Top Dog. Meet the 2023 National Dog Show Winner


The National Dog Show is a renowned annual conformation dog show that has been held for 127 years since 1896. It takes place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania in the evening following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The purpose of the show is to culminate in choosing the top dog among all the breeds who is awarded the prestigious title of Best in Show.

The National Dog Show is sponsored by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia and currently broadcast by NBC Sports under the name “The National Dog Show presented by Purina”. It brings together over 2,000 dogs from 200 Kennel Clubs across the country to compete for top honors, making it one of the largest dog shows in the United States.

2023 Location and Date

The 2023 National Dog Show will be held over the course of two days at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania. The 2023 dates are November 18-19 (The National Dog Show – Presented by Purina). This annual show takes places every year over Thanksgiving weekend following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The National Dog Show attracts thousands of spectators and competitors from across the country. Dogs and their owners compete for Best in Show during the 2-day benched dog show.

the 2023 national dog show competition takes place on november 18-19 at the greater philadelphia expo center in oaks, pennsylvania.

2023 Judges

The panel of judges for the 2023 National Dog Show Presented by Purina has been selected and announced by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. The judges will evaluate the dogs and award Best in Show at the annual event held after Thanksgiving. Some key notes on the judges for 2023:

The depth of experience and expertise of the judging panel ensures the 2023 National Dog Show winner will be selected after careful assessment by renowned dog authorities.

Competition Categories

The National Dog Show has dogs competing in seven different groups as categorized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The groups are:

  • Sporting – These dogs were bred to hunt gamebirds and waterfowl. Examples: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Spaniels.
  • Hound – Bred for hunting other game by sight or scent. Examples: Beagles, Bloodhounds, Dachshunds.
  • Working – Strong dogs bred to pull sleds, herd livestock and perform water rescues. Examples: Siberian Huskies, Great Danes, Boxers.
  • Terrier – Feisty dogs originally bred to hunt and kill vermin. Examples: Airedale Terriers, Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers.
  • Toy – Small companion dogs. Examples: Chihuahuas, Maltese, Pomeranians.
  • Non-Sporting – Diverse group of breeds not classified elsewhere. Examples: Bulldog, Chow Chow, Dalmatian.
  • Herding – Bred to work livestock. Examples: German Shepherds, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds.

Dogs compete against others of their own breed within these seven groups to determine the best in each category before competing for Best in Show.

2023 Favorites

As one of the most prestigious dog shows in the United States, the National Dog Show attracts top canine competitors from around the country. According to the American Kennel Club, there are several dogs expected to be top contenders for the Best in Show title in 2023.

some dogs expected to be top contenders at the 2023 national dog show include affenpinschers, irish setters, and doberman pinschers.

The Westminster Kennel Club has highlighted Affenpinschers as a breed to watch this year, with GCHB CH Hartwood Haley Got Game looking like a top prospect[1]. This monkey-like toy breed has done well recently at Westminster and could continue its success at the National Dog Show.

Other favorites include the Irish Setter GCHP CH Tuswevia Texas Hold Em, who won the Sporting Group last year and will look for the top prize in 2023[2]. The graceful Doberman Pinscher GCHP CH Protocol’s Veni Vidi Vici is another contender after being ranked the #1 dog in the U.S. in 2022.

With hundreds of top dogs competing, the road to Best in Show will be exciting to watch. Breed experts and dog lovers alike will be closely following these favorites as they vie for the coveted title at one of America’s most prestigious dog shows.

Past Best in Show Winners

The National Dog Show has showcased top dogs in competition for Best in Show for over 100 years. In recent years, the winners have included:

2022 – Winston, a French Bulldog. Winston was the first of his breed to win Best in Show at the National Dog Show. Source:

2021 – Claire, a Scottish Deerhound. Claire was the second of her breed ever to take home the top honor. Source:

2020 – Claire, a Scottish Deerhound. This was Claire’s second consecutive Best in Show win. Source:

2019 – Thor, a Bulldog. Thor delighted spectators as the squat, charming winner. Source:

2018 – Whiskey, a Whippet. Whiskey had a primes showing, dashing around the ring en route to the win. Source:

The 2023 Winner

the 2023 national dog show winner was stache the sealyham terrier, handled by owner heather helmer to his first best in show victory.

The 2023 National Dog Show crowned Stache the Sealyham Terrier as Best in Show. Handled by owner Heather Helmer, Stache beat out over 1,850 dogs representing 199 breeds to take home the prestigious title. At 4 years old, Stache becomes the first Sealyham Terrier to win Best in Show at the National Dog Show and continues the legacy of the breed, which has won multiple Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show titles.

According to handler Heather Helmer, Stache impressed the judges with his confidence, personality and excellent breed standard throughout the competition. Staying focused amidst the noise and excitement of the large arena, Stache exuded the alert, active and fearless temperament characteristic of the feisty Sealyham Terrier breed. His balanced proportions, weather resistant coat and distinctive long beard likely sealed the deal for Best in Show.

Stache’s big win provides a career high for owner-handler Helmer. She acquired Stache from renowned Sealyham Terrier breeder and handler Cecilia Andersson, who approved of his match with Helmer due to their established rapport. At home, Stache enjoys bird hunting, lounging on the couch and competing in various dog sports with Helmer. His National Dog Show victory will surely be the highlight of his pet résumé.

Winning Dog’s Breed History

The 2023 Best in Show winner was a Beagle named Ch. Trippe. Beagles have a long and storied history as hunting dogs bred for tracking rabbits and other small game. According to the New York Times, the Beagle breed traces its origins to England in the 1500s, where they were bred as pack hounds for hunting hare. Their excellent sense of smell and tracking abilities made them ideal for this purpose.

One of the most famous and accomplished Beagles in history was Ch. Trippe, who set records in the late 1960s and 1970s for most Best in Show wins of any breed. Trippe accumulated 51 Best in Show titles over his career according to the American Kennel Club, cementing his legacy as the top Beagle in history. The 2023 winner Ch. Trippe continues this legacy of excellence for the breed at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Recap and Impact

The 2023 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show crowned Buddy Holly as the overall Best in Show winner on Fox Sports. Buddy Holly, a petit basset griffon Vendéen, beat out over 3,000 other dogs across all seven groups to take home the highest honor at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

This was a historic win, as Buddy Holly became the first dog of his breed ever to be named Best in Show at Westminster. Winning such a prestigious title is considered the pinnacle for any show dog and their owner. It provides great exposure and validation of the winning dog’s stellar conformation to the breed standard.

As Westminster Best in Show winner, Buddy Holly will likely go on to sire and produce many future champion dogs. His success will also draw interest in the petit basset griffon Vendéen breed. This annual show draws millions of viewers, so winning Best in Show provides invaluable promotion.

Future Shows

The National Dog Show is held annually over Thanksgiving weekend. According to the event info from the National Dog Show website, the 2024 show will take place on November 23 and 24 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA.

the 2024 national dog show is scheduled for november 23-24 back at the greater philadelphia expo center in oaks, pennsylvania.

The AKC’s schedule shows the 2025 National Dog Show occurring on November 29-30 back at the Expo Center in Oaks, PA. Beyond that, the location and dates have not yet been announced but we can expect the show to continue annually each Thanksgiving weekend based on tradition.

Stay tuned to the National Dog Show website in 2024 for details on the 2026 show and beyond. The event normally takes place on Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend each year.

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