AKC National Championship: What to know about this dog show

Photo: AKC National Championship.. Image Courtesy Nick King
Photo: AKC National Championship.. Image Courtesy Nick King /

Have you ever wondered what all was involved in putting together a dog show? How about one as big as the AKC National Championship?

After having had the opportunity to cover this year’s AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, I can tell you that there is a lot of work that goes into a dog show of this size. And thanks to a press fact sheet that was offered by the AKC, we also know some behind-the-scenes facts that we think everyone should know.

This is one of the biggest dog shows of the year, and in my opinion it might just be one of the best representations of dogs around. Not only did the AKC National Championship have the “largest entry in AKC history,” but 193 breeds were represented at this show. In fact, for the 2019 Championship there were 5,284 dogs entered in the competition. And this number doesn’t take into account all of the dogs present at the venue.

Seriously, there were a lot of dogs here. And it was amazing.

These dogs were all beautiful. And the fact that there were just as many older dogs as there were puppies made this show even better than I expected.

But of course, that’s not all that makes this show so impressive. These pups come from all 50 states and of course, Washington, D.C., and there were even some international competitors present.

And it was not just the dogs being rewarded for being amazing, breeders were also honored at the AKC National Championship. In fact, seven individual breeders were honored this year, with one being chosen as the AKC Breeder of the Year. (You’ll have to watch the show on Animal Planet to find out who won this honor, but I will say I teared up a little watching this presentation.)

Did you know that there is prize money at stake as well? The AKC National Championship offers more than $150,000 in prize money, including $50,000 for the dog that wins Best in Show!

When I say that this is a huge dog show I am not kidding, as multiple national events were held in Orlando at the same time and all under one roof. Alongside the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, there was also the AKC Agility Invitational, the AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals, the AKC Obedience Classic, and the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes.

One of my personal favorite things was the AKC Meet the Breeds where attendees can learn about more than 160 breeds. Not only are there puppies and older dogs on display, but you can pet many of them and learn all about what these pups have to offer.

In fact, the people at all of these booths are more than happy to talk to you about their dogs. And if you are looking to adopt a specific breed, they will help you determine if this is the right choice for you.

Seriously, this event is as much a learning experience, as it is a chance for dogs to compete for the chance to be the top of their breed.

If you ever have the chance to attend the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, I highly recommend it. As dog lovers and dog owners, it is an experience unlike anything you have ever done. (And yes, I was a complete fan girl for the Chow Chows and the puppies.)

David Frei on his journey with dogs and dog show insights. light. Related Story

Have you watched the AKC National Championship before? Will you be watching Royal Canin’s presentation on Animal Planet? Tell us what you thought/think in the comments.