It’s a Dog-Beat-Dog World Thursday on NBC TV

A conference room at the Hilton Tru Hotel in Valley Forge (at top) was filled with dogs and handlers last week at a media event to promote the National Dog Show. It airs Thanksgiving Day from noon to 2 p.m. on NBC

OAKS PA – When the 2021 edition of the National Dog Show, presented by Purina and sponsored by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, finished its run Sunday (Nov. 21) in Oaks it left unfinished business behind. Its “Best In Show” winner, the top dog among all dogs seen during the two-day competition at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, was not publicly announced.

It's a Dog-Beat-Dog World Thursday on NBC TV
Dogs and humans alike smile for the cameras ahead of the National Dog Show

Withholding the name of the “Best In Show” recipient is intended to build drama and suspense. In theory it should prompt an eager public to salivate much like, well, some dogs for the moment of the big reveal. That happens Thursday (Nov. 25, Thanksgiving Day), between noon and 2 p.m. in all time zones, when NBC Television airs coverage of the show as part of its 20th anniversary celebration.

It’s not as though viewers needed additional motivation. Much like eating turkey at the adults’ table, watching the National Dog Show broadcast has become a don’t-miss tradition for a total audience of more than 20 million Americans, the Kennel Club reports. Want to see it twice? An encore presentation will also air Saturday (Nov. 27), in prime time from 8-10 p.m.

Popular Seinfeld actor, author, and unabashed dog lover John O’Hurley and canine expert analyst David Frei will host the National Dog Show broadcast. They’ll be accompanied by Olympics host and tennis analyst Mary Carillo, who will work the show sidelines for features on dogs in the competition as well as those in the lives of the nation’s residents.

One new breed certified by the American Kennel Club will be on hand at the show. It is the Biewer Terrier (pronounced bea-ver, like the dam-building animal), competing in the Toy Group as one of almost 200 different breeds and varieties.

As it did with the Summer Olympics, NBC is turning to its many digital formats to expand its viewers dog show experience. NBC Sports will livestream the Thanksgiving Day telecast online at, as well as through its NBC Sports app for Apple, Google, Windows, Roku, and Amazon devices.

NBC also will provide on-demand coverage of all seven judging groups, plus “Best In Show.” Two websites, and, also will provide video of the examination of every breed in the group judging competition. Wayne Ferguson, Kennel Club president, is scheduled to provide specific commentary following the broadcast.

Wait; there’s more.

NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, will exclusively stream a one-hour special called “National Dog Show Junior” Thursday from 2-3 p.m. in all time zones. It immediately follows the show broadcast on NBC. “Junior’s” kid-focused content combines highlights and features appealing to a younger audience. It will be hosted by Matt Iseman, Laurie Hernandez, and kid reporter Anna Laible.

Photos by The Posts