2020 National Dog Show preview: What to expect

Photo: National Dog Show/Steve Surfman
Photo: National Dog Show/Steve Surfman /
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Photo: National Dog Show/Steve Surfman
Photo: National Dog Show/Steve Surfman /

The 2020 version of the National Dog Show preview looks at some of the reasons this will be a unique event.

While no spectators were allowed in the arena, there will be fan cutouts, so that should make for some fun moments for the audience, seeing if they can spot the faces of their loved ones.

The field will be much smaller in quantity this year, but of a high caliber, as O’Hurley explained:

“Normally we’ll have about 2,000 dogs and entries, this year we’ll have less, about 500 dogs representing around 173 breeds and varieties. But each one of those will be breed champions, so the amount of entrants will be much less, but the quality will be much higher as it’ll be champions only.”

Officially, 538 dogs took part, representing 173 breeds and varieties out of a possible 207 AKC-recognized breeds.

The reigning Best in Show champion is a Bulldog called Thor, whose registered name is GCHG Diamond Gold Majesu Pisko Bulls. Other Best in Show winners over the years include three Fox Terriers, two Poodles and one each of a Australian Shepherd, Bloodhound, Brussels Griffon, Bull Terrier, Doberman, Greyhound, Foxhound, Irish Setter, Labrador, Pointer, Scottie, Skye Terrier, and Whippet.

As this strange year has continued, both said their pet dogs have enjoyed the extra time with their humans.

“My dogs are always happy to see me, so whether I’m home or not, they’re always happy to see me,” Frei said. “It hasn’t been that much different at home, other than every once in a while they wonder why I’m there ALL the time. They’re like, ‘can’t you just step out every once in a while?’ But I think that they bring such great joy to us, they’re such a big part of what we do, it’s fun to have the extra time with them.”

O’Hurley agreed.

“I have a peculiar situation, my home is an airplane usually about 200 days per year, so that’s changed dramatically and my dogs have certainly noticed it. As David would say, I’m ALWAYS home now, and they don’t have to look too hard to the left or the right to find me there, so they’re enjoying the closeness.”