The Olympics are going to have some four-legged competition this year, with Nat Geo WILD’s fourth annual BarkFest event kicking off the same night. For the first time, BarkFest will span an entire week, including coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show — aka the dog Super Bowl. Other premieres include stories of incredible dog heroes, the science of canines and the people who love them and a special canine-themed episode of The Incredible Dr. Pol.
BarkFest premieres Friday, Feb. 9, 8/7c on Nat Geo WILD. For more information, visit www.natgeowild.com.
The pick of the BarkFest litter is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show coverage, including the Road to Westminster Dog Show, an unprecedented all-access look at the journey to Best in Show, premiering Sunday, Feb. 11, 8/7c. The series follows dogs and their handlers as they prep for the biggest competition of their year. See what it really takes to train a top dog — from handlers to dog diets to dog hotels. Watch the action of the qualifying rounds, then tune in for the main events: the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and Masters Agility Championship at Westminster on Nat Geo WILD and on FOX sister networks (see below for full schedule).
“I’ve never been happier to say that Nat Geo WILD is going to the dogs,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager, Nat Geo WILD. “We look forward to BarkFest every year, putting out our best-in-show programs to honor man’s best friends and all the people who love them.”
We can’t wait for all the amazing shows. Here is the line up:
Science of Dogs
Premieres Friday, Feb. 9, 8/7c
Think you know everything about our canine companions? They have been used as castle guards, rescuers, hunters, fashion accessories and herders. There are 400 breeds and counting, from the three-pound Chihuahua to the 270-pound bullmastiff, and dogs have the largest morphological differences of any animal species on the planet. The Science of Dogs provides an in-depth look at man’s best friend. With updated science and even stories of dogs that drive, you will be running to the nearest shelter to get one of your own. Join us as we explore why dogs truly are man’s best friend.
Road to Westminster Dog Show
Premieres Sunday, Feb. 11, 8/7c
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show predates the invention of the lightbulb, the World Series and the Brooklyn Bridge. The tradition began 140 years ago, and now for the first time we have unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the months leading up to Westminster, where the real story begins. We follow top contenders, comeback stories and beginners who are just understanding what it takes to be Best in Show. There is no prize money for top dog, just bragging rights — so why do they do it? Road to Westminster Dog Show is a peek behind the curtain of “the dog Olympics.”
142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, LIVE Daytime Sessions
Day One Premieres Monday, Feb. 12, 1/12c
Day Two Premieres Tuesday, Feb. 13, 1/12c
Watch the world’s premier dogs compete in the preliminary rounds for the ultimate title of Best in Show. Day one features judging of the hound, toy, nonsporting and herding groups. Day two features judging of the sporting, working and terrier groups.
A Dog Saved My Life
Premieres Monday, Feb. 12, 8/7c
Man’s best friend comes to the rescue when their humans need it most. Two real-life survival stories are told with eyewitness testimony, dramatic reenactments and expert insight into how these dogs became heroes. First, a Canadian dogsled racer survived an attack by a bear thanks to one of his huskies. This brave animal waged an hourslong battle to keep the bear away from the tree where the badly injured man had taken refuge. Next, 80-year-old George Mitchell was kept alive by his dog after the two of them were trapped for hours in floods during Hurricane Katrina. Thanks to their canine companions, the two men made it out of harrowing situations alive, and with lifelong bonds to the dogs that saved them.
Master’s Agility Championship at Westminster, Encore Presentation
Premieres Wednesday, Feb. 14, 8/7c
If your kind of Valentine’s Day includes a big dose of puppy love, you’ve come to the right place. Watch the fur fly in our encore presentation of the Master’s Agility Championship at Westminster, where America’s swiftest canines run, jump and weave for the right to be called top dog.
142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Encore Presentation
Day One Premieres Thursday, Feb. 15, 8/7c
Day Two Premieres Friday, Feb. 16, 8/7c
Can’t get enough of Westminster? Nat Geo WILD will feature an encore presentation the day after the big event featuring the world’s top dogs competing for Best in Show at Madison Square Garden.
BarkFest also will feature Dr. Pol’s most beloved dog cases in The Incredible Dr. Pol: Be My Canine on Saturday, Feb. 10, 9/8c. From pit bulls and beagles to spaniels and Labs, Dr. Pol and his team fetch solutions for Fido.
The week is filled with special encore presentations of some of viewers’ favorite dog-related programming, including World’s Funniest Dogs, Unlikely Animal Friends: Barktacular, How Dogs Got Their Shapes, World’s Greatest Dogs and Super Underdogs.
PLUS sister networks FOX and FS1 join in the fun, with additional premieres that include:
FOX Broadcast Network Premiere
Masters Agility Championship at Westminster
Premieres Sunday, Feb. 11, 2/1c on FOX
The country’s top four-legged athletes attack an obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles and more in a timed competition to determine who is top dog. Don’t miss the premiere event in the fastest-growing dog sport in the country.
142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show LIVE
Monday, Feb. 12, 8/7c on FS1
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 8/7c on FS1
Best in Show at Westminster is the most coveted dog award in the world. Day one’s presentation crowns the hound, toy, nonsporting and herding group winners, while Day two’s telecast names winners in the sporting, working and terrier groups, plus Best in Show.
We are excited to celebrate all things dog! Will you be watching?