During an uncertain and difficult year, some Thanksgiving traditions stay the same as the 2020 National Dog Show returns to NBC after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 26 at 12 p.m. local time.
What is the National Dog Show?
The National Dog Show Presented by Purina is one of the most well known 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 dog breeds and varieties, split into seven different groups.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Dog Show will be held without spectators, vendors, sponsors or media. Judging will be done following strict safety guidelines, including social distancing, wearing masks and monitoring temperatures of all participants. Competition will be 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.
NBC has televised the event after the 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 oldest dog shows in the world.
How can I watch the the dog show on Thanksgiving?
Watch the 2020 National Dog Show on NBC directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Coverage of the National Dog Show begins on Thursday, November 26 at 12 p.m. local time and runs until 2 p.m., covering group and Best in Show judging. 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 does the National Dog Show work?
The American Kennel Club recognizes 208 breeds and varieties of dog. In the first round of the National Dog Show, dogs of the same breed will compete against each other based on how the dog fits the breed standards. The winner, named Best in Breed, will represent their breed at the next level: the group. The American Kennel Club categorizes every breed into seven groups. At the group level, dogs are not judged against each other, but rather against how well they fit their breed standards. Each group winner, named First in Breed, will go on to compete in the final round for the coveted Best in Show.
Who won the 2019 National Dog Show?
Last year, Thor the Bulldog beat out over 2,000 dogs representing 196 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club to win Best in Show. 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 almost died out, but Bulldog fans worked to build the breed back up and spread its recognition all the way across the pond to the AKC. Bulldogs have a very distinct look and stocky build with their pushed nose and big jowls among other characteristics.