We’re here with last year’s big dog show moments and a look at what’s new this year. Seven new breeds exhibiting? Wowza!
For many dog lovers, nothing goes with Thanksgiving festivities like the historic National Dog Show. First held in Philadelphia in 1879, the National Dog Show has been televised on NBC since 2001.
Let’s take a look at last year’s highs and lows
Last year, we applauded Nathan the bloodhound as the overall ‘Best in Show’ winner. Nathan went on to win best in the hound group at Westminster, but was edged out of best in show by the adorable beagle Miss P. In addition to being a world class example of his breed, Nathan is also certified in the skill of Mantrailing, scent hunting for a person, which is a bloodhound specialty.
Last year also welcomed two new breeds to the National– The Wirehaired Vizsla and the Coton de Tulear.
This year, seven breeds will be exhibiting for the first time. Here’s the 411 on the newbies!
“Chique Adulation,” CC BY-SA 3.0 License via Wikimedia Commons
This medium-large Italian shepherd dog’s most impressive feature is the felted, rustic appearance of the coat, which is made up of 3 different types of hair.
“Picards of both colors” by Cufleadh, CC BY-SA 3.0 License via Wikimedia Commons
You may recognize the scruffy good looks of the Picardy Shepherd from the movie Because of Winn-Dixie. Though quite rare, this handsome shepherd is one of France’s oldest dog breeds.
The petite American version of the Aussie Shepherd, this “mini” has all the features and abilities of his full size cousin in a more compact package. If you’re a fan of dog sports like agility or herding trials, you’ve probably seen these little dynamos in action!
While he looks similar to his Portuguese cousin, the Spanish water dog is no close relation. The Sanish water dog has a wide range of skills that include herding and gun dog duties as well as aiding the occasional fisherman. The coat is made up of one single type of curly hair, and is shorn completely once a year, and left unbrushed between clips to encourage a rustic appearance.
This Mediterranean breed is known for hunting rabbits and small game like his cousins the Pharaoh and Ibizan hounds. His thin, easy care coat makes him a popular pet.
This big beautiful farm dog is a cross between native African stock and Molosser type dogs brought in by European settlers.
A new way to give thanks
New this year is a thoughtful (and thankful) initiative called #dogthanking. National dog show fans are asked to share the reasons why they love their dog with a picture over social media, some of which will be seen during the dog show broadcast. In return, sponsors will donate $1 to the AKC Canine Health Foundation for every entry.