PHILADELPHIA – The show will go on. The National Dog Show, one of the most anticipated dog shows in the country, returns November 20-21 in Philadelphia. This year, the Kennel Club of Philadelphia implemented new protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Since 2002, television viewing of the National Dog Show has been a Thanksgiving tradition in homes across the country. This tradition will continue in 2021. Hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, the show features American Kennel Club-sanctioned breeds and varieties competing for best of breed, first of group and best dog: the best of show. Here’s what you need to know about the changes to this year’s National Dog Show.
>> PHOTOS: 2021 National Dog Show
1. Spectators are back: After being forced to stay home last year, the Kennel Club of Philadelphia has announced that fans will be allowed back into the Expo Center in 2021. However, only fans ages 13 and older will be allowed in. indoors, due to vaccination guidelines.
2. Vaccines required: Each participant and spectator is required to present proof of vaccination against Covid-19 to enter the exhibition center. The Kennel Club uses the CLEAR app to manage vaccine needs, but will also accept a physical vaccine card at the door with photo ID.
3. Show without bench: While the National Dog Show was one of the oldest and few remaining bench shows in the United States, it will once again be a benchless show in 2021, to ensure the safety of all attendees. An untrained dog show fancier may wonder why a distinction on the bench makes a difference. Participating dogs are required to remain on assigned benches when not competing, an impressive feat of discipline and character. The bench makes canine competitors accessible to everyone on site and allows for interaction and provides an easy way to ask questions and share information.
4. The show has been on the air since 2002, but it’s been around much longer than that. The Kennel Club of Philadelphia Dog Show has been around since 1879 with minimal interruptions. When NBC Sports began airing the show in 2002, it was renamed The National Dog Show. The show is one of the top three dog shows in the country, ranked with the AKC National Championship and the Westminster Dog Show. The 2021 National Dog Show airs at noon on Thanksgiving Day, immediately after Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
5. Judges are picky, and rightly so. During the show, the judges will have seen hundreds of dogs. But what exactly are these discerning individuals looking to find? The questions are tough: Is the dog capable of performing the job the breed was originally bred to do? Does the dog have all the typical physical characteristics of its breed? How fit is the dog? Does the dog have the right gait? But wait, there’s more: Judges also look for happy dogs who enjoy competition so that each dog’s expression and general demeanor comes under closer scrutiny.
6. These long names may seem like overkill, but there’s a good reason for that. Gia, a greyhound, was Best in Show 2016, but her real name is GCHS CH Grandcru Giaconda CGC. Although it might sound a little crazy, there is a crazy method of naming competitors.
This long, hard-to-read name reads like a history lesson in the life of the dog. The components of the dog’s name can be taken from many different places: the name of the kennel where the dog was born, notations about the dog’s qualifications or awards, and a part of the name that is specific to the dog.
Cox Media Group