Elite Competition, Rufus the Therapy Dog, New Breeds and More in National Dog Show Presented By Purina Thanksgiving Day on NBC Following Macy's Parade

Nov 23, 2009, 14:30 ET from National Dog Show Presented by Purina

Traditional Holiday TV Special, Hosted by John O'Hurley & David Frei, Features Over 160 Breeds

NEW YORK, Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The NBC Thanksgiving Day special "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®," will crown one of America's great show dogs as its 2009 champion while offering special coverage of Rufus the therapy dog and introducing three, new American Kennel Club-sanctioned breeds.

The holiday special (noon - 2 p.m. in all time zones) follows the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC and is watched annually by a total of almost 20 million viewers. Over 160 breeds vie for "Best in Show" honors in the tradition-rich Kennel Club of Philadelphia competition.

The special is a celebration of America's fascination with man's best friend, hosted by John O'Hurley, the "Seinfeld" ensemble actor (catalogue king J. Peterman) and ultimate champion on ABC's inaugural "Dancing With The Stars." O'Hurley is joined by expert analyst David Frei, who is the voice of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on USA Network and America's foremost authority on the sport.

Unlike traditional dog show coverage, the two-hour special, taped Nov. 14, offers family-oriented features, facilitated by the open format of the event, one of only five remaining "benched" shows in which the dogs are on display all day for the visiting public.

The broadcast will also spotlight:

  • Rufus, the highly-decorated Colored Bull Terrier who is the Therapy Dog Ambassador for The National Dog Show. Rufus won The National Dog Show in November, 2005, and then captured Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, three months later. He now works for Therapy Dog International and Angel on a Leash with animal-assisted therapy for children and elderly patients at hospitals and nursing homes.
  • The three newest breeds to compete in dog shows, the Irish Red and White Setter, the Norwegian Buhund and the Pyrenean Shepherd. They will make their national television debut in "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina."
  • Sadie, the Scottish Terrier and #1-ranked show dog in America. She will be seeking her 100th Best in Show title in the competition against some 1,600 canines.

SOURCE National Dog Show Presented by Purina