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It takes a lot of work to compete at The National Dog Show Presented by Purina. The event, which airs every Thanksgiving on NBC, draws more than 2,000 of the top American Kennel Club-sanctioned dogs from across the country. More than 150 breeds and varieties compete for Best of Breed, First in Group and the coveted title of Best in Show.
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The dogs are "benched" during the day in order to allow the public to view and visit with the more than 150 AKC-recognized breeds and varieties that may be competing. Sometimes the dogs are on tables, ready to be groomed. Other times they are lounging on dog beds, graciously allowing adoring fans to pet them. There are only six benched shows held annually in the United States.
Tango, a Boston Terrier, gets some rest before the tough competition begins.
Bulldogs are among the more popular breeds among fans at The National Dog Show and across the country, according to AKC Registration Statistics. It's no surprise, due to their lovable and gentle dispositions and adorable wrinkles.
Amy Hamilton and her daughters Ella and Ava admire Joshua, a black and white Pointer.
Margarita, a sweet Boxer, gets ready for her close-up. The National Dog Show, broadcast on NBC on Thanksgiving, is America's most popular televised dog show.
Rock Village Izabella Diaki-Di, nicknamed "Izzy," is a champion Australian Terrier.
Brandon, a Bedlington Terrier, sits on the bench before the show.
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Genevieve checks Zelda's nails prior to the big show. Zelda is an English Springer Spaniel.
The Standard Poodle last won Best in Show at The National Dog Show in 2002.
Reed is a Pomeranian, which is a popular companion dog and competitive show dog. The breed comes in all colors, patterns and variations, although orange and red are the more popular.
Dawn Walsh at Vetstreet
Justin is a West Highland White Terrier, more commonly known as the Westie. The breed is valued for its friendly, strong-willed personality and bright white coat.
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