Wednesday, December 20, 2017

8,600 Things to Love About the AKC National Championship Dog Show

Havanese AKC National Championship Dog Show Royal Canin #AKCDogShow #TheBigDogShow #RoyalCaninDogs
Havanese line up at the AKC National Championship
This post is sponsored by Royal Canin. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Royal Canin's sponsorship of the AKC National Championship, but To Dog With Love only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Royal Canin is not responsible for the content of this article.

Last weekend we traveled to Orlando for the AKC National Championship Dog Show presented by Royal Canin and we had a terrific time!
#AKCDogShow #TheBigDogShow #RoyalCaninDogs Royal Canin

If you've never been, this event is one to put on your not-to-miss list... for about 8,600 reasons. That's because as the largest dog show in North America, the AKC National Championship boasts 8,600 entries from around the world. And that means you'll have no shortage of dogs to drool over and puppies to pet!

Here are our top five reasons to attend!

1. Dogs, dogs, dogs and more dogs!

The Orange County Convention Center venue is HUGE, so picture the biggest space you can imagine  (this one is more than 1 million square feet!) and no matter where you look there are dogs, dogs, dogs!

There are dogs competing in conformation with all 190 AKC recognized breeds entered and this year a new event was created for puppy show dogs. The inaugural National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes is a competition for purebred dogs aged 6-18 months, showcasing the future stars of the show ring!

Additionally, we loved seeing all the performance dogs competing in agility, obedience, rally and dock diving, and all the dogs at Meet the Breeds... more about that below!

It's a paradise for any dog lover!

agility AKC Invitational  #AKCDogShow #TheBigDogShow #RoyalCaninDogs
Looking out over an agility ring at the expansive venue, and this is just one small part of it!
#AKCDogShow #TheBigDogShow #RoyalCaninDogs Puppy Stakes Toy Dog group
Impressive Toy Group Puppy Stakes lineup

2. Performance Dog Sports

This is one dog show where you get to see nearly every dog event all under one roof. I put in LOTS of miles running from event to event because I didn't want to miss a thing.

In addition to the conformation events, I camped out at the AKC Agility Invitational rings (of course!) and spent some time watching obedience, rally and dock diving dogs. 

So many amazing talented dogs!

Bichon Agility #AKCDogShow #TheBigDogShow #RoyalCaninDogs AKC Invitational
Harry the Bichon competes in the AKC Agility Invitational

3. Meet the Breeds

One of our favorites, Meet the Breeds is a terrific way to learn about so many different dog breeds. With more than 160 breeds represented we could have used another week -- at least -- to meet them all!

This is a great way to talk to breed representatives and learn what dog is best suited for your family. And it's your chance to pet all the cute pups!

Lagotto Romagnolo Meet the Breeds #AKCDogShow #TheBigDogShow #RoyalCaninDogs
This is Lucy, an adorable Lagotto Romagnolo puppy. The breed originates from Italy and since the 19th century has been bred to hunt truffles!

4. The Shopping

With over 100 vendors, this is a dog lovers shopping paradise! You'll find everything from jewelry to dog beds to toys and treats, and even a special dog walking jacket.

Check out this jacket from Let's Go Design, complete with poop bag dispenser, treat pocket and reflective piping!

dog walking jacket #AKCDogShow #TheBigDogShow #RoyalCaninDogs
The camera flash makes the reflective areas glow. And the belt even doubles as a leash!

5. Education

Whether you're looking for a new activity to participate in with your dog or want to learn how to keep your pup a healthy weight, you'll find it at the AKC National Championship.

Did you know that more than half the dogs in the U.S are considered either overweight or obese? With the help of smart nutrition and a fun activity, you can help keep both you and your pup happy and healthy! 

In addition to learning more about Royal Canin at the Royal Canin booth, we loved the demo ring, which offered information and demonstrations on scent work, trick dogs, disc freestyle, fly ball and more! So many great activities to try with your pups. We're working on a few of them now with Rocco!

#AKCDogShow #TheBigDogShow #RoyalCaninDogs Royal Canin

Miss the event this year? Not to worry. You'll find oodles of poodles fun videos and photos at and then mark your calendar for the telecast on Animal Planet on New Year's Day at 7 pm ET with a re-air immediately following.

Bull Mastiff show dog #AKCDogShow #TheBigDogShow #RoyalCaninDogs
Jenny and her Bull Mastiff catch a ride after showing. See you next year!
A great dog show and day surrounded by dogs always leaves me smiling. Have you ever attended this show or any dog show? Let us know in the comments below!


  1. a wonderful dog show, but unfortunately I missed it. when will the next be?

    1. This event will be televised on Animal Planet on Jan. 1, 2018 at 7 pm ET! Same time next year for the event in Orlando... typically second weekend in December.

  2. We'll be more interested in just over a week when the GBGV becomes a full AKC breed on 1/1/18 :) Love that jacket!

    1. Hurray! I saw some GBGVs and thought about you! The jacket is awesome, perfect for your weather. The folks who make it are based in Montana.