6 Things to Know About the National Dog Show

What is the National Dog show? Every Thanksgiving holiday season the Kennel Club of Philadelphia hosts an event centered around purebred dog breeds expressing their skills within different group categories. It is a show full of beautiful, talented dogs. Who would want to miss it? 

national dog show

To prep for the event, here are 6 things to know about the National Dog Show.


The show was founded in 1879 and has been held annually since 1933.  


Teaming with the American Kennel Club, dogs registered with the AKC can compete. The AKC recognizes 209 dog breeds and varieties and are split into seven different groups for the show. To learn more about the breeds, visit the NBC site for a detailed description of the groups.


The NBC station has televised the event after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 2002. It is NBC’s top-rated broadcast. The coverage for this year’s National Dog Show begins Thursday, November 24 at 12 p.m. local time and runs until 2 p.m. 


It will take a lot to impress a judge. The competition is fierce. Judges look for performance, physicality, character, and personality. Most importantly, the judges want to see happy dogs who are enjoying the experience. 


There are seven groups to be aware of. Look out for the sporting group, herding group, non-sporting group, toy group, terrier group, hound group, and working group. Under the AKC registered breeds, each dog will compete under their umbrella group. For example, a Golden Retriever will be under the sporting group while a Chow Chow will be under the non-sporting. 


There are several rounds to receive the grand prize of Best in Show. The seven groups compete against one other to win Best in Breed. From there, they go on to the next round where only one dog from each category will be chosen. Those that move on will then compete for First in Breed. The breeds who win these rounds will then compete for Best in Show. Then, it will be one dog who will be given the #1 title. 

Where can you watch the National Dog Show? Tune in on the streaming services on Peacock, NBCSports.com, and on the NBC Sports app at 12 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving. 

Have a wonderful dog show experience and Happy Thanksgiving, from the Fire Hydrant Team!

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