Thanksgiving traditions typically involve the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, followed by lots of food and hours of football. But in recent years, another popular entertainment has appeared: the National Dog Show.
Hosted by actor John O’Hurley, the annual Purebred Pooch Parade has become one of the most popular Thanksgiving Day events.
“It is extraordinary how this special has become an annual television tradition for American families,” O’Hurley said in a press release. “Dogs are a part of people’s lives now more than ever and the show reminds us how great they are and how easy it is for them to make us smile.”
Presented by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, this year’s event marks the 20th anniversary of NBC’s television broadcast. Her story, however, dates back long before she was introduced to the masses on television.
Here’s what you need to know about the competition and when to watch:
History of the National Dog Show
Purebred dogs were first exhibited in the Philadelphia area in 1876 at the Centennial World’s Fair, the first official “World’s Fair” to be held in the United States Two years later, the Kennel Club of Philadelphia was founded and began holding dog shows in 1879, with its only break from 1928 to 1932 during the Great Depression.
As O’Hurley recounts, Jon Miller, then president of programming for NBC Sports, was enamored with Christopher Guest’s dog show parody classic “Best in Show,” and thought of an actual dog show. to bridge the gap between parade and football. would work.
Miller contacted the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, got Purina as a presenting sponsor, then went to his bosses at NBC. The network’s other Thanksgiving institution, the annual broadcast of “Its a Wonderful Life,” was struggling with poor ratings. Miller convinced them to take that timeslot and he was only initially given the go-ahead for that year.
The renowned “National Dog Show” first aired in November 2002, with O’Hurley as co-host and David Frei, who is a licensed judge for the American Kennel Club, as analyst.
“He called me and I was in LA. I picked up the phone and said, ‘Hello.’ And he said, ‘Wow, woof.’ And that’s how it all started,” O’Hurley, a self-proclaimed dog lover, told The Associated Press in a 2018 interview.
More than 18 million people tuned in to watch that first year, making the National Dog Show one of NBC’s highest-rated events and an overnight success.
“Watching dogs just makes us feel good,” Frei said in a press release celebrating the event’s 20th anniversary. “Yes, we hope to bring interesting information, but above all – that’s what it is – a dog show; it’s the dog show.”
The show is one of the top three dog shows in the United States, ranked with the AKC National Championship and the Westminster Dog Show.
When is the national dog show?
The competition is taped in front of a live audience at the Expo Center in Greater Philadelphia on the weekend of November 20.
The two-hour holiday special will next air on NBC on Thursday, November 25, 2021, from noon to 2 p.m. in all time zones.
How to watch the National Dog Show on TV and online?
The holiday special will air simultaneously at noon on this NBC station and on Peacock on Thanksgiving Day.
Watch live on your browser by clicking here or by pressing the “Live TV” button on your mobile app and logging in with your TV provider.
On Nov. 27, NBC will air a primetime encore of this year’s “National Dog Show Presented by Purina” at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
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 many breeds participate in the national dog show?
While the KCP predates the American Kennel Club as a canine organization, it is the AKC that is recognized as the sanctioning body for dog breeds allowed to compete.
A total of 209 AKC-sanctioned breeds will be recognized after the group added the Biewer Terrier (toy group), “a sleek, athletic toy terrier whose sole purpose in life is to love and be loved “, in this year’s competition. Since the National Dog Show first aired in 2002, 50 new breeds have been introduced to the event.
Over 2,000 dogs are entered into the competition each year. However, last year’s event was limited to 600 dogs, a decrease of 70%, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
What are judges looking for?
Dogs are scored according to how closely they compare to the official breed standard.
The primary consideration is the dog’s general conformation or appearance, temperament, structure, and movement. Judges look for characteristics that allow the dog to perform the function for which it was originally bred.
The real purpose of such an examination is to assess the breeding stock. Dogs that closely conform to the breed standard indicate their ability to produce quality puppies. For this reason, only purebred dogs, unsterilized or not, are allowed to compete.
How is Best in Show decided?
Each of the 209 breeds and varieties is assigned to one of seven groups: Terrier, Toy (Pomeranians, Chihuahuas), Sporty (Golden Retrievers, Pointers), Working (Boxers, Great Danes), Hound, Herding (English Shepherds, Border Collies ), and non-sporting (everything else, including Dalmatians and French Bulldogs)
Entrants who win first in the group among dogs in each of the seven categories will go nose to nose to compete for the coveted title of Best in Show.
What is a bench show?
There are two types of dog shows: with bench and without bench.
Bench dog shows mean that canine competitors must be accessible to the public for the duration of the show, unless they are competing, exercising or being groomed. Participating dogs are required to stay at their assigned benches so that breeders, handlers and spectators can meet the dogs and talk to their owners. With so much activity buzzing, it’s an impressive feat of discipline and character.
For non-bench shows, participating dogs need only be present when judging their breed or competition.
Who won the National Dog Show in 2020?
A graceful Scottish Deerhound named Claire won Best in Show at the 2020 National Dog Show.
First, she won the Hound Group in a 28-breed field. The 3-year-old third-generation champion dog then went on to compete against the other six group winners and was deemed the best dog of all breeds.