Bracco Italiano, Russian Game and Moody: NPR

This year, the National Dog Show is showcasing three new breeds: the Russian Toy (shown here), the Bracco Italiano and the mudi.

Friends of the National Dog Show


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Friends of the National Dog Show


This year, the National Dog Show is showcasing three new breeds: the Russian Toy (shown here), the Bracco Italiano and the mudi.

Friends of the National Dog Show

Thanksgiving is a couch lover’s dream. There’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, football showdowns, hot holiday announcements, and of course, the National Dog Show.

This year, the American Kennel Club (AKC) approved three new breeds to compete at the National Dog Show: the Bracco Italiano, the Russian Toy, and the Muddy.

David Frei, host and analyst at the National Dog Show for over 20 years, explains why these three breeds were chosen to enter the competition this year: “They’ve finally been recognized by the AKC to compete in conformation dog shows because they’ve had enough of them in this country. They have.” Geographical distribution, and they have a parents’ club watching over them.”

Bracco Italiano dog breed.

Friends of the National Dog Show


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Bracco Italiano dog breed.

Friends of the National Dog Show

The Philadelphia Kennel Club held its first national dog show in 1879 and has hosted the event annually since 1933. The show began broadcasting on national television in 2002, shortly after the release of the Christopher Guest movie Best in Show. Now, nearly 20 million people across the United States tune in each year.

Stephanie Farr, writer Philadelphia InquirerFor Philadelphia locals, he says the event is a hidden gem.

“I’ve been in the Philly area for about 15 years, and I didn’t realize I could go in person to the National Dog Show,” Farr says. “And you can walk around the floor of the National Dog Show. It’s one of only three seat dog shows in the country. And this year, it’s the only one.”

In a bench show, dogs are required to be present on the ground even when they are not actively competing. This allows the audience to interact with them. Upon entry, patrons are given a floor map so they can navigate the designated areas for each dog breed.

Moody dog.

Friends of the National Dog Show


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Moody dog.

Friends of the National Dog Show

Audiences are encouraged to interact with dogs and their owners. It’s the perfect time to get to know a new breed and ask questions about care, Fry says.

“Because the purpose of a dog show is really to educate the public,” says Frey. “Maybe people can identify a dog that fits their lifestyle and is a good fit for their family.”

The National Dog Show is held every year the weekend before Thanksgiving. This year’s show was filmed this past weekend and will air on Thanksgiving Day at 12pm locally in all time zones.

Audio production for this story was provided by Paige Waterhouse and Lisa Weiner.

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