Dog show

How to Watch, Date, New Breeds for the Thanksgiving Tradition

In an uncertain and challenging year, some Thanksgiving traditions remain the same as the 2020 National Dog Show returns to NBC following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 26 at 12 p.m. local time. Click here to see who won the 2020 National Dog Show.

What is the National Dog Show?

the National dog show is one of the most famous 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 208 breeds and varieties of dogs, divided into seven different groups.

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

NBC has televised the event after 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 world’s oldest dog shows.

Related: Watch All Breeds Participate in the 2019 National Dog Show

Where is the 2020 National Dog Show?

The National Dog Show takes place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania.

How can I watch the 2020 dog show on Thanksgiving?

Watch the 2020 National Dog Show on NBC straight after Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. National Dog Show coverage begins Thursday, Nov. 26 at 12 p.m. local time and lasts until 2 p.m., covering Group Judging and Best in Show. The National Dog Show can also be streamed here on and 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 208 dog breeds and varieties (although not every one of them may 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 based on how well the dog matches the breed standards. The winner, named “Best in Breed”, will represent their breed at the next level: the group. The American Kennel Club classifies each 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 on how well they fit the standards of their breed. Each group winner, named “First in Breed”, will advance to the final for the coveted Best in Show.

This year, three breeds are making their debut at the National Dog Show:

  • the Barbet, who competes in the Sporting group, was born as a water dog in France. The breed has a curly coat that can be black, gray, brown, or fawn in color, sometimes with white markings. The Barbet is a calm dog but was bred to help retrieve birds. The name of the breed comes from the French word “barbe”, which means beard.
  • There are Belgian Laekenois (“Lak-in-wah”) joins the Herding Group. This strong, sturdy, and protective breed has a rough, ruffled coat that can be shades of red, fawn, or gray. The Belgian Laekenois was originally bred and bred to guard livestock and laundry drying outdoors before serving as a messenger dog during World War I and World War II.
  • the Dogo Argentino, who reports to the working group, was originally a pack hunting dog in Argentina. The breed was known to take down wild boar and cougar, among other big game. Dogo Argentinos have a short, white coat, but a dark spot near the eye is allowed as long as it doesn’t cover the head too much.

Related: Download the program of the national dog show 2020

Who won the 2019 National Dog Show?

Last year, Thor the Bulldog beat more than 2,000 dogs representing 196 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club to win the Best in Show award.

The Bulldog is believed to have originated in 13th century England for the now extinct “sport” of bullbaiting, which pitted dogs against bulls. After bullbaiting was banned in 1835, the breed nearly died out, but Bulldog fans worked to rebuild the breed and spread its recognition across the pond to the AKC. Bulldogs have a very distinct look and stocky build with their pushed noses and large jowls among other characteristics.

“He’s a dog that always gives his all for me”, handler Edouard Paris said after the victory.

Who else won Best in Show at the National Dog Show?

2018: Whiskey (Whippet)
2017: Newton (Brussels Griffon)
2016: Gia (greyhound)
2015: Charlie (Skye Terrier)
2014: Nathan (Blood Dog)
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 (Dobermann)
2002: Ch. Ale Kai Mikimoto on fifth (standard poodle)

Watch NBC’s coverage of the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, directly after Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. local time on NBC, and the NBC Sports app.