The widely popular National Dog Show is back. From 12 noon to 2 p.m. in all time zones Thanksgiving Day, NBC is scheduled to air the annual canine competition, which took place Saturday and Sunday in Oaks, Pennsylvania but has yet to be broadcast. The show describes itself as "the most widely viewed dog show in America." Here's everything you need to know to enjoy this year's National Dog Show from the comforts of home.
This year's is the 14th iteration of the National Dog Show. It is slated once again to be hosted by the actor John O'Hurley.
"I'm thinking a bit outside the box as I prepare for my favorite day of the year," O’Hurley in a statement. "While the judges look for excellence in a dog’s eyes, the coat, and the way they ‘stack,’ I’ll be watching each dog’s tail. A dog’s tail is attached to their heart, and with every wag, it shows how much love is being spread across the world on Thanksgiving."
Dog shows date back to 19th-century English pubs, when winners received prizes of guns, not trophies, according to a brief history compiled by Purina, the show's sponsor. In the modern-day National Dog Show, dogs can be entered in one of seven groups, terrier, toy, working, hound, herding, sporting and non-sporting, and they compete for $20,000 in prize money.
Dogs are judged in three rounds -- best of breed, best of group and, finally, best in show -- on their ability to perform tasks for which they were bred as well as their physical conformation, their fitness and overall demeanor. This year, the American Kennel Club added seven new breeds to the show, for a total of 199. Any dog that is registered with the club is allowed to compete.
Last year, more than 20 million tuned in to watch the National Dog Show. This year, dog lovers can also watch extra programming starting at 5 p.m. EST and PST Thursday that will showcase the Best in Show winners of the past five years. You can watch a live stream of the National Dog Show here via NBCSports or on the NBC Sports Live Extra app.