In 2020, the National Dog Show was limited to 600 competitors and held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, things were closer to normal at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, Pennsylvania.
The 2021 event, which was sanctioned by the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, took place this past weekend, and spectators who were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 were allowed to attend. The field was also back up to more than 1,500 dogs, representing nearly 200 breeds.
One of the three major dog shows in the United States, the National Dog Show was first held in 1879 and has taken place every year since 1933.
Although the event was held this past weekend, it won’t be broadcast until Thanksgiving, which has become an annual tradition.
Here’s everything you need to know before watching the coverage of the event on Thursday.
Date: Thursday, Nov. 25
Time: Noon-2 p.m. ET
Stream: NBCSports.com and NBC Sports app
Past Best in Show winners
2020: Claire (Scottish Deerhound)
2019: Thor (Bulldog)
2018: Whiskey (Whippet)
2017: Newton (Brussels griffon)
2016: Gia (Greyhound)
2015: Charlie (Skye terrier)
2014: Nathan (Bloodhound)
2013: Jewel (American foxhound)
2012: Sky (Wire fox terrier)
2011: Eira (Wire fox terrier)
2010: Clooney (Irish setter)
2009: Sadie (Scottish terrier)
2008: Holly (Pointer)
2007: Swizzle (Australian Shepherd)
2006: Vikki (Toy Poodle)
2005: Rufus (Colored bull terrier)
2004: Gracie (Smooth fox terrier)
2003: Raisin (Doberman)
2002: Miki (Standard poodle)
2001: Gus (Labrador retriever)
It’s become as much a part of Thanksgiving as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and NFL football. Every year, the National Dog Show airs its Best in Show competition. And one dog comes away as the winner of the event’s top prize.
This year’s event will be enjoyable to watch, especially considering the atmosphere will be much closer to what it was prior to the start of the pandemic. John O’Hurley and David Frei will be voicing the broadcast, which will be airing on Thanksgiving on NBC for the 20th straight year.
“It was conceived as an event that could grow into a holiday tradition,” NBC Sports president of programming Jon Miller said, per Hannah Kanik of Philly Voice. “And it was an immediate success. It is unique on the television landscape because the total audience of over 20 million is just as strong today as it was in 2002.”
The Best in Show competition will be the most important part of the broadcast. That will feature each of the individual winners of the seven groups—herding, hound, non-sporting, sporting, terrier, toy and working—vying for the top prize.
There are often new breeds being debuted at the National Dog Show, and this year, there was one. The Biewer Terrier, which is a member of the toy group, was represented at the competition for the first time. According to the American Kennel Club, the breed is “an elegant, longhaired, tri-colored toy terrier whose only purpose in life is to love and be loved.”
A full list of the breeds that were represented at the 2021 National Dog Show can be found at NBCSports.com.