“The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®” and the annual Kennel Club of Philadelphia (KCP) Dog Shows will return this year to Greater Philadelphia, continuing a tradition that started in 1879.
The shows will take place Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 14 and 15, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks/Valley Forge, where some 2,000 purebred canines will be on display for the public while competing for top honors in the ring. The weekend shows are “benched” format shows at which the public has the opportunity to interact with the dogs, learn about different breeds and talk with experts about owning a dog through the course of the day. Philadelphia is one of only six “benched” format shows remaining in the United States.
The KCP has been involved with dog shows since its first event in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition, presenting dog shows since 1879 and hosting the Philadelphia shows annually since 1933.
The dog world’s most-watched event takes place Saturday, Nov. 14, when the renowned “National Dog Show Presented by Purina®” will be contested among some of the finest dogs in world, with $20,000 in prize money and enormous prestige at stake. NBC will televise coverage of the show as a two-hour special on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, immediately following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Returning this year to host the TV show is the renowned comedic actor, author, canine aficionado and TV personality John O’Hurley. He will be joined by expert analyst David Frei, who is an AKC-licensed judge and host of USA Network’s “The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.”
This year will mark the establishment of the National Dog Show to a permanent home at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks/Valley Forge, which is located just 20 miles from Center City Philadelphia. The show has had other statewide venues as its host in recent years, including Fort Washington, Harrisburg and Reading. KCP officials expect 15,000 spectators from the mid-Atlantic region at the Expo Center over the weekend.
“The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®” debuted in 2002 as one of the year’s most successful network television specials, prompting NBC and sponsor Nestlé Purina PetCare to commit long-term to the Thanksgiving Day time slot following the Macy’s Parade. A huge ratings success over the past seven years with a total annual audience approaching 20 million, it is by far the most widely viewed single telecast of a dog show in television history.