Tuesday, 22 November 2016 00:00


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Dogs from 49 States and 100s of International Exhibitors

Will Vie for Best in Show

NEW YORK, NY (November 22, 2016) – The AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin has drawn record entry numbers in its 16th year. An entry of 4,710 dogs will compete for the title of National Champion on December 17 and 18, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Combined with the other weekend events the AKC Agility Invitational, the AKC Obedience Classic, AKC National Owner-Handler Series Finals, NADD/AKC Diving Dogs Championship, and the Junior events, the overall show totals top 7,000 entries, making this the largest dog show held in the United States since the AKC 1984 Centennial event and the largest dog show North America.

“The AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin is a one-of-a-kind experience for any dog lover,” said Dennis Sprung, AKC President and Show Chairman.  “With more than 1,000,000 square feet of event space, top canine athletes competing in a wide variety of dog sports, tons of vendors selling unique dog-themed items in time for the holidays, more than 150 AKC Meet the Breeds® booths and more, there is nothing that can compare to this canine extravaganza.” 

Other events in the one million square feet of canine-centric event space during the week of December 13-18, 2016 include the:

2016 Highlights:

Judges: Judge Dr. Anthony DiNardoof West Hartford, Connecticut will select the AKC National Championship Best in Show (BIS) winner. The owner(s) of the BIS winner will receive more than $50,000. Dr. Robert Indeglia of Narragansett, Rhode Island will judge Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Show from over 1,000 Bred-by-Exhibitor entries (dogs being shown by their owner/breeder). Best Bred-By Exhibitor in Show will receive $15,000.


Television and Streaming Coverage: The AKC National Championship evening competition will be streamed live beginning at 6:00 p.m. each night on www.akc.org, www.royalcanin.com/akcdogshow and live on Fido TV. The show will be televised on the Hallmark Channel on January 23, 2017 6-9 PM ET/PT. The Bred-By Exhibitor groups, Junior Showmanship Finals, Best Miscellaneous, agility and obedience will be taped and available on demand at www.akc.org.


AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals: The AKC NOHS Finals Best in Show competition will be judged by Mrs. Paula Nykiel of Washington, Missouri on Saturday, December 17. This invitation-only competition is open to the top ten ranked dogs in the AKC National Owner-Handled Series in each breed/variety from the 2016 qualifying year and drew an entry of 711 dogs. The NOHS Group Finals will be taped and available on demand at www.akc.org.


  • All 190 AKC recognized breeds are entered to compete.
  • 4,710 entries in the AKC National Championship
  • The largest entries include:
    • 141 Golden Retrievers
    • 127 Dachshunds (all varieties)
    • 117 Labrador Retrievers
    • 94 Australian Shepherds
    • 89 Chihuahuas (both varieties)
    • 81 French Bulldogs
    • 68 Rhodesian Ridgebacks
    • 68 Poodles (all varieties)
    • 59 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
    • 56 Rottweilers
  • 711 dogs are entered in the AKC National Owner-Handled Series (NOHS) Finals.
  • 121 juniors, ages 9-17, who have met high academic standards and qualification criteria based on year-round competition, will compete in Junior Showmanship.
  • More than 700 dogs will compete in the North America Diving Dogs/AKC National Championship.
  • 248 entries in the two-dayAKC Obedience Classic, including 62 breeds from 35 states, Canada and Puerto Rico
  • 34 Junior Obedience entriesand 38 Junior Rally entries in the AKC Juniors Classic (Saturday, Dec. 17th for Obedience and Sunday, Dec. 18th for Rally)
  • 700 entries in theAKC Agility Invitational, including 161 breeds from 44 states and four countries
  • 77 entries in the AKC Junior Agility Competition (Friday, Dec. 16th)


To purchase tickets or get more information about the show, visit us at www.akc.org/events/national-championship/ or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.  Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 22,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog.  For more information, visit www.akc.org.

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