879. However, the famous dog show was first televised in 2002. The idea to televise the event came after the release of the comedy film, Best in Show (2000). 

Best in Show

Familiar Faces and Fun Facts

Two gentlemen have hosted the annual event since it was televised in 2002. John O'Hurley and David Frei have been the hosts of the National Dog Show for over 20 years. They are some of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to the National Dog Show but with the fun facts below, you might be able to give them a run for their money.

  • Over 2,000 dogs are entered into the show.
  • The breeds are separated into seven categories:
    • Terrier Group
    • Toy Group
    • Working Group
    • Sporting Group
    • Hound Group
    • Non-Sporting Group
    • Herding Group
  • The competing dogs first must compete in their designated group. The winner of the group is named Best in Breed then the seven dogs from each group will compete for the ultimate prize of Best in Show.
  • The competing dogs are judged on how they meet the standards of their respective breed.
  • 205 breeds are eligible to participate in the show.
  • The long dog names have secret meaning. It's almost like having a code name. The dog's names include the kennel where they were bred, awards they've won and their specific identifier. The dog will also have a "call name" which is the name to which their trainer refers to them.
  • Only one dog has won Best in Show twice in a row. A Scottish deerhound named GCH Foxcliffe Claire Randall Fraser (call name Claire) won both in 2020 and 2021. P.S. This dog is named for the main character in the Outlander book series.
  • The most recent winner is GCHP Fox Canyon's I Won The War at Goldshield (call name Winston) who is an adorable French bulldog. Winston is the first French bulldog to win since the show has been televised.

Want to Know More?

If you find yourself wanting to know more about the National Dog Show, you can visit their website to learn all the details about the show, the trainers, the dogs, the rules and more! And be sure to tune in to the National Dog Show on Thursday, November 23 at 12-2 pm EST.