Dog Shows descend on Convention Center in December

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National Dog Show, Best in Show

2008 National Dog Show: Best in Show Champion "Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry" Courtesy American Kennel Club

In less than two weeks, more than 4,000 extraordinary dogs from 48 states and 41 countries will travel to Long Beach for the 9th Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show. The same weekend, December 12-13, dogs will also compete in the Eukanuba World Challenge 2009.

The preceding week, the Dog Hair & Eggnog Cluster dog shows will take place. The events are held by local kennel clubs December 9-11, making for five full days of dog shows in Long Beach.

AKC National Championship Dog Show

The American Kennel Club (AKC), founded in 1884, maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world. Its rules and regulations govern more than 20,000 canine competitions each year. This is the 125th Special Anniversary of the AKC National Championships and every participant will receive a commemorative 125th anniversary medallion.

In celebration of the anniversary, the dog show has adopted an open format to allow for breed classes to award championship points. Dogs that complete their championships at this event will receive a special rosette. Also in recognition of the American Kennel Club’s milestone, 133 breed clubs will host specialties and supported entries.

“We are proud to celebrate AKC’s 125th anniversary with this unique show,” said Ron Menaker, Show Chairman. “With nearly 5,000 entries in the conformation, agility and obedience competitions, it’s the largest AKC dog show in 2009, and will be a memorable event for both spectators and competitors.”

In addition to the National Championship, the dog show will include several events over the weekend. AKC Meet the Breeds will have all AKC recognized breeds on display with puppies and adult dogs ready to greet the public with wags and puppy kisses. Don’t miss the world’s smartest and most agile canines who will be competing in the AKC National Obedience Invitational and AKC Agility Invitational.

The Eukanuba World Challenge Champion Dog Show

International champions from 41 countries will come nose to nose as the dogs intensely compete for the highly prized Eukanuba World Challenge Champion 2009 title along with the $10,000 prize money to be awarded by the distinguished worldwide judge, Frank Sabella from America. Two runner-up dogs will also receive prizes of $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

The majority of the dogs participating are multi-titled champions and have collectively defeated thousands of dogs to achieve a highly-prized place in the ring at the prestigious Eukanuba World Challenge.

Unlike in previous years where the dogs were divided into geographical regions, the dogs are now classified into four non-geographically related regions to create groups of dogs from different continents reflecting countries from the 2009 World Dog Show in Bratislava. The dog show also instituted a new format which included a semifinal that added dogs from another 20 countries in addition to the 21 European countries who participated in last year’s World Challenge. The final champions are the world’s most coveted top-winning dogs.

This international event, made possible by the co-operation of Eukanuba, the American Kennel Club and the FCI along with their membership of national Kennel Clubs, promises to present an incredible display of great dogs that will thrill spectators, breeders and exhibitors alike.

On Saturday, December 12, the opening flag ceremony and non-geographical section judging will take place and the four FCI judges will each select three winning dogs from their section. The next day, the 12 finalists will move on to the main ring for final judging.

Dog Show Tickets and More Information

Tickets for the events cost $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and youth ages 13-18, children under 12 are free. All seats are unreserved general admission. Tickets for the both dog shows — the National Championship and the Eukanuba World Challenge — can be purchased through the Long Beach Convention Center Box Office, Ticketmaster or visit the AKC website for more information.

To view a schedule of daily events at the dog show, visit

The dog shows will be filmed for broadcast on Animal Planet and ESPN, check your local listings for channel and show times.

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