What is the National Dog Show? The National Dog Show Presented by Purina is one of the most well known dog shows in the world. Hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, the show was founded in 1879 and has been held annually since 1933. The NDS is sanctioned by the American Kennel Club, and only purebred dogs registered with the AKC can compete. The AKC recognizes 205 dog breeds and varieties, split into seven different groups. As one of the last major dog shows to be “benched” (dogs must stay in an area for the duration of the show when not in the ring), spectators can go behind-the-scenes to meet the dogs and their handlers.
NBC has televised the event after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 2002. John O’Hurley and David Frei will reprise their roles as hosts, having co-hosted together since the National Dog Show first aired. Mary Carillo will also be back for more commentary, analysis and behind-the-scenes looks at one of the oldest dog shows in the world.
Where is the National Dog Show? The National Dog Show takes place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa.
How can I watch the the dog show on Thanksgiving? Watch the 2019 National Dog Show on NBC directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Coverage of the National Dog Show begins on Thursday, November 28 at 12 p.m. local time and runs until 2 p.m., covering group and Best in Show judging. The National Dog Show can also be streamed here on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app at 12 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving. The NBC Sports app is available on mobile and connected devices, including Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.
How does the National Dog Show work? The American Kennel Club recognizes 205 breeds and varieties of dog (though every single one may not be represented at the National Dog Show from year to year). In the first round of the National Dog Show, dogs of the same breed will compete against each other based on how the dog fits the breed standards. The winner, named “Best in Breed,” will represent their breed at the next level: the group. The American Kennel Club categorizes every breed into seven groups (sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting and herding). At the group level, dogs are not judged against each other, but rather against how well they fit their breed standards. Each group winner, named “First in Breed,” will go on to compete in the final round for the coveted Best in Show.
This year, the Azawakh will make its National Dog Show debut. The only breed recognized by the AKC that is taller than it is long, the Azawakh originated from Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger and was bred to be guardians and hunters. The Azawakh will compete in the Hound Group.
Who won the 2018 National Dog Show? Last year, Whiskey the Whippet beat out 1,992 dogs representing 185 breeds to claim Best in Show. The Whippet is a sleek and fast breed that looks like a smaller version of the Greyhound. They originated in England as racing dogs and rabbit hunters, and now compete in the Hound Group at American Kennel Club shows.
“He is a beautiful breed type,” 2018 Best in Show Judge Geir Flyckt-Pedersen said of Whiskey. “You look for star quality. The winning dog has to sell himself, have personality and showmanship. When that is in combination with good movement, you have something.”
Whiskey was shown by his breeder/owner/handler (an uncommon sight at this level of competition) Justin Smithey, who still owns the now-retired dog.
Who else has won Best in Show at the National Dog Show?
2017: Newton (Brussels Griffon)
2016: Gia (Greyhound)
2015: Charlie (Skye Terrier)
2014: Nathan (Bloodhound)
2013: Jewel (American Foxhound)
2012: Sky (Wire Fox Terrier)
2011: Eira (Wire Fox Terrier)
2010: Clooney (Irish Setter)
2009: Sadie (Scottish Terrier)
2008: Holly (Pointer)
2007: Swizzle (Australian Shepherd)
2006: Vikki (Toy Poodle)
2005: Rufus (Colored Bull Terrier)
2004: Ch. Aimhi Avalon Renissance (Smooth Fox Terrier)
2003: Ch. Blue Chip Purple Reign (Doberman)
2002: Ch. Ale Kai Mikimoto on Fifth (Standard Poodle)
Watch NBC’s coverage of the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving day, November 28, directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 12-2 p.m. local time on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.