AKC National Championship Presented By Royal Canin Draws Entry Of More Than 5,000 Dogs In Its 21st Year

Canine Athletes from the 50 States, Washington, D.C. and 13 Countries Will Vie for Best in Show
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 7:00 AM CST

NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin continues to draw impressive numbers. An entry of 5,051 dogs will compete for the title of National Champion on December 18 and 19, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Combined with the other weekend events including the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes, AKC Agility Invitational, the AKC Obedience Classic, AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals, AKC Fast CAT Invitational and the Junior events, the overall show totals top 8,540 entries, remaining the largest dog show in North America.

"We feel extremely fortunate to be in Orlando, FL once again hosting these events despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said Dennis B. Sprung, AKC President and Show Chairman. "The AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin continues to be an event that attracts top-quality canine athletes from around the world, and we will uphold the tradition of this magnificent show in a safe manner. Thanks to the knowledgeable breeders, exhibitors, and judges who make the National Championship a must-see event. Adding to the show are our important Fast CAT, Agility, Obedience, NOHS and Junior competitions."

2021 Highlights:

Judges: Judge Mr. Dana P. Cline of Albany, GA will select the AKC National Championship Best in Show (BIS) winner. The owner(s) of the BIS winner will receive $50,000. Mr. Elliott B. Weiss of Novelty, OH will judge Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Show from 1,096 entries and receive $15,000.  Best in Stakes at the AKC/Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes will be judged by an elite panel: Mr. Dana P. Cline, Mr. Elliott B. Weiss and Dr. Thomas Davies. These esteemed judges will determine the winner from 1,395 entries to be crowned the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed (Puppy/Junior) of the Year.

AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals: The AKC NOHS Finals Best in Show competition will be judged by Dr. Thomas M. Davies, AKC's Chairman of the Board, on Saturday, December 18. 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 2021 qualifying year and drew an entry of 816 dogs. The NOHS Group Finals will also be streamed live on AKC.tv.

Viewing Coverage: There will be extensive live coverage throughout each day on AKC.tv and the evening competitions begin live streaming at 4:30pm. The Agility finals will also be streamed live on AKC.tv, available online, on the AKC.tv app which is on the Apple Store and Google Play and Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Altice.


  • 195 AKC-recognized breeds are entered to compete
  • 5,051 entries in the AKC National Championship
  • The largest entries include:
  • 816 dogs are entered in the AKC National Owner-Handled Series (NOHS) Finals
  • 142 juniors, ages 9-17, who have met high academic standards and qualification criteria based on year-round competition, will compete in Junior Showmanship
  • 1,395 puppies and junior dogs are entered in the AKC/Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes
  • 1,096 Bred-by-Exhibitors in competition
  • 250 dogs entered in the AKC Fast CAT Invitational


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

About the American Kennel Club
Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization, which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.  Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 22,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred and mixed breed dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog.  For more information, visit www.akc.org.

AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.

Become a fan of the American Kennel Club on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @AKCDogLovers

Royal Canin USA is a leader in science-based cat and dog health nutrition. Founded by a veterinarian in 1968, Royal Canin has more than 50 years of experience in delivering individualized nutritional solutions. In collaboration with an expert team of nutritionists, breeders and veterinarians from around the world, Royal Canin places cats and dogs at the central point of the innovation process. The Royal Canin product line offers a range of diets based on size, age, breed, lifestyle and therapeutic requirements. Royal Canin diets are available at veterinary hospitals and pet specialty stores nationwide. Royal Canin is a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. To learn more about Royal Canin, visit www.royalcanin.com and "LIKE" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/royalcanin.us.

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SOURCE American Kennel Club

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