These dogs are the best. They bow-wow to no one.

There’s something award-winning about every dog.

And yet, the major dog shows never seem to pick the winners of the categories that really matter. Best in Show? Ha! How about Best Cuddler? Greatest with Children? Most Willing to Dress Up for an Afternoon Tea Party? Best Kisser?

So with the National Dog Show having televised the selection of its top dogs on Thanksgiving, we asked readers to tell us what honor their furry family member would easily win.

The results? Doggone good. 

Dogging the competition

When you think about dog shows, many people think of the National Dog Show, which is hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, because it airs on television right after the Macy’s Day Parade on Thanksgiving. (Although the actual event takes place the weekend before that.) For more info on that, go to:

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the oldest dog show in the nation and considered to be the most prestigious, takes place in February. For more on that, go to:

But there are other dog competitions large and small across the country, where dogs compete to be the best surfer, ball catcher, disc catcher, long-distance diver, most agile, best herder, cutest and, yes, ugliest.

The moral here? Every dog should have his or her day. If you think your dog is the best kisser and there’s no official contest yet, start a competition and bring it on! Or don’t. Doggone it, you win.

Breed: Shetland sheepdogs

Owner: Jane Bernier, Minot


Award: “Best Dressers”

Breed: Australian shepherd 

Owner: Brandy Marquis, Sabattus

Award: “Best Kisser” (practicing with Julia Lachance, 10)

Breed: German shepherd

Owner: Abby Austin, Hartford


Award: “Best Eyeliner”

Breed: Maltese

Owner: Rochelle LeBel, Litchfield

Award: “Best in Show”

Breed: Dachshund

Owner: Jaime Swart, Lewiston


Award: “Best Dressed”

Breed: American bulldog/Brittany spaniel/mutt mix

Owners: Heather and Bill McCarthy, Auburn

Award: “Best Belly Rub Beggar”

Breed: Shepherd/weimaraner mix

Owner: Katie Cloutier, Litchfield


Award: “Best Sleep Aid” (showing off with Ben Cloutier)

Breed: Lab/bulldog mix

Owner: Katie Cloutier, Litchfield

Award: “Best Shipmate”

Breed: Black Lab mix

Owner: Amanda Cullen, Auburn


Award: “Best Snuggler”

Breed: Wire-haired dachshund

Owner: Amanda Swart, Lewiston

Award: “Awesome Tennis Ball Catcher”

Breeds: Lab and chocolate Lab

Owner: Kathleen and Armand Cyr, Lewiston


Award: “Best Swimmers”

Breed: Jack Russell terrier mix

Owner: Brenda Laplante, Lewiston

Award: “World’s Best Cuddle Buddy”

Breed: Hound mix

Owner: Mariah Carroll, Auburn


Award: “Most Photogenic Dog”

Breed: Dachshund

Owner: Amanda Corkum, Lisbon Falls

Award: “Best Snuggler,” “Most Photogenic” and “Best Dog with Kids”

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