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Thanksgiving’s National Dog Show parades pooches

By Serena Atkinson and Nam Nguyen Dec. 9, 2020

Nicole Kim Art


This year’s Thanksgiving once again saw the National Broadcasting Channel’s (NBC) National Dog Show take place in Oaks, Pennsylvania. Due to COVID-19, however, the show was required to adapt to various changes including the absence of vendors, sponsors and media. Despite the new challenges, 20 million viewers still watched as dogs competed for the title of “Best in Show.”


The show judges seven different groups of dogs and 205 different breeds, each of which are judged based on various physical attributes, including breed, gait and composure.

Originally known as The Kennel Club of Philadelphia Dog Show, the rebranded National Dog Show was first televised on NBC in 2002. Nationally, it is one of three major dog shows along with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which takes place in February, and the American Kennel Club National Championship, which takes place in early December. The show judges seven different groups of dogs and 205 different breeds, each of which are judged based on various physical attributes, including breed, gait and composure.


“The National Dog Show is quite popular among pet lovers. Personally, my favorite part of the show is when dogs are allowed to move around and display their discipline. However, the idea of a dog show based on physical traits and how humans want dogs to look is slightly unnerving,” Senior Thomas Shi said.


Over the years, the National Dog Show has fallen into some controversies due to the impact it has on dog owners and culture. Mixed breed dogs for instance are not allowed to participate in the show, which has been condemned by several animal rights activists groups including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). They claim that due to the exclusion of mixed breed dogs, the promotion of purebred dogs can often prevent dogs in shelters from being adopted.

Nicole Kim Art


“The shows also take a toll on the dogs...my uncle used to own a past show dog who was debarked by past owners and always had a lot of anxiety because of it...”

“Although I like seeing all the cute dogs, there are many problems with dog shows. There are a lot of unhealthy breeding practices, such dogs with inset faces not being able to breathe well because they are held to unsafe standards in order to be a ‘good example’ of their breed at dog shows. The shows also take a toll on the dogs and it is a lot of work to take care of former show dogs due to what they go through—my uncle used to own a past show dog who was debarked by past owners and always had a lot of anxiety because of it,” Senior Melissa Brock said.


The 2020 event still occurred as scheduled for coverage during the fall holidays, with the inclusion of three new dog breeds: the Barbet, the Belgian Laekenois and Dogo Argentino. These new editions, fulfilling AKC requirements for new breeds like population count and breed clubs, were capable of competing for the national title.

The 2020 National Dog Show ended with the Scottish Deehound winning Best in Show. Some of the runner-ups included the whippet who won best hound, and the standard poodle who won the non-sporting category.

 

About the Contributors

Serena Atkinson

Staff Writer


Serena is a senior and this is her third year as a staff writer. She likes the Clash, kitchen-sink drama films, and looking at birds that are in her backyard.









Nam Nguyen

Feature World Editor


Nam Nguyen is a senior and is the editor for Feature World. He is a fervent plant enthusiast and enjoys watching indie movies in his free time because he thinks he's too cool for blockbuster films.

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