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The 2021 AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin will be held on Saturday, December 18 and Sunday, December 19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

This event is the only all-breed dog show organized and presented directly by the American Kennel Club, the nation’s oldest and only not-for-profit purebred dog registry. Thousands of dogs from throughout the country and all over the world will compete for Best in Show at this year’s event.

The AKC National Championship runs multiple national events under the same roof. In conjunction with the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, the AKC Agility Invitational, the AKC Obedience Classic, AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals, AKC Fast CAT Invitational and the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes are also held.

Junior handler competitions include the Junior Showmanship Finals, Junior Classic and AKC Junior Agility Competition. Some events begin as early as Wednesday, December 15, making for a fun-filled week of dog sports!

Lagotto Romagnolo – CH Kan Trace Very Cheeky Chic

The event offers more than $150,000 in prize money, the largest of any U.S. show. The Best in Show winner will be awarded $50,000.

This show celebrates the heart and soul of the sport of purebred dogs by awarding the AKC Breeder of the Year Award. Seven individuals are honored who have left a great impact on a specific breed. These breeders have dedicated their lives to improving the health, temperament, and quality of purebred dogs.

It also offers sizable scholarship awards for its Junior Showmanship winners and requires a specific grade point average as part of the eligibility criteria. Junior handlers between 9 and 18 years of age are invited to demonstrate their expertise for an opportunity to receive a $2,000 scholarship.

Out of an abundance of caution due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, there will be numerous safety requirements in place, including the wearing of face masks, regardless of vaccination status, and sanitizing stations. Exhibitors will be required to sign a COVID-19 waiver upon entering the OCCC. Spectators will be permitted at the events.

The American Kennel Club looks forward to hosting another successful AKC National Championship, and thanks the staff, vendors, breeders, owners, exhibitors and dog lovers for making this happen!

How to Watch

As always, the seven Groups, Best Bred-by Exhibitor and Groups, NOHS Finals and Groups, Best in Show, Puppy and Junior Stakes (Groups and Best in Show), Junior Showmanship Finals, Agility, Obedience, and Rally will continue to be livestreamed on a complimentary basis on and will remain available on demand.

Stay tuned for information on the official broadcast of the 2021 AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin, coming in 2022!

The AKC National Championship is right around the corner, and you don’t want to miss the action! Tune in to ABC on December 31 at 2 p.m. ET to see who’s crowned Best in Show. 

Did you miss last year’s show? You can watch the 2022 AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin on demand on!

Related article: Why No Mixed Breeds? And Other Top Questions About Conformation Dog Shows
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