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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.

AKC National Championship

December 18-19, 2021 in Orlando, Florida

Champions Through the Years

Meet the Best in Show winners

2001 AKC National Champion
2001 — The first National Champion was a Bichon Frise named Ch. Special Times Just Right (J.R.). When the judge awarded the rosette to J.R., she exclaimed, “Who couldn’t love that face?”
2002 AKC National Champion
2002 — CH Torums Scarf Michael (Mick or Mike), a Kerry Blue Terrier from England, was the first dog to win a Triple Crown.
2003 AKC National Champion
2003 — This year’s winner was a Norfolk Terrier known as Cracknor Cause Celebre, or Coco for short.
Lisa Croft-Elliott ©American Kennel Club
2004 AKC National Champion
2005 — CH Heathers Knock On Wood, also known as Knotty, was the big winner in 2005. This Bloodhound was the first member of the hound group to take the event’s top prize.
T. Grassa ©American Kennel Club
2006 AKC National Champion
2006 — The show was held in both January and December in 2006, giving us two National Champions for this year. The first was an Alaskan Malamute called Nanuke’s SnoKlassic No Boundaries (Costello).
Gay Glazbrook ©American Kennel Club
2006 AKC National Champion
2006 — The second Best in Show winner of 2006 was Felicity’s Diamond Jim, an English Springer Spaniel commonly known as James.
2007 AKC National Champion
2007 — CH Efbe’s Hildago At Goodspice was the big winner in 2007. This Sealyham Terrier was commonly called Charmin because his owner/handler said when he was a puppy, he was “squeezably soft.” His slogan became “Charmin’s on a roll.”
Lisa Croft-Elliott ©AKC
2008 AKC National Champion
2008 — A Pointer by the delicious-sounding name of Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry (Holly) was the National Champion in 2008. Pointers were one of the first eight breeds registered in America in 1878.
Mary Bloom ©American Kennel Club
2009 AKC National Champion
2009 — This year saw a Scottish Terrier named CH Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot (Sadie) take the win. She was the first Triple Crown winner of United States-based conformation dog shows.
Mary Bloom ©American Kennel Club
2010 AKC National Champion
2010 — In 2010, CH Propwash Reckon (Reckon), an Australian Shepherd, was the first member of the herding group to take National Champion.
Lisa Croft-Elliott ©American Kennel Club
2011 AKC National Champion
2011 — A standard Poodle named GCH CH Jaset’s Satisfaction (London) won in 2011.
Lisa Croft-Elliott ©American Kennel Club
2012 AKC National Champion
2012 — Another terrier, this time a Wire Fox Terrier named GCH CH Afterall Painting The Sky (Sky), took the top honor in 2012.
Lisa Croft-Elliott ©American Kennel Club
2013 AKC National Champion
2013 — A Portuguese Water Dog, GCH CH Claircreek Impression De Matisse, commonly called Matisse, was the big winner in 2013.
Robert Young ©American Kennel Club
2014 AKC National Champion
2014 — GCH CH Cragsmoor Good Time Charlie (Charlie), a Skye Terrier, surely had a good time winning National Champion in 2014.
Robert Young ©American Kennel Club
2015 AKC National Champion
2015 — Rumor has it that a German Shepherd Dog won over the judge in 2015. GCH CH Lockenhaus’ Rumor Has It V Kenlyn (Rumor) was named National Champion that year.
HOTdog Magazine
2016 AKC National Champion
2016 — The first corded dog to take top place, GCHB CH Cordmaker Mister Blue Sky (Preston), a Puli, won in 2016.
HOTdog Magazine
2017 AKC National Champion
2017 — GCHP CH Silverhall Strike Force, a Cocker Spaniel commonly called Striker, pulled off top honors.
HOTdog Magazine
2018 AKC National Champion
2018 – This year marked the first-ever National Championship win by a Whippet. GCHP CH Pinnacle Tennessee Whiskey also won the Best Bred-By-Exhibitor competition which had only happened once before in the history of the show.
David Woo ©American Kennel Club
2019 AKC National Champion
2019 — For the first time, a dog in the Toy group won Best in Show. GCH CH Pequest Wasabi (Wasabi) the Pekingese earned the historical win.
HOTdog Magazine

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I attend the event in person? +

    Yes, spectators are allowed. Spectators must follow all of the AKC National Championship safety protocols, including wearing face masks regardless of vaccination status.

  • What safety precautions are being taken at the events? +

    At the events being held at the Orange County Convention center during AKC National Championship Week, the following safety precautions will be in place:

    • AKC will require face coverings at the venue of all persons onsite, regardless of vaccination status
    • Social distancing will be recommended
    • Sanitizing stations and signage reminders will be placed at multiple locations throughout the venue
    • Ringside seating will be limited and socially distanced
    • AKC will extend judging hours to minimize the number of participants onsite
    • AKC exhibitors will be encouraged to work from their RV’s and vehicles to minimize the number of people in the grooming area
    • High touch point areas will be regularly sanitized

  • What is the face mask policy for the event? +

    You may read our complete face mask policy for attendees below:

    All attendees (ages 2 and up) are required to wear a face mask while on the event grounds, regardless of vaccination status. The face mask must be worn so that it that covers your mouth and nose. Please bring your own face masks and wear them at all times. The use of a face mask is not a substitute for physical distancing. You may remove the face mask while actively eating or drinking, but you must be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing. No eating or drinking will be permitted ringside.

    All face masks (whether disposable or reusable) must:

    • Be made with at least two or more layers of washable (if not disposable), breathable fabric and not have valves or vents
    • If using a disposable mask it should be changed daily and disposed of properly
    • Fully cover the nose and mouth
    • Fit snugly against the sides of your face and not have gaps
    • Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the attendee to remain hands-free
    • If you are using a face shield you must also wear a face mask

    The following are not permitted:

    • Neck Gaiters
    • Open chin triangle bandanas
    • Face masks with valves, vents, mesh material or holes of any kind

    To get the most benefits from a face mask:

    • Make sure it completely covers your nose and mouth
    • Wash your hands before and after removing it. Handle only the loops or ties. Fold outside corners together
    • Try not to touch your face when you adjust it throughout the day
    • Keep cloth coverings clean by washing daily, or more often if contamination occurs
    • Don’t let others wear your face mask
    • Keep it away from equipment or machinery that it could get caught in
    • If using disposable face masks, do not reuse them, and throw them away in appropriate trash receptacles
    • Don’t lay your face mask on any surface that may contaminate either the covering or the
    • Don’t use it if it’s damaged or has holes, unless it is the only face mask you have access to

    As important as they are, face masks are only one source of prevention. All attendees were required to comply with all AKC COVID-19 Attendee Protocols. The AKC COVID-19 Attendee Protocols and this Face Mask Policy are subject to change without notice. Failure to comply with this policy may result in you being asked to leave the event grounds and/or may result in an AKC Event Committee hearing and disciplinary action.

  • If I can’t attend, how can I watch the event? +

    As always, the AKC National Championship Groups and Best in Show, Best Bred-by Exhibitor and BBE Groups, NOHS Groups and Finals, Puppy & Junior Stakes Groups and Best in Stakes, Junior Showmanship Finals, Agility, Obedience, and Rally will continue to be live streamed for free on and will remain available on demand. Download the mobile app to watch on your phone, stream on your favorite OTT device, or watch on the website. Find all the available platforms and links to download here.

    Stay tuned for the national television broadcast premiere of the AKC National Championship in January on ABC!

  • Where can I find the judging program for the event? +

    The premium list and other information specifically for exhibitors are always available as soon as possible here.

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