The numbers are in and once again the largest single show of the year will be the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship (AENC) in Orlando FL on the 14th & 15th of December. We will have to wait a week to see how large the entries are at the three lead in shows, but it’s a safe bet that the week will go down as the best attended cluster of the year.
The total entry in the regular classes is 3781, led by the Sporting Group which has 673 dogs, 18 percent of the total entry. A surprising second is the Toy Group with 618 entries, 16 percent of the total. The Terrier Group also drew an entry larger than the national average of eight percent, an impressive 451 dogs for 12 percent of the action. The Working Group has 15 percent of the entry, 568 dogs followed by the Hounds with 14 percent (532 dogs), the Non-Sporting Group with 13 percent (478 dogs), and the Herding Group with 12 percent (461 dogs).
Not surprisingly, Golden Retrievers lead the entry with an even 100 followed by the ever popular Labrador Retriever with 86 and the Australian Shepherds with 87. Less expected was the 73 Chinese Crested entered or the 70 French Bulldogs. However, the most interesting thing is that the big entry is remarkably evenly distributed. Spectators will get a chance to see even the rarest of AKC breeds. There are ten Spinoni Italiano, 17 Portuguese Podengo Pequeno, 15 Tibetan Mastiffs, nine Cesky Terriers, seven English Toy Spaniels, nine Lowchen, and 12 Norwegian Buhund. How many of us have attended shows all year and not seen even one of those seven breeds?
While the 13 year old AENC cannot match the Westminster Kennel Club’s 138 year history and Orlando can’t compete with New York’s restaurants and shopping, the AENC is a spectator’s and exhibitor’s delight. The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) offers acres of grooming space, the largest breed rings in dogdom, and enough space to accommodate the largest crowds. Spectators are treated to a plethora of entertainment, education, and dining opportunities within the OCCC and plenty of wonderful (and affordable) restaurants and hotels all within a mile of the OCCC. We won’t talk about the weather in Orlando vice New York. We have been at the AENC every year since they returned to Orlando and it just keeps getting better. Treat yourself to an early Christmas gift and join us this year!