Confession: I’m a major dog nerd. When my parents declared one dog was enough as a child, I promptly checked out a breed encyclopedia from the library so often that they eventually bought me my own copy. I would study the book and the facts about the various puppers for a test I was sure I’d someday need to take.
Flash forward to the present and, while I never needed to take that test, now my job is literally to write about dogs all day! Obviously, neither my actual adult self nor my five-year-old self would be able to pass up the chance to attend the National Dog Show in person before it airs on NBC after the parade and before football on Thanksgiving Day.
If you’re a dog show novice, here’s a four-sentence crash course:
- There are seven groups in total — Toy, Non-Sporting, Herding, Terrier, Sporting, Hound, and Working — and those groups include more than 190 total dog breeds.
- Before they get to the part you are seeing on TV, there’s a preliminary round of competition for each of the 190+ breeds where several dogs of the same breed compete against each other to win the Best of Breed.
- After that, each dog that was crowned a Best of Breed dog competes against the other Best of Breed dogs in its respective group, which I like to think of as the seven group semifinals.
- Lastly, one dog from each of the seven groups is named the First in Group and then those seven dogs compete in the final round for the No. 1 spot a.k.a., the Best in Show.
With that out of the way, here are three reasons why this show so special and why you should definitely be one of nearly 30 million people who will tune in on Thursday, or even attend the Oaks, Pa., show in person next year.
It’s a benched show.
You get even better views of the dogs on your TV.
Literally hours — often years — of preparation go into the dogs’ few minutes of fame on the screen.
Are you excited yet? You should be! Tune in to the show at 12 p.m. in all time zones on Thursday, Nov. 23 on NBC.
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