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Published: Nov 26, 2012

After the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade this weekend, many viewers tuned in to watch The National Dog Show (NDS). During this event, dog lovers had the opportunity to watch breeds of all shapes and sizes parade around with their owners and trainers. The Wire Fox Terrier took best in show this year, but there were many breeds that looked their finest and impressed judges and viewers alike. If you're a dog owner, there are lots of interesting facts you can learn from watching the show or the replays on NBC's website, even if you don't have a purebred dog.

Information for adoptive pet owners
Dog owners who are thinking of bringing a second canine into the family, or individuals who have yet to bring a dog into their home, can learn a lot from the NDS. You'll get a chance to compare the size and demeanor of dogs from the seven different types of breeds: herding dogs, hounds, sporting canines, non-sporting dogs, terriers, working dogs and the toy category.

If you're considering dog adoption, remember that you don't have to settle on a purebred. There are many mix-breed dogs that need homes, and if you see more than one breed you like during the show, you may be inspired to search for a dog who is comprised of several of your favorites.

On stage
If you plan on watching some replays of the event, pay close attention to what the announcers are saying as the dogs strut for the judges. They often talk about the dog's personality and any dog behavior problems that are associated with the breed. You'll also learn information about each breed's quirks, regular health problems or lifespan. However, it's important to remember that each dog is different, and your pet may develop health problems that are not usual for her breed, or may never contract illnesses that are common to her breed. That's why regular checkups at the vet are essential.

You can also learn a lot about puppy training by watching the handlers on stage. You'll notice that they use treats as positive reinforcements while the dogs are being judged. They also use their hands and facial expressions to help guide the canines, tactics that work well even if you're doing simple day-to-day training for your pet.

Behind the scenes
During the NDS, newscasters gave us plenty of behind-the-scenes glimpses of dogs as they were preparing to take the stage. You may have noticed that plenty of dog grooming was going on when the dogs were backstage. While it may seem like grooming was a purely aesthetic for these canines, it actually can help keep your pet healthy. Regular brushing clears out mats in their hair or fur. If left untreated, these tangles can cause pain in dogs. As you're brushing your pet, you may also come across ticks in dogs, which should be removed to help keep your canine companion in good health.