Winners of Previous AKC National Championships

Taking the top prize at a Conformation show is a significant honor for any dog. However, winning the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin is one of the highest honors in the sport. This national dog show welcomes entries from all over the world and from all AKC-recognized breeds as they compete for Best in Show.

The first AKC National Championship took place in 2001, although it was previously known as the American Dog Classic. Initially focused solely on Conformation, the show expanded over the years to include Agility and Obedience events in addition to Conformation.

By 2019, the weekend of the championship featured even more events, including the AKC Juniors Classic and the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes. With over 5,000 dogs from 49 states and 21 countries participating, this was the largest dog show held in the United States since the AKC Centennial Show in 1984.

Dogs at the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin compete based on how closely they conform to their breed standard, rather than against each other. Judges do not compare one dog to another during the competition.

2023 AKC National Championship Winner

Stephaniellen Photography © American Kennel Club

Shih Tzu “Comet” (GCHP CH Hallmark Jolei Out Of This World) earned the title of Best in Show at the 2023 AKC National Championship. Comet became the first of his breed to win this prestigious event, marking only the second time a breed from the Toy Group has claimed Best in Show. German Shepherd Dog “Mercedes” GCHG CH Kaleef’s Mercedes was the Reserve Best in Show winner from the Herding Group.

2022 AKC National Championship Winner

Stephaniellen Photography © American Kennel Club
Best in Show, Non-Sporting Group First, Best of Breed: GCHG CH Cherokee Legend Encore (Star), Bulldog; Best in Show awards at the 2022 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.

Bulldog “Star” (GCHG CH Cherokee Legend Encore) captured the coveted Best in Show title at the 2022 AKC National Championship, becoming the first Bulldog to claim this victory. Star won in the Non-Sporting Group and also secured Best of Breed prior to competing for the top honor. Standard Schnauzer “Bogart” GCHG CH Crivitz Humphrey Bogart Von Diable emerged as the Reserve Best in Show winner from the Working Group.

2021 AKC National Championship Winner

Best in Show, Working Group First, and Best of Breed: GCHG CH Lagniappe's From The Mountains To The Bayou (Bayou), Giant Schnauzer, with handler Alfonso Escobedo; 2021 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.
Photo by HOTdog
Best in Show, Working Group First, and Best of Breed: GCHG CH Lagniappe’s From The Mountains To The Bayou (Bayou), Giant Schnauzer, with handler Alfonso Escobedo; 2021 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, Orlando, FL.

Giant Schnauzer “Bayou” (GCHG CH Lagniappe’s From The Mountains To The Bayou) emerged victorious as the Best in Show winner at the 2021 AKC National Championship. The top-ranked dog of its breed excelled in the Working Group before earning the highest title. German Wirehaired Pointer “Beacon” (GCHS CH Heywire N Deep Harbor Love That Dirty Water CD JH AX OAJ NF) claimed Reserve Best in Show after impressing in the Sporting Group.


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Winners of Previous AKC National Championships

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