Each year towards the end of November, the nation gathers together to give thanks for one of life’s greatest gifts: dogs. And despite the pandemic, tomorrow will be no exception. Immediately following a made-for-TV Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, coverage of a spectator-free National Dog Show will air on Thursday afternoon, serving as the perfect background viewing while you’re putting the finishing (or starting) touches on Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s how to watch the pups post-parade.
What’s going on with the National Dog Show this year?
Like many of our other events of 2020, the National Dog Show was a scaled-down version of its usually flashy and furry self, thanks to COVID-19 safety concerns. The two days of the show were held on November 14-15 in Philadelphia, without spectators, vendors, sponsors, or media present, but Thursday will be the first time this year’s competition will be broadcast.
Only dog show officials, NBC broadcast personnel, handlers, and dogs were allowed on the premises, and according to the Philadelphia Kennel Club, judging took place under strict health and safety guidelines, including social distancing, mask-wearing, and regular temperature-checks. This year, the competition was limited to 600 dogs—a steep 70% decrease from the nearly 2,000 canines who take part in non-pandemic years. But, there will be three new breeds in the competition this year: the Barbet, the Dogo Argentinos, and the Belgian Laekenois.
How to watch the 2020 National Dog Show
Despite these changes, the National Dog Show will look largely the same to those of us watching at home (with the exception of the polite crowds in the stands). This includes John O’Hurley (aka J. Peterman) and David Frei reprising their roles as co-hosts, with Mary Carillo providing commentary, analysis, and behind-the-scenes looks at this year’s show.
On Thursday, November 26, the 2020 National Dog Show will air on NBC directly after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, starting at 12 p.m. and running until 2 p.m. (at your local time). For those who don’t have access to network TV, you can also stream it on the NBC Sports app, which is accessible via Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire. When all else fails, you can always sign up for a free trial of streaming services like Hulu YouTubeTVor Fubo to get access.
And if two hours of the National Dog Show aren’t enough (or you get bored after a few minutes once you realize Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara aren’t there), the 2000 classic “Best in Show” is currently streaming on HBO Max, or available for rent and purchase on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and similar platforms.