AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin Draws Largest Entry in History of Event

November 23, 2016

The AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin has drawn record entry numbers in its 16th year. An entry of 4,710 dogs will compete for the title of National Champion on December 17 and 18 in Orlando, Florida. Combined with the other weekend events of the AKC Agility Invitational, the AKC Obedience Classic, AKC National Owner-Handler Series Finals, NADD/AKC  Diving Dogs Championship and the Junior events, the overall show totals top 7,000 entries, making this the largest dog show held in the United States since the AKC 1984 Centennial event and the largest dog show North America.

“The AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin is a one-of-a-kind experience for any dog lover,” said Dennis Sprung, AKC president and show chairman. “With more than 1,000,000 square feet of event space, top canine athletes competing in a wide variety of dog sports, tons of vendors selling unique dog-themed items in time for the holidays, more than 150 AKC Meet the Breeds booths and more, there is nothing that can compare to this canine extravaganza.”

Other events in the one million square feet of canine-centric event space during the week of December 13-18, 2016 include the:

2016 Highlights:

Judges: Judge Dr. Anthony DiNardo of West Hartford, Connecticut, will select the AKC National Championship Best in Show (BIS) winner. The owner(s) of the BIS winner will receive more than $50,000. Dr. Robert Indeglia of Narragansett, Rhode Island, will judge Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Show from over 1,000 Bred-by-Exhibitor entries (dogs being shown by their owner/breeder). Best Bred-By Exhibitor in Show will receive $15,000.

Television and Streaming Coverage: The AKC National Championship evening competition will be streamed live beginning at 6 p.m. each night on www.akc.org, www.royalcanin.com/akcdogshow and live on Fido TV. The show will be televised on the Hallmark Channel on January 23, 2017, 6-9 p.m. ET/PT. The Bred-By Exhibitor groups, Junior Showmanship Finals, Best Miscellaneous, agility and obedience will be taped and available on demand at www.akc.org.

AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals: The AKC NOHS Finals Best in Show competition will be judged by Mrs. Paula Nykiel of Washington, Missouri, on Saturday, December 17. This invitation-only competition is open to the top ten ranked dogs in the AKC National Owner-Handled Series in each breed/variety from the 2016 qualifying year and drew an entry of 711 dogs. The NOHS Group Finals will be taped and available on demand at www.akc.org.

AKC National Championship by the Numbers

  • All 190 AKC recognized breeds are entered to compete.
  • 4,710 entries in the AKC National Championship
  • The largest entries include:
    • 141 golden retrievers
    • 127 dachshunds (all varieties)
    • 117 Labrador retrievers
    • 94 Australian shepherds
    • 89 Chihuahuas (both varieties)
    • 81 French bulldogs
    • 68 Rhodesian ridgebacks
    • 68 poodles (all varieties)
    • 59 cavalier King Charles spaniels
    • 56 rottweilers
  • 711 dogs are entered in the AKC National Owner-Handled Series (NOHS) Finals.
  • 121 juniors, ages 9-17, who have met high academic standards and qualification criteria based on year-round competition, will compete in Junior Showmanship.
  • More than 700 dogs will compete in the North America Diving Dogs/AKC National Championship.


To purchase tickets or get more information about the show, visit us at www.akc.org/events/national-championship/ or on Facebook and Twitter.




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