The video from the 2008 National Dog Show Presented by Purina is a bit different from those of 2009-10, in that you don't hear the commentary from co-hosts David Frei and John O'Hurley. Wayne Ferguson, NDS announcer, is the voice coming from your speakers, and he's a pro, tirelessly offering facts and encouragement through six hours of Group and Best in Show judging. Among those he asks the crowd to acknowledge in 2008: the "sanitation engineer" dispatched to clean up when the Lhasa Apso takes an unplanned pit stop mid-gait. "Remember, folks," he intones, "it's...a dog show." Heh.
Breed You'll Want: The Basset Hound. They're cute; they're second only to Bloodhounds at finding stuff; and they're great for American-history buffs -- the breed is thought to have arrived on U.S. soil when Lafayette presented George Washington with Bassets as a gift.
Cool Fact: Frei and O'Hurley provide invaluable narration for the event, of course -- but when you attend the show in person, the audio provided here is more or less what you'll hear. Actually, it's more; in 2011, at least, the judges were not mic'd so that the live spectators could hear them. That meant that those of us in the crowd did a lot of standing on tiptoe and trying to guess who the judge would point to.
Useful Term: "Double-coated." The Samoyed, seen here and representing the Working Group, is a double-coated dog. The term is fairly self-explanatory: a double coat consists of a warm, often waterproof undercoat that keeps the dog toasty, and a coarser outer layer of fur that protects against thorny underbrush and whatnot. In the Samoyed's case, the coarser overcoat sort of grows through the fuzzy underlayer, which is what makes stand up so fluffily.
Checking in with the 2010 Working Group
Wayne Ferguson on 'Best in Show' and the lighter side of the dog-show world
Is a Basset Hound right for your household? Purina's breed selector helps you decide