The National Dog Show, which is held each year in November, draws millions of spectators both at the event and from home televisions. Each year, dogs and their owners/handlers compete in seven breed categories: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, herding, and nonsporting. Winners are chosen in each category in addition to the best-in-show winner.
At the 2011 National Dog Show, you’ll see even more breeds than in any previous competition. Six new breeds were announced in 2010, and there is no reason to think that 2011 will be any different.
But which breeds should we be watching for at the National Dog Show 2011?
1- Standard Poodle
Although the poodle hasn’t been a best in show winner since the National Dog Show 2002, this is always a crowd favorite. The standard poodle has become a popular choice for cross-breeding, producing the labradoodle, cockapoo, peek-a-poo, cavapoo, and other crosses.
2- Bluetick Coonhound
New to the National Dog Show as of 2010, the bluetick coonhound is a refined addition to the hound group. These animals are active and playful, as well as extremely photogenic, which make them excellent entries in AKC dog shows. It will be exciting to see how this breed evolves as handlers gain more experience in the show ring and breeders become interested.
3- Australian Shepherd
Recent controversy regarding the treatment of Australian shepherds in competition has renewed interest in the breed and brought them to the forefront in the public eye. Australian shepherds are bright, energetic dogs known for their fierce loyalty and their herding instincts. The Australian Shepherd Club of America has taken a stance against proposed rule changes regarding the breed.
4- Golden Retriever
Highly visible dogs often fare well in the National Dog Show, and this might be the case for 2011 as well as previous years. Golden retrievers have not dominated in this particular competition, but they remain one of America’s most beloved breeds. It’s always a pleasure to see them perform in dog shows, as well as to interact with them on a personal level.
5- American Staffordshire Terrier
The smaller terriers are often the prevailing dogs in the National Dog Show and in other similar competitions. However, the American Staffordshire terrier has become an increasingly popular choice among breeders despite its poor reputation in the public eye. Indeed, many breeders and dog trainers work tirelessly to dissuade potential buyers and handlers of this reputation.
6- Cocker Spaniel
The Cocker spaniel deserves a place on this list if only because there are so many different options. Cocker spaniels are favorite breeds for both competitions and as pets, so it stands to reason that this is a breed you should look for at the National Dog Show 2011. The pari-color and black spaniels are particularly interesting to watch.
Strange name aside, these are some of the most beautiful and most unique dogs in the world. With their fluffy white coats and friendly dispositions, they are among the most striking animals in the working dog category. They have been successful in international dog shows over the last couple years, and might become a contender in the National Dog Show 2011.
8- Irish Setter
Because the Irish Setter won the National Dog Show 2010, it is important not to discount the breed for next year’s competition. Irish setters are popular dogs among breeders and pet owners alike, and their athleticism makes them ideal in the sporting category.
According to the Daily Mail, there are only 1,000 of these gentle animals alive in the world today. Events like the National Dog Show 2011 serve to generate interest in dog breeds, which is important for endangered dogs like the Otterhound.
The pointer won the National Dog Show in 2008, and therefore is a prime contender for the 2011 event. These animals are regal and sleek, with a long history in the United States and a loyal following in the public.
The great thing about the National Dog Show 2011, and all dog shows in general, is that anything can happen. In addition to the general breed categories, the individual animals are an important factor in determining winters, both within categories and in best of show.