Claire becomes first repeat winner in 20 years
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Claire becomes first repeat winner in 20 years


It is once again Thanksgiving, that special time of the year where Americans gather with family, stuff themselves with pumpkin pie, and give thanks for the good boys and girls at the National Dog Show. They are, after all, very good.

Last year the COVID-19 pandemic made the National Dog Show a slightly subdued affair, with less than 600 dogs competing and the usually live audience replaced with cardboard cutouts due to safety concerns. This year’s show wasn’t quite back to its former glory, as the number of canine hopefuls was still down by 70 percent, but it definitely showed signs of recovery. The Kennel Club of Philadelphia even allowed spectators to attend the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center on Nov. 20-21 to watch the show in person, provided they were fully vaccinated.

Fortunately for those unable to travel to Pennsylvania, NBC also continued its annual tradition of broadcasting the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day, so people all across America could be healed by the soothing sight of happy pups.

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Gaze upon these good dogs at the 2020 National Dog Show

This Shetland Sheepdog probably gives excellent cuddles.
Credit: Bill McCay / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

A Pumi being inspected.

A Pumi getting the attention they deserve.
Credit: Bill McCay / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

A Bernese Mountain Dog looking up at its handler.

Nothing but love in this Bernese Mountain Dog’s eyes.
Credit: Bill McCay / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

An Italian Greyhound being assessed on a platform.

A very good Italian Greyhound standing still for their assessment.
Credit: Bill McCay / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

It wasn’t all fur and frolicking, though. In the end, the 2021 National Dog Show was a competition, necessitating the division of dogs between winners with ribbons and winners in my heart.

This year’s winner of the National Dog Show’s top prize made canine history as the first repeat champion in 20 years. Four-year-old Scottish Deerhound Claire took the coveted title of Best in Show for the second year in a row, having once again won the Hound category to earn a place among the finalists. Also known as GCH Foxcliffe Claire Randall Fraser, Claire beat out the winners of the National Dog Show’s six other categories: Herding, Non-Sporting, Sporting, Terrier, Toy, and Working. 

“She’s a year older and more sure of herself,” said Claire’s handler Angela Lloyd.

Non-Sporting Group Winner, Bulldog named "Winter".

Non-Sporting Group winner Winter the Bulldog struts their stuff.
Credit: Bill McCay / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Sporting Group Winner, a German Shorthaired Pointer named "Jade".

The Sporting Group winner was Jade, a German Shorthaired Pointer.
Credit: Bill McCay / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Terrier Group Winner, a Lakeland Terrier named "MM".

MM the Lakeland Terrier won the Terrier Group sporting some striking bangs.
Credit: Bill McCay / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Toy Group Winner, an Affenpinscher named "Chester".

Chester the Affenpinscher was declared the Toy Group winner.
Credit: Bill McCay / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Working Group Winner, a Kuvasz named "Mo'ne".

Mo’ne the Kuvasz was judged the best Working Group dog at the show.
Credit: Bill McCay / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Of course, despite the National Dog Show’s rankings, it’s good to remember that technically there is no “right” or “wrong” way to be a dog. Every dog is already a champion, whether they have a ribbon or not.





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