Not even a global pandemic can cancel the National Dog Show.
And this year, three new breeds will make their National Dog Show debut at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.
The 2020 National Dog Show will air on NBC, directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Coverage will begin at 12 pm on November 26. NBC also plans to stream the show on the NBC Sports app that’s available on mobile and other smart devices.
We’ll still be seeing America’s most popular breeds like the Golden Retriever, the Lab, and the German Shepherd, of course. However, let’s talk about the newcomers to the competition!
The Dogo Argentino is part of the Working Group. This breed was originally a pack-hunting dog in Argentina and was known to take down wild boar, puma, and other large game. Because of this, these athletic pups require a lot of exercise.
As you might expect, these dogs are known for having a powerful, athletic build, and are often referred to as having a majestic or regal appearance. They have short, white coats, but a dark patch near the eye is acceptable as long as it doesn’t cover too much of the dog’s head.
Unlike some breeds that have evolved organically to perform a certain function, the Dogo Argentino was actually a result of deliberate creation. The breed was created by Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez in the 1920s, and became the first and only dog from Argentina recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The Barbet (pronounced bar-bay) will compete in the Sporting Group. The breed originated as a water dog in France, and was bred to retrieve waterfowl. These days, this calm, friendly breed is a keen swimmer and hunter. World War I and II wreaked havoc on the breed and left it nearly extinct, but Barbet-lovers have worked hard since to ensure the breed’s survival.
Barbet dogs have curly coats that can be black, brown, grey, or fawn in color. They occasionally also feature white markings. The most distinctive feature, though, is the Barbet’s shaggy head with a distinct beard. In fact, the breed’s name comes from the french word “barbe,” which means beard.
Joining the Herding Group, the Belgian Laekenois (pronounced lak-in-wah) is named for the town of Laeken, where it originated. It’s one of the rarest of the four Belgian herding breeds, alongside the Belgian Malinois, Belgian Tervuren, and the Belgian Sheepdog.
This dog was originally bred and raised to guard livestock, but they were later used as messenger dogs during World War I and II. They became the target of Hitler in WWII, resulting in a sizable drop in its numbers. These days, it’s still rare — with less than 400 in the United States since 1995.