Some people wait all year-round for Thanksgiving morning, excited to watch the balloons and celebrities make their way to 34thstreet in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or to make good use of the turkey’s tryptophan on the couch in front of an afternoon of football watching. But everyone knows the real Thanksgiving competition is found directly after the parade when 205 different breeds of dogs duke it out for the biggest prize of the all–Best in Show at the National Dog Show. And because we know you don’t want to miss a second of it, we’ve got all the deets on where to watch, who will be hosting, and most importantly if the dog show will even be happening this year.
It’s been an incredibly hard and challenging year, and due to social distancing restrictions as well as rising COVID cases, many were unsure whether or not The Kennel Club of Philadelphia–the club that hosts the National Dog Show–would be able to host the event this year. As of their October 7 press release, they have announced that they will be hosting their event on November 14 and 15, with no spectators, sponsors, vendors, or additional media this year. Only handlers, dogs, and the NBC team that will be helping to broadcast the event will be allowed into the event. They are also reducing the number of dogs competing from their typical 2,000 entries to 600 (200 per day, with Best of Show on Sunday). They will be taking all precautions to keep all people (and pups!) safe during the event.
How Do I Watch?
Now that we know the National show is on, be sure to make a plan for how you will watch the festivities. The show will air from Noon to 2 p.m. (after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade) on NBC. You can also stream it live via the NBC or NBC Sports apps with a subscription or cable service, or on HULU live, YouTubeTV, or other streaming subscription with live tv options.
What Can I Expect?
If Christopher Guest’s movie Best in Show is any indication, expect some fierce competition…er…okay…actually expect a lot of running and some pretty amazing dogs. Dogs are judged in a series of three different categories. First within their particular breed, where you can win Best in Breed. Then the winner goes on to compete with dogs within a particular group (working, sporting, hunting, terrier, etc.) and then the winners of those groups go on to compete for Best in Show. In 2019, Best in Show went to “Thor,” a bulldog who in an upset won over the No. 1 Ranking Havanese “Bono” (Seen the in video above!). Where in the world of sports can you watch competitors duke it out with names like Rufus and Swizzles?? And not only will you see breeds of dogs you never before imagined, you’ll be entertained the whole time by hosts John O’Hurley, David Frei, and Mary Carillo. I say you’ve found your new favorite sport.
Can’t wait until Thanksgiving for some canine competition? Check out Haute Dog on HBO Max, where dog groomers create extravagant and over the top hairstyles for their pampered pooches for a top prize in front of a panel of celebrity judges.
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