Hundreds of dogs dash for Westminster agility title


NEW YORK (AP) Over 300 dogs from dachshunds to Doberman pinschers are scrambling for the Westminster Kennel Club’s agility trophy. But will any breed – or even a mixed-breed – get past the border collie?

The swift sheepherding dogs are widely seen as the breed to beat in Saturday’s competition, having all but swept the seven-year-old Westminster contest except for an Australian shepherd’s win in 2016.

Border collie Trinity, for one, arrived Westminster-ready – so ready that she had a few streaks of Westminster purple in her fur.

Her owner, Dr. Roger O’Sullivan, previously handled a Pembroke Welsh corgi named Keebler to wins in her height class at Westminster. He later decided to go with the sport’s go-to breed.

“Once you’ve had a fast dog, you want another fast dog,” says the chiropractor from Gahanna, Ohio.

To border owners, their Westminster streak is no surprise.

“They’re very focused, and they love to work and learn new stuff,” said Westminster competitor Jim Koras, who has three border collies.

But dogs that aren’t quite such naturals at the sport “actually teach you the most,” says Koras, of Weathersfield, Connecticut. “You have to learn more about them, and it’s harder to build that teamwork, but it’s really satisfying to do.”

He was at Westminster on Saturday with his first and so far most accomplished agility dog, a husky-border collie mix named Cote.

While the popular canine sport draws its share of professional dog trainers, Koras and many other handlers say they got into agility to help a shy pet master unfamiliar situations, to bond with a pet or to give a super-energetic dog something to do (instead of wreaking household havoc).

For handlers, the sport is a physical and mental workout. Using verbal cues and body language, they guide their dogs through tricky turns, jumps, ramps, tunnels and other obstacles.

Scores depend on both speed and accuracy. At Westminster, the champion is crowned after a 50-dog final round Saturday night.

“You have to memorize. You have to strategize … It’s a delightful challenge,” says Marcia Lyons of Seattle.

She started with a mixed-breed rescue dog and now competes with Liberty, a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever that has also competed in Westminster’s traditional breed judging in years past.

“Even though border collie’s the default” for agility, Lyons says, “I like to be a little different.”

If Liberty is a little different, Niner is a lot. She’s a pug.

Her breed might be better known for snuggling than for speed, but a bystander spotted her zipping around a dog park some years ago and suggested agility.

“We said, ‘OK — what’s that?’” recalls one of her owners, Cindy Pichotta. She and her partner, Dan Webster, found out and figured the sport would be good indoor exercise for the pup during their Minneapolis winters.

“She is fast, she is agile – for a pug – and we saw how much she liked it,” Pichotta says.

Now, with Webster as her handler, 7-year-old Niner made her Westminster debut Saturday.

“People are surprised when they see her,” Pichotta allows. “You don’t expect to see a pug.”

French Bulldog wins Best in Show at 2022 National Dog Show


The French Bulldog has won Best in Show at the 2022 National Dog Show.

Winston the French Bulldog beat out around 1,500 of dogs representing 212 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club. First, he claimed victory in the Non-Sporting Group in a field of 20 breeds. He then took on the other six group winners before taking home the top honor. The English Toy Spaniel, winner of the Toy Group, was named Reserve Best in Show.

Hear from Claire’s handler Perry Payson about the victory:

The German Shepherd Dog won the Herding Group; the Irish Water Dog won the Sporting Group; the American Staffordshire Terrier won the Terrier Group; the Tree Walking Coonhound won the Hound Group; and the Alaskan Malamute won the Working Group.

This year, three breeds made their National Dog Show debut. The Russian Toy joined the Toy Group. The breed has a curly coat that can be black, gray, brown, or fawn in color, sometimes with white markings. The Mudi, which falls under the Herding Group, was originally a Hungarian farm dog. The breed is agile, intelligent and courageous, making it perfect to work with livestock. The Bracco Italiano, also known as the Italian Pointing Dog, joined the Sporting Group. The breed is known for its adaptability in hunting and its intelligence.

Related: Full list of breeds at 2022 National Dog Show

NBC televised the 2022 National Dog Show directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the 21st straight year. Every year, more than 20 million people tune in for the event, which was commentated by longtime hosts John O’Hurley and David Frei. Mary Carillo also returned for more commentary, analysis and behind-the-scenes looks at one of the oldest dog shows in the world.

How to watch National Dog Show 2022 on Thanksgiving: Start time, TV channel, live stream, date


The National Dog Show 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 212 dog breeds and varieties, split into seven different groups. Click here to see who won the 2021 National Dog Show, watch video, highlights and more.

Related: What to know about the 2022 National Dog Show

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.

This year, three breeds are making their National Dog Show debut.

Related: Full list of National Dog Show breeds

How can I watch the dog show on Thanksgiving Day?

Watch the 2022 National Dog Show on NBC directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Coverage of the National Dog Show begins on Thursday, November 24 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 Peacock, 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.

Can I re-watch the National Dog Show from past years?

Select previous Dog Shows are available to watch On Demand on Peacock, and if you miss Thursday’s airing of the 2022 Dog Show, it will also be available after Thanksgiving on the streaming platform. Highlights from previous National Dog Shows, including Best in Show judging from 2021 and more, is also available on the NBC Sports YouTube channel.

Watch NBC’s coverage of the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving day, November 24, directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 12-2 p.m. local time on NBC, and the NBC Sports app.

Thanksgiving Day schedule on NBC and Peacock

The 2022 National Dog Show comes in the middle of a fun-filled Thanksgiving Thursday, and is just part of the Big Event weekend across NBC and Peacock. See below for the full schedule of some traditional favorites, as well as new and exciting highlights to keep you entertained the whole holiday weekend:

Thursday at 9am ET: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC and Peacock

Thursday at 12pm ET: The National Dog Show on NBC and Peacock

Thursday at 8pm ET: Sunday Night Football NFL Thanksgiving Special – Patriots vs Vikings

Friday at 1:30pm ET: Copa Mundial – England vs USA en Español on Telemundo and Peacock

Saturday at 7pm ET: WWE Survivor Series War Games on Peacock

Sunday at 7pm ET: Sunday Night Football – Packers vs Eagles on NBC and Peacock