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When? National airing is on Thursday, November 26th 2015 (Thanksgiving Day) at 12:00 p.m. on NBC (immediately following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade). 

Where? The event takes place at The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania. 

  1. The Kennel Club of Philadelphia and its predecessors have been presenting dog shows since 1879, establishing Philadelphia as a city at the forefront of purebred dog culture. The Great Depression forced a hiatus between 1928 and 1932, but since then the show has been held every year, becoming a Thanksgiving Day tradition. Part of that tradition is the iconic commentary by actor John O’Hurley, who has hosted the Dog Show since 2002.

  2. Each dog breed is assigned to one of seven dog groups. The groupings are based on characteristics that the breeds were originally bred to exhibit. They are the terrier group, toy group, working group, sporting group, hound group, non-sporting group, and the herding group. The First in Group winner from each will go on to compete for the title of Best in Show. Click here to get your dog group cheat sheet.

  3. The National Dog Show is one of only 6 benched dog shows in the United States. The majority of shows are unbenched, meaning dogs only need to be present while they are exhibiting for the judges. At a benched show, dogs must be present for the entirety of the event. When they’re not exhibiting, the dogs stay at their assigned bench to allow fellow exhibitors, media and show attendees to observe and meet them. 

  4. Last year’s Best in Show winner, Nathan, was a bloodhound who had been competing since he was 6 months old. The Bloodhound’s legendary tracking abilities are due to the combination of its extraordinary sense of smell and determined temperament. Headstrong and slow to mature, a well trained bloodhound requires an exceptionally skilled handler. 

  5. Purina® Pro Plan® is truly the fuel of champions. Last year, all 7 group winners — including Nathan — were Pro Plan-fed dogs. The choice to feed Pro Plan® is entirely up to owners, trainers and handlers, which is why we’re proud that so many of them feed and recommend our formulas.*

  6. This year the National Dog show is introducing seven new American Kennel Club breeds: The Lagotto Romagnolo, The Berger Picard, The Miniature American Shepherd, The Cirneco dell’Etna, The Boerboel, The Bergamasco, and The Spanish Water Dog. Every dog  has a distinct set of dietary needs based on breed size, activity level and body condition. Purina® Pro Plan’s® myPLAN program provides expert nutritional recommendations based on your dog’s traits and preferences.

  7. Beagles are a favorite at dog shows and at home. They regularly take First in Group for the Hounds and they are one of the most searched for dog breeds on the internet, and it’s no secret why. They have a handsome, friendly appearance, they are steadfast companions for families and other pets and they are exceedingly intelligent hunting partners. In fact, they were the dog of choice among aristocratic English sportsmen in the sixteenth century.
  8. Beginning at 12:00 a.m. CT on November 2, 2015 and ending at 11:59 p.m. CT on November 29, 2015, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company will donate $1.00 to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation (“AKC CHF”) each time you share an original post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using @Purina and #dogthanking, up to a maximum donation of $75,000.

For more information regarding the AKC CHF, visit        

* The handler or owner of these champions may have received Pro Plan dog food as Purina ambassadors