Dogs Descend on Southern California Competition

Top-ranked dogs from around the world will converge in Long Beach, Calif., to vie for title and $50,000.

Close to 2,500 dogs from all over the world will be competing for the coveted “Best in Show” title this weekend at the seventh annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, Calif.

The Top 25 dogs in each registered breed who have accumulated the most points in competitions throughout the year have been invited to compete for the elusive title Dec. 1 and 2. The purebreds must maneuver through several rounds of competitions before one is crowned this year’s Best in Show.

The road to the prestigious title begins with the Best of Breed competition. The winners go on to compete with other Best of Breed winners in the Best of Class competition, where they’ll be grouped together in categories such as Hounds and Toy breeds. Group winners then enter the final round of competition where the Best in Show winner will be named, which nets a $50,000 grand prize.

Last year’s Best in Show title went to an English Springer Spaniel from Virginia.

The event takes place in conjunction with the AKC Agility Invitational, the AKC National Obedience Invitational, and the Eukanuba World Challenge bringing the total number of dogs competing to approximately 3,000.

In the agility invitational, dogs must seamlessly complete an obstacle course complete with tunnels, weave polls, jumps and seesaws. The obedience invitational judges dogs on accuracy and precision as well as the dog’s willingness and enjoyment to obey commands. In the first-ever Eukanuba World Challenge, dogs hailing from 40 countries from around the world will compete against each other to be named the challenge winner; last year’s Best in Show winner will represent the United States.

In all, $225,000 in cash prizes will be awarded.

The championship will air on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel from 8 to 11 p.m. (EST/PST) Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008. Highlights from the agility invitational will air on Animal Planet from 8 to 9 p.m. (EST/PST) Sunday, Feb. 10.

“The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is a unique experience for any dog lover,” said show chairman Ron Menaker. “With nearly 40,000 square feet of event space, 3,000 dogs in competition, dozens of vendors, 148 educational displays, numerous demonstrations … There is nothing that can compare to this complete canine extravaganza.”

The event is open to the public and ticket prices range from $8 to $15. To learn more about the event, visit www.akc.org.

To view photos from last year’s agility and obedience competitions, and to find a guide to American Kennel Club titles, click here.

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