David Frei Bio

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New York Magazine once called David Frei “probably the most famous human in the world of canines.”

david frei

David Frei and Charlie, a Skye Terrier BIS at the National Dog Show 2015

He is well-known to millions of television viewers as the “Voice of the Westminster Kennel Club” as co-host of USA Network’s annual telecast of the famous dog show for 27 years (1990-2017), and as co-host on NBC of The National Dog Show presented by Purina on Thanksgiving Day since its inception in 2002.

As such, he has made many appearances on network television shows such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, Fox & Friends, Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray and more. David’s dog show adventures have taken him to the White House, to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and for a ride on a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  He served as the director of communications for Westminster from 2003-2015.

David Frei now works as a consultant for NBC Sports, continuing his on-air and off-air roles for the National Dog Show and soon for the Beverly Hills Dog Show presented by Purina, which debuts on USA Network on Easter night in 2017.

A longtime breeder-owner-handler and judge in the world of purebred dogs, he has enjoyed much competitive success with his Afghan Hounds, Brittanys and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He co-bred and co-owned many champion Afghans, including Ch. Stormhill’s Who’s Zoomin Who, the top Afghan in 1989 who retired as the top-winning female in the history of the breed. He is a past president of the Afghan Hound Club of America and has judged at dog shows all over the world (U.S., Canada, Australia, Denmark, China).

David is most proud of the wonderful work that his dogs have been doing since 2000 as therapy dogs at places like the Ronald McDonald House New York, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and the VA Medical Center in New York. His Brittanys, Teigh and Belle, pioneered the practice there and in many other places, and his Cavalier, Angel, and Brittany, Grace, are carrying on.

His second book, Angel On A Leash, about his work and observations in the world of therapy dogs and life in dogs, was the 2012 winner of the Dog Writers Association of America’s award as the book best depicting the human-animal bond.

With Westminster in 2004, David created a charity, Angel On A Leash (his book was named after the charity), to enhance and support a therapy dog program at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.  Angel On A Leash later became an independent charity with David as founder and president, and the program expanded across the country.

David’s contributions to the world of dogs have been recognized with top awards from Purina (2015 “Better With Pets” Award), the Dog Writers Association of America, the World Dog Press Association, and the Association of Purebred Dog Writers. Petside.com named him as the Pet Person of the Year in 2011, and in 2015, Dog Fancy magazine, in its final issue, included him in a retrospective, “45 People Who Changed the Dog World.”

He has been honored for his work with Angel On A Leash by the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, the ASPCA, the Pet Philanthropy Circle and a number of other organizations. He is a past board member for Take The Lead and Morris Animal Foundation, and a past member of the St. Jude Children’s Hospital Sports Council. He has also been recognized for his volunteer efforts with Transfiguration Church and School in New York’s Chinatown since 2001.

David Frei is the co-author, with Mike Lingenfelter, of The Angel By My Side, a critically-acclaimed best seller about a heroic service dog, published in 2002, also named Book of the Year by DWAA.  His third book, about his years at Westminster, is now under way.

In 2004, he appeared in one of the final episodes of the HBO hit series, Sex And The City, playing a smitten dog show judge awarding a big win to Charlotte and her Cavalier (in that order). Previously, he held public relations positions with the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and ABC-TV Sports in New York.

A native of Oregon and a longtime Seattle resident, he owned two popular sports bar restaurants in the Seattle area, as well as his own public relations agency, before moving to New York City in 2002. David and his wife, Cherilyn, relocated to the West Coast this past May where Cherilyn, a certified Catholic chaplain, serves as Director of Mission Integration and Spiritual Care at Providence Hospital in Seaside, Oregon.

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