A New Thanksgiving Tradition: The National Dog Show

Instead of watching football on Thanksgiving this year, consider watching the National Dog Show.

The fascinating thing from a viewer’s perspective is the sheer variety of breeds these groups encompass. You’re probably familiar with several of the American Kennel Club – recognized breeds that compete at the National Dog Show: your Labradors and pugs, your mastiffs and fox terriers. You may even remember an odd breed or two from previous competitions; Westminster 2013, for instance, taught America how to pronounce “Affenpinscher” (which means “monkey-like terrier” in German) thanks to Best in Show winner Banana Joe. But it’s likely that even doggie die-hards won’t be familiar with every one of the 200-plus breeds recognized, and the National Dog Show adds new ones nearly every year.

This has been my family’s Thanksgiving tradition for years. And for what it’s worth, I’m always partial to the herding and working breeds.