National Dog Show: What to know about the Thanksgiving TV contest and its 2022 newbies

Oaks, Pennsylvania - Are you ready for 2022 National Dog Show? Every year, the Thanksgiving Day TV tradition airs right after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. But this year, three new breeds will be part of the competitive canine contest.

The National Dog Show is one of the longest running dog shows in the world, and is hosted each year by familiar face John O’Hurley (inset).
The National Dog Show is one of the longest running dog shows in the world, and is hosted each year by familiar face John O’Hurley (inset).  © Collage: IMAGO / Everett Collection & 123rf/medvedevsergey

The 21st edition of the televised National Dog Show presented by Purina will air at 12 PM EST after the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC.

This year's event will once again be hosted by dog show veteran presenters John O’Hurley and David Frei and held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, per NBC. The hosts' familiar voices will soothe us into the turkey feasting once again.

Though the National Dog Show showcases America’s most popular breeds like the Golden Retriever and the Lab, the coveted prize of Best in Show has gone to a Scottish Deerhound named Claire for the last two years. She's the only dog to win it all two years in a row.

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But Claire reportedly retired from competition last year, so that means the judges are looking for a brand-new doggo to win Best in Show this year.

The more than 1,500 canine contestants from nearly 200 breeds are judged on how closely they meet the criteria for their breed. They are judged on appearance, structure, movement, and temperament. And this year, the judges will have three more breeds in the pack to choose from.

How to watch the 2022 National Dog Show

You can watch the 2022 National Dog Show directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. The event can also be streamed on Peacock, Peacock, NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

The two-hour event begins at 12 PM EST.

The show was founded in 1879 by The Kennel Club of Philadelphia and has been an annual event since 1933.

Since making its TV debut in 2002, watching the National Dog Show has become a Thanksgiving tradition for many families across the country.

New breeds at the 2022 National Dog Show

The Bracco Italiano joins the Sporting Group this year at the National Dog Show.
The Bracco Italiano joins the Sporting Group this year at the National Dog Show.  © 123rf/ olgagorovenko

In 2022, three new breeds will be competing at the National Dog Show for the first time.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) sanctions the competition and has added the Bracco Italiano, Russian Toy, and Mudi to their breed registry this year.

The AKC recognizes 212 purebred dog breeds and varieties and splits them into seven different groups: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting and herding.

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The Bracco Italiano joins the Sporting Group and is also known as the Italian Pointing Dog. It is known for its intelligence and adaptability when hunting prowess.

Joining the Toy Group is the playful cuddly Russian Toy, which was once bred by the Russian oligarchy.

The Mudi, an agile and intelligent farm dog known for its loyal personality and ability to work with stubborn farm animals, joins the Herding Group.

The addition of the new breeds is important for the group phase of the competition, as each will get an added contenstant to go up against.

How does the 2022 National Dog Show work?

Dogs are judged on appearance, structure, movement, and temperament at the National Dog Show.
Dogs are judged on appearance, structure, movement, and temperament at the National Dog Show.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Press

In the first round of the National Dog Show, dogs of the same breed compete against each other for the title of "Best in Breed."

The winner of each category then represents their breed at the next level: the group.

At the group level, dogs aren't judged against each other, but rather against how well they fit their breed standards.

Each group winner, named "First in Breed," then goes on to compete in the final round for the coveted award of Best in Show.

Who will win this year's crown? Find out by tuning into the National Dog Show at 12 PM EST while those Thanksgiving foods are warming up!

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / Everett Collection & 123rf/medvedevsergey

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