National Dog Show 2012: Compelling Storylines for This Year's Event

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IINovember 22, 2012

Photo Credit: Steven Donahue / See Spot Run Photography
Photo Credit: Steven Donahue / See Spot Run Photography

Thanksgiving 2012 is the date for the annual National Dog Show Presented by Purina in New York. This year will be the 11th-straight annual showing of the November search for one of the best purebreds in America.

The action begins directly following NBC’s coverage of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

If the NFL captivates you and your loved ones, fear not. NBC is re-airing the event on Friday night from 8-10 p.m. ET! They’re also live-streaming the football game in case your family members are fixated on said NFL coverage and you must get your canine fix on.

Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting storylines around this year’s competition.

New breeds

Treeing Walker Coonhound

This friendly breed is a tracker by nature and an excellent hunter due to its hefty endurance and clear voice. It was bred for tracking and treeing wild raccoons. Their fast, alter and hot-nosed nature makes them ideal for this task.

The show’s official program describes them as friendly, smart and sociable animals.

Russell Terrier

This now-non-confrontational breed was used for fox hunting in England during the 19th century and is just 10-to-12” tall. Thanks to a “small, oval-shaped, spannable, compressible chest,” it specialized in burrowing through narrow tunnels for hunting.

The show’s official program describes them as athletic, intelligence and fiercely loyal.

Unique coverage

Unlike most shows, the format of this event is less restricted and allows more of an open setting for the dogs and visitors. Dogs are on display all day for viewing by the visiting public. This helps streamline the viewing and events during the two-hour televised event.

It’s one of only five remaining shows to keep this format.

A New Host

John O’Hurley, once a Seinfeld actor and inaugural Dancing With the Stars champion, has hosted the event since its 2002 inception.

He’s joined by counterpart and expert dog show analyst David Frei. Frei is widely regarded as a top authority in the dog show world and has also been with the show since its inception.

Mary Carillo, an NBC Olympics correspondent, also joins the two hosts this year. She was a correspondent with Frei during the 2009 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.