Beverly Hills Dog Show presented by Purina to air on April 16th on USA Network

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It’s another exciting and dazzling red-carpet runway, star-studded celebrity event from the world of Rodeo Drive, Hollywood and Universal Studios.

But this one is different. The stars from NBCUniversal Entertainment’s biggest television hits are expected to be on hand to share top billing with the beloved four-legged stars of this show.

It’s USA Network’s primetime debut of the inaugural “Beverly Hills Dog Show presented by Purina” at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017.

Fittingly, the seven Best In Show finalists will walk a glitzy fashion show-esque runway in the finals of the competition, making it unlike any dog show ever before. Best In Show will be the culmination of a delightful two-hour television presentation featuring personalities from the world of entertainment helping with a celebration of dogs. Those celebrated dogs will include more than 1,000 dogs from more than 200 eligible breeds expected for the competition, the stars’ own dogs, and also other dogs with interesting and happy stories to share, from Beverly Hills and from the dog show as well.

Created by NBC Sports Group in a multi-year agreement with the Kennel Club of Beverly Hills and Purina, the new program will be hosted from the Fairplex in Pomona, Calif. by well-known breeder-owner-handler, judge and author David Frei, alongside award-winning actor, author and Broadway star (and Beverly Hills resident) John O’Hurley.

Three faces familiar to dog show television viewers will also be part of the team: NBC’s Mary Carillo as a features and backstage reporter, and the figure skating royalty duo of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, will be red carpet hosts and feature reporters, too.

Yes, NBC’s National Dog Show presented by Purina on Thanksgiving Day has a new member of the family. The addition of the Beverly Hills Dog Show gives USA / NBC Universal and Purina an East-West pairing and presents the only dog show West of the Mississippi River to be nationally televised.

To accommodate the telecast, KCBH moved its dates to March 4-5 for back-to-back shows, and changed its venue from Long Beach to the Fairplex. The Easter telecast will be taped and produced from the Saturday show.

“We look forward to working with our partners to create a special event on Easter night around the new Beverly Hills Dog Show,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports and NBCSN. “Coupled with the National Dog Show on NBC on Thanksgiving Day, we are excited to establish another holiday tradition with a new dog show competition.”

Established in 1965, the Kennel Club of Beverly Hills is one of the world’s most recognizable kennel clubs. KCBH touches on and influences many audiences through its community activities that promote interest in dogs, responsible dog ownership, and canine health.

“How great is this, to be adding this venerable event from the West to our family?” said Frei. “Now, even more people will have the chance to share their wonderful dogs with our millions of viewers across the country.”

“We are thrilled about becoming a part of the dog show tradition on USA Network and NBC,” said Tom Powers, president of the Kennel Club of Beverly Hills. “Our goal is to make this a real celebration of all the dogs in our life.”

“We’re excited to strengthen our partnership with NBC to continue delivering engaging and family friendly dog show programming for pet lovers with this new concept that combines the best of the entertainment and dog show worlds,” said Sean Fitzgerald, Vice President, Purina Professional Engagement Team. “We’re proud that the new Beverly Hills Dog Show Presented By Purina will serve as a reminder of Purina’s belief that pets make our lives bigger and better.”

NBC Sports Group and USA Network have for years produced television’s most-compelling dog show competitions. In 2002, NBC Sports Group created a holiday tradition introducing television’s most-watched canine competition “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina.” Anchored by Frei and O’Hurley, the 2016 show on NBC reached more than 26 million viewers over its debut broadcast at noon on Thanksgiving Day followed by a primetime encore with millions of viewers the next night. For more than 30 years, USA Network televised the “Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show”, with Frei co-hosting the competition for 27 years (1990-2016).

The National Dog Show, televised for the 15th consecutive year in 2016, provides a great model for the Beverly Hills Dog Show, with Kennel Club of Philadelphia President Wayne Ferguson and club members providing encouragement and support for their California counterparts.

In addition to the Easter Night debut of the “Beverly Hills Dog Show presented by Purina”, USA Network will present an encore on April 17, and NBC will air a daytime encore on Sunday, April 23.

-Kennel Club of Beverly Hills

Kooiker-huh? An intro to Westminster dog show’s new breeds

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NEW YORK (AP) Two new breeds. Sixteen new syllables.

The grand basset griffon Vendeen and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje make their debuts at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show next month, each getting a nationally televised turn among the more than 190 breeds on the purple carpet at the nation’s premier canine contest.

But Buzz Lightyear, for one, seems to be taking his breed’s big moment in stride. The 4-year-old grand basset griffon Vendeen (pronounced: grahnd bah-SAY’ grih-FAHN’ vahn-DAY’-ahn) glanced out Tuesday at the cameras at a Westminster-preview news conference, looked up at owner Brielly Cipriotti, and then lay down on rostrum to do a couple of the things his breed does best: sniff around and induce smiles.

“They’re extremely sweet, and they have a big, goofy attitude,” Cipriotti, of Bealeton, Virginia, said later. She’s excited about the exposure that the low-slung, long-eared, hardy French rabbit-hunting hound breed stands to gain from Westminster.

About 3,200 dogs, ranging from wee Malteses to strapping mastiffs, are entered to compete at next month’s show, which includes agility and obedience competitions along with the breed judging that leads to the signature Best in Show trophy. It will be awarded Feb. 12 at Madison Square Garden and live on FS1.

The relatively new agility and obedience contests are open to mixed-breed dogs.

Dobby, a corgi-terrier mix, is making his fourth try at the agility title. But even if he wins, it won’t be the most eventful thing that has happened at Westminster for owner Stefanie Kappus.

Her husband, Toby, proposed to her as she came out of the agility ring last year.

“He keeps saying, `What am I going to do to top that this year?”‘ joked Kappus, of Milford, New Jersey.

New breeds appear at Westminster after getting recognized by the American Kennel Club. The process takes years and includes setting standards and having hundreds of dogs spread around the country.

The merry, clever Nederlandse kooikerhondje (pronounced NAY’-dehr-lahn-seh KOY’-kehr-hahnd-jeh) was initially trained to help Dutch duck hunters by attracting the birds’ interest and then luring them into net-covered canals.

“It’s the Pied Piper of the dog world,” said owner Rod Beckstead, of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, as he showed off 2+-year-old Bandit on Tuesday.

The breed remains versatile and easy to teach to do dog sports and other things; some even serve as cadaver dogs, he said.

Westminster is regularly protested by animal-rights activists who deplore dog breeding as appearance-focused and detrimental to mixed-breed dogs that need homes. The club portrays the show as a tribute to all canines.

The Westminster Kennel Club show spans events on Feb. 9, 11 and 12, with parts broadcast on Fox Sports and Nat Geo WILD. A “Meet the Breeds” event, featuring both dogs and cats, unfolds alongside Westminster on Feb. 9.

Whippet wins Best in Show at the 2018 National Dog Show

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The Whippet has won Best in Show at the 2018 National Dog Show.

Whiskey the Whippet won the Hound Group first, and then beat the Doberman Pinscher for the top honor.

“I think [he’s] an outstanding example of what the ideal Whippet would look like,” Whiskey’s handler Justin Smithey said of the dog he raised himself. “This is our companion, our pet. He was born by my bed.”

The Doberman Pinscher won the Working Group, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever won the Sporting Group, the Wire Fox Terrier won the Terrier Group, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi won the Herding Group, the Lhasa Apso won the Non-Sporting Group and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel won the Toy Group.

Hear more from Smithey below: