Purebreds Vie for AKC Top Dog

National Championship dog show to be held Jan. 14-15.

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Now in its fifth year, the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship dog show continues to grow, with more than 2,000 dogs expected to gather in Tampa, Fla., this weekend.

The invitation-only event limited to the top 25 dogs from 153 breeds, as well as other high-profile event winners will be televised on Animal Planet and brings international renown for the Best in Show winner, including a $50,000 prize and an invitation to Crufts, the prestigious dog show held in England.

Two other American Kennel Club events, an agility championship and an obedience championship, will also be held in Tampa this weekend.

To earn a chance at the Best in Show title, competitors must be named as the best in their breed during the first round of judging. Dachshunds have the heaviest competition this year, with 66 entries in three varieties. Other popular breeds include Poodles (43 entries in three varieties) and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (41 entries).

Last years winner, Ch. Heathers Knock on Wood (Knotty), will make an appearance at the show to pass the torch. Four-year-old Knotty is the only liver/tan Bloodhound to win an all-breed Best in Show in the United States.

The event will be simulcast live on Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, beginning at 8 p.m. EST on both days.

Posted: Jan. 11, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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