Scottish Deerhound wins Best in Show at 2020 National Dog Show

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The Scottish Deerhound has won Best in Show at the 2020 National Dog Show.

Claire the Scottish Deerhound beat out hundreds of dogs representing 168 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club. First, she won the Hound Group in a field of 28 breeds. She then competed against the other six group winners before taking home the top honor. The English Springer Spaniel, winner of the Sporting Group, was named Reserve Best in Show.

Hear from Claire’s handler Angie Lloyd about the victory:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Dog Show was held without spectators, vendors, sponsors or media. Judging followed strict safety guidelines, including social distancing, wearing masks and monitoring temperatures of all participants. Competition was limited to 600 dogs, a 70% decrease from the nearly 2,000 who compete in a regular year. Read more about the National Dog Show’s COVID-19 safety protocols for the 2020 edition.

The Miniature American Shepherd won the Herding Group; the Standard Poodle won the Non-Sporting Group; the Wire Fox Terrier won the Terrier Group; the Affenpinscher won the Toy Group; and the Portuguese Water Dog won the Working Group.

This year, two breeds made their National Dog Show debut. The Barbet, a French water dog, joined the Sporting Group. The breed has a curly coat that can be black, gray, brown, or fawn in color, sometimes with white markings. The Dogo Argentino, which falls under the Working Group, was originally a pack-hunting dog in Argentina. The breed sports a short, white coat, but a dark patch near the eye is permitted as long as it doesn’t cover too much of the head.

The Belgian Laekenois (“Lak-in-wah”), a strong, sturdy and protective breed in the Herding Group, was also eligible to compete in the National Dog Show for the first time but was not represented this year.

Related: Full list of breeds at 2020 National Dog Show

NBC televised the 2020 National Dog Show directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the 19th 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.