Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bow wow battle

Turkey-day dog show on NBC organized by Ketchum-based company

Express Staff Writer

The National Dog Show Presented by Purina’s Best in Show host John O’Hurley, standing and David Frei will nose around the competition.
Courtesy photo

Domestic dogs across the land will be scolded for sidling up to the table posing, preening and pouting for a holiday morsel.
    But not the ones on television just after the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade—nope, these dogs don’t beg for anything, except an audience.
    The 1,500-plus fabulous canines in “The National Dog Show presented by Purina” have done the canoodling, styling and strutting to distinguish themselves among the best in the world. And after the competition, the world will know which dog is crowned “The Best in Show.”    
    More than 175 breeds vie for Best in Show honors in the tradition-rich Kennel Club of Philadelphia competition.
    The special is a celebration of America’s fascination with man’s best friend, hosted by beloved TV personality John O’Hurley, best known as “J. Peterman” on the comedy show “Seinfeld.” O’Hurley is joined by expert analyst David Frei, the voice of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on USA Network and America’s foremost authority on the sport.
    The National Dog Show also boasts a powerful online presence at and at
    Because of heavy interest from breed enthusiasts around the world, those platforms offer a look at every dog in the group competition, featuring the walks and judging of all the breed-winning canines. The online video will include extensive highlights from the TV special and video from the 11 past Best in Show winners. The sites will also feature behind-the-scenes photos and video, capturing all of the backstage energy.
    Unlike traditional dog show coverage, the two-hour special’s unique content is facilitated by the open format of the event. It is one of only four remaining “benched” shows in which the dogs are on display all day for the visiting public.
    The show will spotlight three new AKC-recognized breeds, the Portugese podengo pequeno, the rat terrier and the Chinook, making their television and major-event debuts. The producer is Carson International of Ketchum, a prominent producer and packager of canine events for live audiences and television. Owner Kathy Carson knows who won, but she’s not telling. She’s learned the power of the reveal, having helmed the production for 12 years for an annual 20 million viewers.
    “Creating and being involved with events and television that has helped to enrich the lives of dog lovers and their pets has been very gratifying and special,” she said. “Pets offer all of us unconditional love and affection—research is showing that this bond we have with our pets contributes to good health and longevity both ways—our dogs receive the benefits of our bond the same way we do.”
    Carson said her Ketchum-based company started promoting dog events “from our love of sports, being inspired to live a healthy athletic lifestyle, and being able to create entertaining, world-class events and television content. What better environment is there for that, than living in this beautiful valley?”
    Although her Australian shepard Blaze is the center of the home front, Carson admits that cats are clawing their way into the spotlight of late.
    “Cats are quickly becoming stars of the Internet and social media,” she said. “We learned that this past week in New York City, where we attended a first-of-its-kind event, hosted by Purina, ‘Better With Pets.’ Cats were a central theme along with dogs, with the presenters focusing on all of the ways our lives are better with pets.”
    Carson will happily boost the cause with cats competing in shows.
    “You know the saying, ‘When I feed my dog he thinks I am God—when I feed my cat, he thinks he is God? Their future in prime time seems pretty bright,” Carson said.

National Dog Show on Thanksgiving Day
The show will be televised Thursday, Nov. 28, Thanksgiving Day, on NBC, from noon-2 p.m. in all time zones, following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It will feature the “Best In Show” competition among 190-plus breeds, with host John O’Hurley, analyst David Frei and reporter Mary Carillo. For more information, visit:

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