Find out who's a good dog at the AKC National Championships this weekend


Yep, that's Alan Grayson holding a big silver doggie dish on the left.
  • Yep, that's Alan Grayson holding a big silver doggie dish on the left.
Dogs, as the old saying goes, are man’s best friend. But they’re also our most cherished genetically modified organism. Millennia of selective breeding has resulted in a rainbow of canine shapes, sizes and intrinsic behaviors. And throughout those thousands of years, the eternal question has persisted: “Who’s a good dog?” The AKC National Championship is an attempt to answer the question using a lot of rubrics and pageantry. During the day, dog enthusiasts can check out the breed-specific competitions, meet the breeds and check out a diving dog competition. The evening shows are more like what you see on television, with the Best in Group competitions and the illustrious Best in Show award. More than 400 different breeds in seven different categories trot around the ring to see which dog conforms best to an ideal standard. If that seems unfair to you, remember that the judging, though done by experts in the breeds, is entirely subjective. So if your opinion of who’s a good dog differs from the judges, don’t fret. Just go home, open the treat box and let your best friend know that they’re your pick for Best in Show.

8 a.m.-4 p.m. (daytime judging), 5 p.m. (evening judging) Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 17-18 | Orange County Convention Center, 9800 International Drive | | $10-$25