Thanksgiving isn't only for some of the most-anticipated football games of the year. The holiday also means it's time for one of the most anticipated best-looking-animal competitions of the year.
So if you're that one person in your family who can't stand football, The X-Factor or Glee but you're still searching for a TV fix that the whole family can enjoy together, look no further than this year's National Dog Show presented by Purina. This year, for the first time, two new breeds will be featured on the show: the Russell Terrier and the Treeing Walker Coonhound.
But can one of them win?
According to a press release via the Daily Mail, the show will include over 170 breeds, all of which will compete for Best in Show, and it will be hosted by Seinfeld's John O'Hurley (J. Peterman). He will be joined by analyst David Frei to break down the canine competition for the viewers at home.
If your TV is being commandeered by football lovers, you can still get a good taste of the competition online at NBCSports.com or at NationalDogShow.com, which will provide a look at every dog in the group competition and judging of all breed-winners, plus highlights from the TV broadcast and behind-the-scenes photos and video.
Where: The Kennel Club of Philadelphia; Philadelphia, PA
When: Thursday, Nov. 22 at 12 p.m. ET (encore 8 p.m. ET on Friday)
Schedule of Events
To be featured during the broadcast:
- Performance Dog Demonstration
- Freestyle Flying Disc Demonstration
- Purina Pro Plan Award Presentation
- National Anthem Ceremony
- Group Judging
- Best-in-Show Judging
Note that the show will be delayed to air at noon in all time zones.
Terrier Group: According to the event's official program, terriers evolved from the British Isles, and because their duties involved hunting vermin, they have a lot of determination, courage and self-confidence.
Working Group: These dogs are accustomed to performing tasks for their masters, and they're good for guarding homes. Often, these are the dogs that are tapped as police and/or military dogs.
Toy Group: These animals are specifically bred to be companions to humans, and in many cases, it means that they've been bred to be smaller than their predecessors so they can live comfortably in human homes.
The New Breeds
Treeing Walker Coonhound
According to the show's official program, this dog was bred for tracking wildlife, particularly wild raccoons. It is an excellent hunter, has lots of endurance and has a very clear voice so it can be heard far and wide. And don't worry—it is a friendly breed, too. It is described as a smart and sociable animal.
This terrier is only 10-12" tall, and it has a "spannable, compressible chest" that allows it to hunt underground, particularly through narrow tunnels. Back in the 19th century, this dog was used for fox hunting in England, but in terms of interacting with others, it is a non-confrontational dog.
For more information, visit the dog show's page on NBC.com here.