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Over 2,300 Top Dogs From 50 States and 52 Countries Compete for $225,000 and Top Honors at the Eighth Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship

(Wednesday, November 19, 2008)

Eukanuba World Challenge Brings Dogs From Around the Globe; Canine Competitors in Agility and Obedience Also Descend on Long Beach, CA December 13 & 14

The American Kennel Club® and Eukanuba announced today that 2,312 dogs will compete for a total of $225,000 in cash prizes at the Eighth Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship on December 13 and 14, 2008 in Long Beach, California. The two day event is held in conjunction with the AKC Agility Invitational and the AKC Obedience Invitational (entries of 468 and 100 respectively) making for a combined entry of almost 3,000 dogs competing in all events.

The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is also host to the Eukanuba World Challenge, a unique event offering top dogs from 52 countries the opportunity to compete for prestigious international recognition. Rare breeds such as the Briquet Griffon Vendéen and the Xoloitzcuintli will compete against more traditional favorites such as the Dachshund and Labrador Retriever for the title of "World Challenge Champion" and a total of $15,000.

The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship will be simulcast on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2009 from 8-11 p.m. (ET/PT). Highlights from the AKC Agility Invitational will air on Animal Planet on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).

"The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is a one-of-a-kind experience for any dog lover – whether they are watching it on TV or enjoying it in person," said Ron Menaker, Show Chairman. "With nearly 400,000 square feet of event space, 3,000 dogs in competition, dozens of vendors, 148 educational displays, numerous demonstrations and now 52 international competitors in our World Challenge event, there is nothing that can compare to this complete canine extravaganza."

Invited to compete in the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship are:

    • The country’s top 25 dogs (based on breed points) from each of the 158 AKC recognized breeds.
    • Every Best in Show winner from AKC all-breed shows held during the qualification period
    • Reigning National Specialty winners
    • Breeder/owner handled Champions from the Bred-by-Exhibitor and/or Puppy class
    • The top 7 dogs in each breed (based on each country’s own ranking system) from 70 countries around the globe.

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.

"We are proud that our Bred-by Exhibitor competition continues to grow each year and attract the breeder/owner/handlers that are the heart and soul of purebred dogs," added Menaker. "Over 900 dogs representing nearly 43% percent of the total will compete for the honor of Best Bred-By-Exhibitor in Show and a $15,000 cash prize."

In addition 156 youngsters, ages 9-18, who have met high academic standards and qualification criteria based on year-round competition, will compete in Junior Showmanship.

The Long Beach Convention Center has long been the home to the Dog Hair & Egg Nog Cluster of dog shows held by local kennel clubs. These shows continue to be held in the three days prior to the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship with a combined entry of approximately 6,700 dogs.

AKC/EUKANUBA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BY THE NUMBERS

  • All 158 AKC registered breeds are entered to compete. This includes:
    • 33 Basset Hounds
    • 30 Border Collies and 30 French Bulldogs
    • 29 Havanese
    • 25 Rhodesian Ridgebacks, 25 Silky Terriers and 25 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • By group, entry totals: Sporting – 322; Hound – 359; Working – 348; Terrier – 289; Toy – 331; Non-Sporting – 252 and Herding – 257.
  • 156 Junior Handlers
  • Dogs from 52 international countries will compete in the Eukanuba World Challenge including Australia, Ireland, Italy, India, Japan and New Zealand.

AGILITY AND OBEDIENCE INVITATIONALS BY THE NUMBERS

  • Agility – 468 total; 133 breeds from 42 states (plus Canada, Japan and Sweden)
  • Obedience – 100 total; 42 breeds from 30 states and Canada

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Complete schedule of events