Archive for In The News

The National Dog Show

The National Dog Show has become one of the most important and best-loved dog shows in the U.S. in recent years. The show is actually held by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. The Kennel Club of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia dog clubs that came before have been holding dog shows since 1879. The present-day Kennel Club of Philadelphia presented its first dog show in 1912 and became a member of the AKC in 1913.


Unlike most shows today, the National Dog Show is a “benched” show. This means that the participating dogs stay in crates behind the scenes when they aren’t being shown, with their exhibitors next to them, so they can meet the public. This allows the public to learn about the dogs and talk to the exhibitors about them. In the early days of dog shows in the 19th century, all shows were benched but these shows are rare today. Only six shows in the country today are benched. Most shows are “show and go” now, with exhibitors and their dogs leaving the facility as soon as they have finished showing.


The show became known as the “National Dog Show” in 2001-02 when it was first televised on NBC. The National Dog Show has the coveted slot immediately following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (at noon in all time zones) on NBC and in some markets is shown multiple times during the day. Since a dog show actually takes many hours to complete, the show is filmed the weekend prior to the Thursday airing on NBC. This gives the network time to edit the show and get it ready for TV.


Hosts for the program are John O’Hurley and David Frei. Actor John O’Hurley was well-known as Mr. Peterman on Seinfeld, prior to assuming the role of host for the National Dog Show. David Frei is the public spokesperson for the Westminster Kennel Club and also hosts the television broadcast of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on the USA Network in February. The National Dog Show annually has around 20 million viewers. Presenting sponsor for the show is Nestlé Purina PetCare, maker of numerous brands of dog food such as Alpo, Beggin’ Strips, Beneful, Dog Chow, and Purina ONE.


The Best In Show winner in 2012 was the Wire Fox Terrier – GCH Afterall Painting the Sky, a.k.a. “Sky.” More than 2000 of the country’s top dogs will be entered this year, representing over 150 breeds and varieties.


If you plan to be in Philadelphia November 16-17, you can attend the dog show in person.


Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks
100 Station Ave, Oaks, PA 19456

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013

Adults (ages 13+): $14
Children (ages 4-12): $7
Children 3 and under are admitted free


As usual, the shows will help raise money for a variety of canine-related causes. Previous beneficiaries of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia include the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. There will be conformation judging each day as well as top agility dogs in the ring at each show. Saturday’s show will be filmed for nationwide broadcast on Thanksgiving Day. Sunday’s show offers enhanced athletic dog exhibitions plus family-friendly activities and hands-on fun. The weekend will feature a flyball tournament, freestyle flying disc, and therapy dogs from the Ronald McDonald House. Check out the program for the shows here:


Whether you’re at the show in person or sitting in front of your television, the National Dog Show always showcases terrific dogs and people who love them.

Thanksgiving is nearly here once again and for most of us that means wonderful aromas wafting through the house and a table groaning under the weight of turkey and other favorite dishes. There will be family and friends gathered ’round and perhaps a slice of pumpkin pie. But, what about your dog? What does Thanksgiving mean for him?

Well, if you’re lucky, it won’t mean a trip to the vet because you’ve overfed him or given him some sharp bones to eat! Most of us want to share Thanksgiving with our dogs but, the truth is, Thanksgiving can be a dangerous time for pets. Rich foods can cause gastrointestinal upsets or even pancreatitis. Giving your dog a cooked turkey bone can lead to a punctured esophagus or other puncture in your dog’s stomach or G.I. Tract, so no cooked bones! Here are some other tips for you and your dog this Thanksgiving.

