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A Family Affair! – The AKC National Dog 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 TastefullyKate only shares information I feel is relevant to my readers. <3 Royal Canin is not responsible for the content of this article.IMG_8287

If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember that a few weeks ago I was at the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) National Dog Show Championship with Royal Canin™ (who sponsored the event).  This was my first time ever attending a dog show of any kind and let me tell you, it was quite the experience!

One of the great things about this event is that it is family friendly, and the wonderful people over at Royal Canin urged me to bring the kiddos along to cover the event. Needless to say, my pup-obsessed two year old was in awe at every corner! 


Since the majority of my readers have probably never experienced attending the AKC National Dog Show before, I’m going to give you a simple rundown to understand how the winner is crowned. 

The Basics:

+The entire competition starts when more than 5,000 dogs compete with others of the same breed. The dogs must be AKC registered and at least six months of age.

+From then, a judge will select the dog that best “matches the Breed Standard”. This standard describes the ideal color, size, movement, temperament, etc. for that specific breed. The dog then closest to that standard is awarded the “Best of Breed”! 

+After the Best of Breed winners are selected, 190+ of these winners will go on to compete within their specific groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding.

+From this point the judge will select the top four in each group against their Breed Standard. One winner in each of these seven Groups is chosen!

+The 7 Group winners will then go to compete for the Best in Show and the title of National Champion!

Who won this year’s Best in Show title and $50,000? Tune into Animal Planet on January 1st at 7pm Eastern to find out who won the coveted crown!





Immediately walking into the event I was overwhelmed with just how serious the competition is. The stakes are high and the pressure was on!

If you have ever been to the Orange County Convention center then you know just how massive it is. The competition took up the entire North and South halls, and were divided into sections where different events were being held. Some of the events included obedience, agility, scent training, and dock diving.

Dock diving was one of the most fun events to watch. You could see the pure happiness, joy, and determination on the dogs’ faces as they leapt off the dock into the water!




Now, I have to be honest…my absolute favorite part about attending the AKC National Dog Championship was the “Meet the Breeds” area. This is most likely where you could’ve found Everly and I 98% of the time!

Who doesn’t love puppies and interacting with over 100+ different dog breeds?!




We loved being able to interact, ask questions, and play with the different breeds. Each breed of dog had their own dedicated booth. Some of the booth setups were incredibly impressive!

Everly’s favorite booth was the Golden Retriever’s…she cried when we had to move on to the next booth! lol

The event also had an amazing kids zone area equipped with a bounce house and face painting! Everly had her face painted for the first time and (I promise!) despite the look on her face in the photo, she loved it!…And literally has been asking me every day if we can go get “princess makeup” today. ha!


Now, on a serious note, many of you know that I am a huge advocate for rescuing animals and that I am the proud dog-mom of our rescue mutt, Maggie. After attending this event and working with Royal Canin I learned just how important it is that I find out as much as I can about what breed Maggie is mixed with so that I can better care for her and her future health.

Royal Canin has over 60 special, breed specific, dog food formulas and also a Genetic Health Analysis that I am excited about getting done! 

I also learned that the AKC has their very own rescue network so that YOU can find your fur-ever best friend, too!




royal canin

Don’t miss the AKC National Championship airing January 1st at 7pm Eastern on Animal Planet, presented by Royal Canin!

Accidentally miss it? No worries! There’s an encore airing at 11pm Eastern! 😉



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