The Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show is on this year, but with no opportunity to meet and greet the contenders.

This year’s show will be held Nov. 14 and 15 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, but spectators won’t be permitted, the Kennel Club announced Wednesday, citing COVID-19 concerns and “the guidance of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners” and the county’s health department.

Also banned: sponsors and media. Only officials, dogs and their handlers, NBC personnel, and security will be allowed, and mask-wearing and social distancing will be enforced, according to the group’s announcement.

Topaz, a nine-month-old Golden Retriever, lies down during a press event for the Kennel Club of Philadelphia National Dog Show at the Tru Hotel by Hilton in Audobon, Pa., on Nov. 7, 2019.
MONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer
Topaz, a nine-month-old Golden Retriever, lies down during a press event for the Kennel Club of Philadelphia National Dog Show at the Tru Hotel by Hilton in Audobon, Pa., on Nov. 7, 2019.

One of only three “benched” shows in the United States — shows where spectators have the opportunity to see the competing purebreds over the course of the entire show — the event is also the basis for an annual Thanksgiving Day broadcast on NBC.

The network’s two-hour show will still air at noon on Nov. 26, following the NBC presentation of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It will be the 19th Thanksgiving the dog show has aired.

This year’s competition will also be limited to about 600 dogs, down from the 2,000 or so that usually are entered. The Kennel Club still expects the same variety of breeds to be represented, said a spokesperson, who predicted that the Thanksgiving Day show wouldn’t look very different.