  • According to one poll, 56 percent of pet owners said they gave their pets Thanksgiving leftovers but you need to be careful about what you share with your dog. For instance, turkey is great. It’s an excellent protein that is nice and lean – as long as you remove the skin. And be sure to avoid giving your dog any cooked bones. Cooked bones are brittle so they can easily snap and form jagged edges that are harmful to dogs.
  • Say no to onion and garlic. Many Thanksgiving dishes contain onion, garlic, leeks, and scallions. If your dog eats these ingredients in any large amount, it can be harmful to him. These items are all members of the allium family and they have been linked to a form of anemia in dogs. Sure, you may occasionally give your dog something that contains garlic and it doesn’t hurt him, but don’t give your dog any foods that contain much of these ingredients.
  • Yes to veggies. It’s fine to give your dog some leftovers of green beans, cranberries, or even macaroni and cheese (if he can eat cheese). Mashed potatoes are good, too. Dogs enjoy many vegetable dishes. However, watch out for the “extras” and fancy fixin’s – those things added to a dish to make it special. For instance, if you add garlic or sour cream to your mashed potatoes, it could make it off limits for your dog. If you use cranberry sauce that has a lot of sugar added, it won’t be so good for your dog. If you would like to give your dog some veggies, try setting aside a bowl for your dog before you add the extras to it.
  • Avoid fat. Just avoid giving your dog extra fat, in general. While we like to see good named fat sources in dog food, it’s not a good idea to feed your dog leftovers that contain generous amounts of fat at Thanksgiving. Most dogs aren’t used to eating so much fat all at one time. The result can be an attack of acute pancreatitis. Vets report that the days following Thanksgiving are some of their busiest of the year for pancreatitis in dogs.
  • Be careful with other foods. There are some foods you should never give to dogs such as chocolate, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, pits from cherries and other pitted foods, and the artificial sweetener xylitol.
  • As for the pumpkin pie? Well, canned pumpkin, minus the spiced pie filling would be better for your dog. And dogs really don’t need whipped cream.
  • And one more time: No Cooked Bones! It’s fine if you would like to give your dog a raw bone such as a turkey neck. Raw bones are comparatively soft and easy for your dog to chew and digest. They won’t break off into jagged pieces when he chews them.


You can see there are many delicious things you can share with your dog at Thanksgiving. Just give some thought and care to what you give your dog and you won’t end up taking him to see the vet.

It’s always great when owners can share a hobby with their dog but how many people take their dog skydiving? Otis the Pug loves to jump out of planes with his owner, Will DaSilva, in California.

According to DaSilva, he and Otis have been on over 60 jumps together.

Otis has been making the jumps ever since he was a puppy. His owner says, “Otis is living the ultimate dream.”

Is it safe for Otis? DaSilva says he takes every precaution for his Pug. DaSilva is an accomplished skydiver and parachute rigger. He works at Lodi Parachute Center so Otis has been around planes and parachuting all his life. DaSilva had Otis’s gear specially made.

“He talked to a parachute rigger who made a custom-fit harness for Otis, basically a papoose that hung loose around his chest, bought a pair of ‘doggles,’ goggles for dogs, and took the pug up for the low-altitude plunge he called a ‘hop and pop’ maneuver,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

DaSilva said, “He’s totally aware of what’s happening when he free falls. Just like any first-time skydiver he gets all excited about it and gets nervous at the door. Once he’s out though he’s just having a ball like a dog with its head out of the car window.”

He said, “Otis grew up around the airport since he was a pup chasing airplanes and running to the landing area.”

There must be something about Pugs and skydiving. You can also see Bugsy the Pug on YouTube. He dives from 10,000 feet in the air!

Those Pugs really know how to have fun, don’t they!

But Otis and Bugsy aren’t the only skydiving dogs. The military teaches dogs to skydive, too. The dogs learn to dive both on their own and in tandem with their handlers.

Granted, skydiving is a little out of the ordinary for most dogs and their owners, but it just goes to show that dogs often love to do whatever their owners enjoy doing. So, what kind of things do you like to do with your dog? Is your dog interested in your hobbies? Does he like to “help” you when you do things? Maybe he has the attitude that wherever you go, that’s where he should be – even if it’s jumping out of a plane.

No matter what kind of hobbies people have, it’s a good bet that someone has probably tried to do them with a dog. Tell us about your hobbies and what you like to do with your dog. Are you and your dog wild and crazy?

Author: Carlotta Cooper
Carlotta Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about dogs. She is a contributing editor for a national dog magazine. She has written two books about dogs: Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy (Back-To-Basics) and How to Listen to Your Dog: The Complete Guide to Communicating with Man’s Best Friend . She has five fun dogs of her own.