National Dog Show – the largest dog show in America

national dog show

What’s the National Dog Show?

The National Dog Show is a yearly breed show or conformation show, sanctioned by the American Kennel Club. It is the most widely viewed dog show in the United States. It usually takes place during two days. This year, it will take place on November 18th and 19th at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, PA. It will be televised on Thanksgiving Day, like every year.

A little history

The Kennel Club of Philadelphia (KCP) has a long history of presenting dog shows. It has been going on since 1879, only interrupted by the Great Depression from 1928 to 1932.

The KCP is a founding club of the American Kennel Club (AKC) which started in September 1884. Through the years, the name of the club has changed. For instance, in 1896 a benched show was presented as the Philadelphia Kennel Club and a Philadelphia Dog Show Association from 1899 to 1909. Shortly after that, the club was organized into the present Kennel Club of Philadelphia. As the KCP, they started their first show in 1912 and was admitted as a member of the AKC in 1913 and has been going on ever since.

The National Dog Show is held every year since 1933.

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The Show

The National Dog Show is a “benched” show, meaning that dogs must be placed on special benches while they are not participating. This is done with the purpose of having judges, participants, and others to meet the dogs more closely and ask questions.

The event will show over 2,000 dogs, all sanctioned by the AKC, representing over 150 breeds. They compete for best of Breed, First in Group, and Best in Show.


Since 2002, NBC took the broadcasting of the National Dog Show and has become a special family time show. It has an audience of nearly 20 million viewers. Known as the National Dog Show presented by Purina, it is broadcasted in high definition on Thanksgiving Day, right after Macy´s parade.

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