Looking for something for the entire family to watch on Thanksgiving -- other than the traditional football action? The 2013 National Dog Show, which is presented by Purina, is an alternative for those looking to kill a few hours before the big feast.
NBC will broadcast the 12th annual incarnation of its popular Thanksgiving special on Thursday, Nov. 28, at 12 p.m, directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Actor John O’Hurley, best known for playing eccentric fashion guru J. Peterman on “Seinfeld,” will host the event, which will feature approximately 2,000 canine contestants.
While only one dog can be crowned “Best In Show,” the National Dog Show is as much a celebration of man’s best friend as it is a competition. “Dogs bring so much love and joy to homes around the country,” O’Hurley said, via Zap2It. “I’m happy to once again celebrate Thanksgiving with both my family and my National Dog Show family.”
For dog aficionados, this year’s National Dog Show will feature an added treat. The American Kennel Club -- the event’s governing body -- has approved three new dog breeds for the competition. The Chinook, the Portuguese Podengo Pequeno and the Rat Terrier will each make their first appearance on Thanksgiving.
The National Dog Show may project a family-friendly affair, but taking home the title of “Best In Show” is no easy task. Dogs are divided into seven distinct classifications -- Terrier, Toy, Working, Sporting, Hound, Non-Sporting and Herding. Judges examine each dog’s conformation, or overall appearance and temperament, and decide which canines will be named “Best in Breed.”
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The winning dogs move on to the judging for “Best In Group,” and finally, “Best in Show.” It isn’t just an honorary title -- owners compete for $20,000 in prize money. Last year’s National Dog Show was the event’s most successful broadcast to date -- more than 19 million viewers tuned in to watch a Wire Fox Terrier earn the title of “Best in Show” for the second straight year.
The 2013 National Dog Show will air live on NBC from Noon to 2 p.m. in all time zones. A live stream of the broadcast is also available online through NBC Sports’ Live Extra service. Note: The event was actually held on Nov. 16, so this will be a live stream of the broadcast, not the show itself. In addition, NBC will air an encore showing at 8 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 30.