Dogs from All Around the Globe Gather to Compete for Top Honors at

One of World’s Largest Dog Shows

NEW YORK The American Kennel Club® and Eukanuba announced today that nearly 4,000 dogs will compete for more than $225,000 in cash prizes at the Ninth Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship on Dec. 12 and 13, 2009 in Long Beach, Calif. The two-day event is held in conjunction with the AKC Agility Invitational and the AKC National Obedience Invitational (entries of 457 and 109 respectively) making for a combined entry of almost 5,000 dogs competing in all events.

In celebration of AKC’s 125th anniversary, the show has adopted an open format for 2009 (it will return to invitation-only in 2010), which means any AKC registered purebred unaltered dog six months of age or older has an opportunity to compete for top dog honors.

“With our partners, we’re thrilled to host one of the most well-respected dog shows in the world and to be able to commemorate the AKC’s anniversary with the open format at this year’s AKC/Eukanuba National Championship,” said Jason Taylor, external relations manager, Procter & Gamble Pet Care. “Every year the road to best in show is full of suspense for owners, handlers and breeders and the open format allows for more surprises in the ring and opportunities for established champions and new contenders alike to make a run for the title of top dog.”

The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is also host to the Eukanuba World Challenge, a unique event showcasing top canines from 41 countries all competing for prestigious international recognition. Rare breeds such as the Cesky Fousek, Thai Ridgeback and Bracco Italiano will compete against more traditional favorites such as the Doberman Pinscher, Poodle and Golden Retriever for the title of “World Challenge Champion” and a total of $15,000 in prize money.

“We are proud to celebrate AKC’s 125th anniversary with this unique show,” said Ron Menaker, show chairman. “With nearly 5,000 entries in the conformation, agility and obedience competitions, it’s the largest AKC dog show in 2009, and will be a memorable event for both spectators and competitors.”


  • Best in Show Competition – Because of this year’s open format, more dogs than ever will be competing for top dog honors including dogs who have never shown before and the country’s top show dogs from each of the 161 AKC recognized breeds. The owner of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Best in Show winner will receive more than $50,000, and the breeder/s of the Best in Show winner will be awarded $15,000.
  • AKC Agility Invitational This year the invitational will be housed in 60,000 square foot pavilion adjacent to the Convention Center that is 39 feet tall and spans the length of a football field. Under the big top during the two-day show, the agility competition demonstrates the versatility and speed of canines as they race against the clock and overcome a challenging obstacle course of tunnels, weave poles, jumps and seesaws. It is a sport of physical skill, control, patience and most importantly, teamwork between handler and dog.
  • AKC National Obedience Invitational – Obedience trials demonstrate how useful a dog is as a valued companion. Accuracy and precision are essential, but the natural movement of the handler and the willingness and enjoyment of the dog also are important.
  • Eukanuba World Challenge – The international challenge will feature top dogs from 41 countries and six continents. Watch and cheer on Holly, the 2008 AENC Best in Show champion, as she represents the U.S. in this intense competition.
  • Junior Handlers Top-ranking preteen and teen handlers (ages 9-18), who have met high academic standards and qualification criteria based on year-round competition will compete for prestigious wins and scholarship money.
  • AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE) – Each year dogs are recognized for their outstanding contributions to their respective communities. There are five categories the ACE Award recognizes: Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, Therapy, Service and Exemplary Companion. These honorees and their owners will be on-hand in Long Beach to receive their awards and be recognized in front of the AENC audience.
  • AKC Meet the Breeds® – Showcasing more than 150 breeds, with dogs of all ages, AKC Meet the Breeds is designed to teach responsible dog ownership while providing an interactive and fun experience for show attendees. Debuting at the event are some of the newest breeds recognized by the AKC – the Irish Red and White Setter, Norwegian Buhund and Pyrenean Shepherd.
  • Dog Sensory Exhibit – The Eukanuba booth will feature a full-sensory exhibit where attendees can see, smell, hear and taste exactly as a dog does.


  • All 161 AKC registered breeds are entered to compete.
  • The largest entries include: 106 Golden Retrievers; 80 French Bulldogs; 66 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels; 65 Australian Shepherds; and 63 Rottweilers.
  • The newest breeds to compete include: 10 Irish Red & White Setters; 6 Norwegian Buhund and 15 Pyrenean Shepherds.
  • By group, entry totals are: Sporting – 680; Hound – 554; Working – 676; Terrier – 505; Toy – 573; Non-Sporting – 481; Herding – 404 and Miscellaneous – 47.
  • Dogs from 41 international countries will compete in the Eukanuba World Challenge including Australia , Ireland , Italy , Japan , New Zealand , the United Kingdom and Venezuela .
  • More than $225,000 in cash and prizes are offered by Eukanuba. In addition, another $10,000 has been offered by many of the 133 breed clubs that are hosting a specialty or supported entry in commemoration of the AKC’s 125th anniversary.
  • The owner/s of the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Best in Show winner will receive more than $50,000 while the breeder/s of the Best in Show winner is awarded $15,000.
  • More than 1,300 dogs are entered in the Bred-by-Exhibitor (the dog’s handler is both breeder and owner) competition, making up 32 percent of the entry who will be eligible to win the $15,000 cash prize. Same-day video coverage of the Bred-by-Exhibitor Groups will be provided on
  • Nearly 300,000 square feet of event space will be utilized.


  • Agility (held in a unique, 60,000 square foot, enclosed pavilion) – 457 total; 130 breeds from 41 states (plus Canada , Brazil and Japan ).
  • Obedience – 109 total; 44 breeds from 31 states and Canada .

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The American Kennel Club (AKC), founded in 1884, maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world. Its rules and regulations govern more than 20,000 canine competitions each year.

Eukanuba offers the most complete food lineup, delivering nutrition that is customized by breed and breed size as well as health and performance requirements. Eukanuba is a division of Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG). Visit us on the Web at or

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