AKC National Championship

Each year the show continues to grow and draw the top dogs in the country to vie for the title of America’s National Champion. The result was a record-breaking year with more than 5,300 entries in Conformation and nearly 9,400 entries across events! These incredible numbers solidify our standing as the largest dog show in North America. 

The AKC/Royal Canin ‘Field of Dreams’ – Or, If You Build It… They Will Come!

The 2022 event marked the 22nd year of/for the AKC National Championship. Not many events with only 21 years under their belt can claim that they have achieved “Rock Star” status alongside other events with close to—and over—a 100-year head start. 

Interview with 2022 AKC National Championship BIS Judge Desmond Murphy

Was there a heightened energy coming from the dog and handler teams? Did you feel the energy of the spectators?

Yes, I did. When the first dog walked in, and the crowd started cheering, I could see the energy coming from the ringside, and I could also see the energy that was in the handlers and the dogs.


Insights from Dominic Palleschi Carota
2022 AKC NOHS Finals Best in Show Judge

My Best in Show Winner, the Irish Setter (GCHS Bramblebush Piper At The Gates of Dawn) from the Sporting Group, was simply magnificent. From the time he entered the arena he did not put a foot wrong. Expertly piloted around the ring, there was something about this dog that I kept coming back to each time my eyes panned the seven worthy breeds in front of me.


Interview With Linda Clark – 2022 AKC National Championship Junior Showmanship Finals Judge

I have judged Juniors from coast to coast and I felt extremely honored and excited for this invitation. Having raised my own children in Junior Showmanship and mentored other Juniors during their careers, I have a vested interest in, and a passion for, Junior Showmanship.

Meet Noah Milam – 2022 AKC National Championship Best Junior Handler

The Junior Handler program has really just made a huge difference in not only my life but all of my siblings’ lives. It’s definitely changed a lot in life, but it was a good change. All five of my siblings show dogs, even my youngest sister who’s not old enough to compete in Junior Showmanship… she still competes in the Pee Wees.

2023 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show – Key Dates & Hotel Information


Special rates and arrangements have been made at the following hotels for the 2023 Wesminster Kennel Club Dog Show, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please use the code or link when provided for booking your reservation or request rooms in the Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) hotel block to ensure rooms are pet friendly.


A Great End to a Challenging Year


The year 2022 was difficult for many people. World events had a profound effect on our sport as high inflation created a huge increase in the cost of gasoline. Likewise, the cost of dog food, hotel rooms, entry fees, and so many other things put a huge burden on the finances of our many breeders, exhibitors, and handlers. The entries at many shows continue to decline while it seems the number of shows themselves continues to rise.

The Bubble | 2023: Let’s Minimize Our Problems and Achieve Our Goals


I was going to give the usual wrap-up of the year with the successes and failures, achievements and future plans. However, when I look back on 2022, it was not a year of happenings but one of recovery.

After the disastrous years of 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 became the year of returning to normalcy. Note, I use the word “returning” not “returned.” Through the previous two years, the pandemic created havoc in the dog world.


The Successful ‘Newbie’ – How to Navigate Those Early Days in Dog Sports


By the time these words are published, the newness of 2023 will have worn off for most people. But as it is, these words are being written as the year is brand spanking new. I’ve spent the past few days pondering the phenomenon of the novelty that is “new” and what “new” means for dog show exhibitors.


Getting Lucky in 2023 – Could This Be the Year of the Owner Handler?

In Chinese Astrology, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. Thought by those who follow the lunisolar calendar to bring luck and good fortune, the lapine year ahead is expected to provide a bounty of success for those who believe. However, only devotees who are prepared to achieve their objectives through hard work, determination, and strategic planning should expect to find luck with any consistency. After all, anybody can get lucky once. Realizing a “personal best” for the coming year, by contrast, is going to require more than a “fat chance” or a lucky rabbit’s foot.

Dr. Dawn Schroeder | Scottsdale Dog Fancier’s Fiesta Dog Shows


A show chairman’s two worst nightmares are medical emergencies for dogs or exhibitors and bench hearings. We have addressed these issues head-on by having paramedics and a veterinarian on-sight during show hours. Having the veterinarian available has also proved to be essential for determining whether a dog has been injured in the context of bench hearings involving dog attacks. We have found that the absence of blood does not mean the absence of injury.


Handlers — Professional and Otherwise


Often the advice given to these novices is to get a professional handler, but many want to enjoy the day in the ring with their dog. Granted, there is a learning curve for individuals to learn the mechanics of exhibiting their breed, which often includes breed-specific grooming. There are those who become accomplished in the ring and spend their time in the sport of dogs as a breeder-handler. Many of these individuals can present their own dog as well as any professional.

Anja Cikara-Gocke – A Junior’s Journal

I did not grow up in a doggy family. I got my first purebred dog, an Australian Shepherd, after a few rescues. As a family, we decided to venture into the world of breeding and dog shows following guidance from a longtime Aussie breeder in Colorado. I was the first one in my family to get really involved in dog competitions and showing.
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