Search Menu

AKC National Championship

Watch December 31 at 2PM ET on ABC

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
Best in Show: GCHP CH Pinnacle Kentucky Bourbon (Bourbon), Whippet, handled by Cheslie Pickett Smithey; 2020 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.
2020 — The second-ever National Championship win by a Whippet, GCHP CH Pinnacle Kentucky Bourbon (Bourbon), littermate to 2019 BIS winner GCHP CH Pinnacle Tennessee Whiskey.
David Woo/American Kennel Club
2021 — Best in Show is awarded to GCHG CH Lagniappe's From the Mountains to the Bayou (Bayou), the first Giant Schnauzer to win the AKC National Championship.
Winter Churchill Photography
Best in Show, Non-Sporting Group First, Best of Breed: GCHG CH Cherokee Legend Encore (Star), Bulldog; Best in Show awards at the 2022 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.
2022 - Best in Show is awarded to GCHG CH Cherokee Legend Encore (Star), the first Bulldog to win the AKC National Championship.
American Kennel Club

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I attend the event in person? +

    Yes, spectators are welcomed, but spectator seating will be limited. Spectators must follow all of the AKC National Championship safety protocols in place at the time of the event.

    AKC may require additional health and safety protocols at the time of the event week. All information is subject to change at the discretion of the American Kennel Club.

  • 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.

    Watch the national television broadcast premiere of the AKC National Championship on December 31, 2023 at 2 PM ET on ABC.

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

    The premium list and other information specifically for exhibitors will be made available here.

Our Presenting Sponsor

ANC Consumer Landing Page Royal Canin logo

At Royal Canin, we understand that health is unique to every breed. That’s why we’ve tailor-made over 60 breed-specific formulas designed to bring out the magnificence in each pet. Find your pet’s formula at Royal Canin.

Meet Our Sponsors

YuMove and AKC logo lockup Tractor Supply Company logo Swiffer logo
AKC Pet Insurance logo AT&T logo
Pet Honesty brand logo
ABC television logo ESPN television logo