If your holiday plans include watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade followed by The National Dog Show on television, you’re in luck! Each grand event is still on the schedule, but expect some changes.
Biggest changes for the dog show: no spectators in the audience, and no dogs will be “benched” for the public to view. Also missing: vendors, sponsors and media representatives, with the exception of NBC personnel. (Makes sense, as they’re airing the event.) Nurses will be on site; masks, hand sanitizers, and physical distancing between officials as well as dogs and their handlers.
Here are key excerpts from the Philadelphia Kennel Club’s announcement about this year’s event. I’ve also included links to the most recent updates I could find.
- With full attention being given to state and local health and safety issues for activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and under the guidance of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and the Montgomery County Department of Health, a single, two-day show will be held on Nov. 14- 15 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks.
- The Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show will go forward in 2020 with no spectators and with the approving guidance of regional health and safety authorities. The show will be televised on Thanksgiving Day (noon-2 p.m. in all time zones), Nov. 26, following the telecast of NBC’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”
- In recent years, the club has conducted two separate dog shows during the big Philadelphia weekend, but this November the club will conduct just one show divided over those two days. The competition will be limited to some 600 dogs (200 each day), a decrease of 70% from the near-2000 entries usually on hand. Four groups will be judged on Saturday, with the remaining three plus Best In Show set for Sunday.
- Further information on the National Dog Show and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia Dog Shows can be obtained at www.nationaldogshow.com.
Find updated information at https://nds.nationaldogshow.com/ and NBC Sports.com.
New in 2020! According to https://sports.nbcsports.com/2020/11/13/what-to-know-about-national-dog-show-2020-thanksgiving/ we’ll see three breeds make their National Dog Show debut:
- The Barbet, which competes in the Sporting Group, originated as a water dog in France. The breed has a curly coat that can be black, gray, brown, or fawn in color, sometimes with white markings. The Barbet is a calm dog but was bred to help retrieve birds. The breed’s name comes from the French word “barbe,” which means beard.
- The rare Belgian Laekenois (“Lak-in-wah”) joins the Herding Group. This strong, sturdy and protective breed has a rough, tousled coat that can be shades of red, fawn or grey. The Belgian Laekenois was originally bred and raised to guard livestock and linens drying outside before serving as messenger dogs during WWI and WWII.
- The Dogo Argentino, which falls under the Working Group, was originally a pack-hunting dog in Argentina. The breed was known to take down wild boar and puma, among other large game. Dogo Argentinos have short, white coats, but a dark patch near the eye is permitted as long as it doesn’t cover too much of the head.