The National Dog Show: what is it, dates, times, events explained and how to watch Thanksgiving dog show in UK

Held every year on Thanksgiving Day, watching the National Dog Show has became a holiday tradition

The National Dog Show is back for another year, with over 3,000 pooches going up for the title of Best in Show. A Thanksgiving Day tradition, American families tune into the holiday dog show after the end of the Macy’s Parade.

This year will be the twentietfh anniversary of the National Dog Show airing on TV, with the celebrations promising to be bigger and better than ever. Over 3,000 dogs from 212 breeds will be competing to win the prestigious title of Best in Show, with winners often going on to compete in Crufts.

Three new breeds will be entering the competition, with the Bracco Italiano, the Mudi and the Russian Toy making their first ever debut.

Last year’s winner was Claire the Scottish Deerhound, the proud pooch has won Best in Show in both 2021 and 2020, being the first dog to do so in 20 years.

So, how can you watch the National Dog Show if you are based in the UK? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the National Dog Show?

The Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show has become a Thanksgiving Day household staple. The event began in 1879, with the Kennel Club of America inviting more than 3,000 pooches from 212 different dog breeds to compete for the coveted title of Best in Show. There are seven different award categories, with different prizes for each winner.

Emma Rogers, 11, from Columbus, New Jersey with her Great Dane “Joy” (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

One of three major dog shows in the United States, along with the AKC National Championship and the Westminster Dog Show, competition winners are often invited to compete at Crufts.

The show was first televised in 2002, when NBC Sports started airing it on Thanksgiving Day after the coverage of the Thanksgiving Day Macy’s Parade in New York.

When is the release date for the National Dog Show?

The National Dog Show will be available to watch on Thursday 24 November, which is Thanksgiving Day in America. The show will kick off at 12 pm Eastern Time, which is 5 pm in UK time.

Who hosts the National Dog Show?

The National Dog Show is hosted by John O’Hurley, best known for playing J. Peterman in the hit sitcom Seinfeld and David Frei, from the American Kennel Club. The show’s chief sponsor is Nestle Purina PetCare.

Speaking to Mainline Today, O’Hurley shared what had drawn him to present the well-known event. He said: “Some might say I’ve had an erratic career, but I always follow my imagination. And when the concept was presented to me, my imagination said, “Do it.” Twenty years later, I can’t say I was wrong.”

He added: “There’s something staggeringly unique about the show. It’s noncontroversial, non-regional, non-athletic and enjoyable whether you’re 4 or 94. Where other televised awards ceremonies are losing their audience, we have a bigger viewership every year (26 million in 2020). Everyone is trying to add a dog event to their programming.”

Where can I watch the National Dog Show online in the UK?

The National Dog Show is not available to watch online in the UK, to be able to access the show you will need to watch it using a VPN which stands for a virtual private network. This will make your IP address appear as if you are in the United States whatever your location, allowing you to access TV shows that otherwise would be unavailable to stream in the UK.

In America, The National Dog Show is available to stream online on Peacock TV or watch live on FuboTV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

What are the categories in the National Dog Show?

There are seven categories for the National Dog Show, with more than 3,000 pups competing. Each dog that wins one of the categories gets put forward for the coveted prize of Best in Show.

These are the seven categories for the National Dog Show:

  • Herding Group
  • Hound Group
  • Non-Sporting Group
  • Sporting Group
  • Terrier Group
  • Toy Group
  • Working Group

Who won Best in Show National Dog Show 2021?

Last year’s winner was Claire the Scottish Deerhound, the proud pooch has won Best in Show in both 2021 and 2020, being the first dog to do so in 20 years. Will she be third time lucky?

What do you get if you win the National Dog Show?

If you win the National Dog Show your pup will receive the prestigious title of Best in Show, along with a cash prize of $20,000.