Conformation Events, or Dog Shows, are competitive events where a judge evaluates a dog’s structure as it compares to a written description of the perfect specimen of that breed, called a standard. While it may appear that dogs are being judged against one another, each dog is actually being compared to the judge’s mental image of the perfect dog of that breed. The judges must be familiar with not only the standards of the breeds they judge, but with the Conformation rules and regulations as well. Each dog is examined by the judge in a posed position (often referred to as a stack) and must also gait in a pattern to allow the judge to evaluate its efficiency of movement. Dog shows may be held for one breed (a specialty), several breeds (usually a group like hounds, terrier, etc) or all breeds, depending on the experience of the club in managing such events.
AKC The American Kennel Club is the largest and primary registry for purebred dogs in the USA. The AKC currently recognizes 155 breeds of dogs. At a dog show, each dog is presented to a judge by its owner, breeder or a hired professional. Most dogs at a dog show are competing for points toward their championship. The AKC requires a dog to win 15 points, including 2 majors (which are wins of 3, 4 or 5 points) awarded by at least 3 different judges to become a champion. The number of points a dog wins depends on the number of dogs in its breed in competition as well as the locale of the show. The maximum number of points a dog can win at any show is 5 points.
The following classes, divided by gender are offered at a show: 6-9 months, 9-12 months, 12-18 months, novice, bred-by, american bred and open. After each of the classes is judged, all the class winners compete to see who is the best. Males and females are judged separately. Only the best male and best female earn championship points. The best male and best female then compete with all the champions of that breed. The judge then selects Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed and Best of Winners. Once your PH is a champion, you can compete for the Grand Champion title. This requires 3 major wins from 3 different judges and a total of 25 points. BOB, BOS, Select Dog and Select Bitch are each eligible for GCh points. For more information, please got to www.akc.org
CKC The Canadian Kennel Club is the primary registry body for purebred dogs in Canada and currently recognizes 174 breeds. Foreign born dogs may be either registered with the CKC or you can submit an ERN (Event Registration Number). CKC offers lure coursing. A separate group offers Canadian racing. To become a CKC champion, your dog must earn at least 10 points under at least three different judges and have earned at least one 2-point win, either at the breed or group level.
In counting the number of eligible dogs in competition, a dog that is disqualified, dismissed, excused or ordered from the ring by the judge shall be included in the calculation for championship points.
To determine the number of championship points earned by a dog awarded Winners, total all the dogs in competition which the dog defeated, directly or indirectly, for the highest of the following official breed awards: Winner, Best of Winners, Best of Breed or Best of Opposite Sex, and then consult the schedule above.
In addition to the Championship points allocated at the breed level, a dog awarded Winners which also places in the regular Group competition shall be credited with the following points provided that a dog was defeated in the group level (see table below.)
No dog may be awarded more than 5 points at a show.
For more information on Canadian Kennel Club events, please go to www.ckc.ca
UKC The United Kennel Club is another registry in the USA and 25 foreign countries, where one can show your pure-bred dog. UKC dog shows are family events designed by and for the breeder-owner-handler. Professional Handlers are not eligible to exhibit dogs for others at UKC Conformation Events. In order to participate in UKC shows and activities, you must register your dog with the UKC. UKC does not yet offer racing or lure coursing.
Earning points toward your UKC Championship title:
A first place class win: 10 points
Best of sex (Best Male or Best Female): additional 15 points
Best of Winners (must have Best Male/Best Female compete against each other or the class is not held nor are points awarded): additional 10 points.
There are no additional points for any other wins (BOB, Groups or BIS wins).
The requirements for a Championship is a minimum of 100 points and three wins with competition under three different Judges. Competition is defined as follows:
As long as the Judge does not withhold a placement or higher award then the appropriate points will be awarded to the dog, regardless of how many dogs are entered at the class level in a breed. However, there are no additional Championship points awarded for going Best of Breed nor will a Best of Winners class be held or points awarded if the Best Male and Best Female winners are not present for this competition.
Competition is credited in one of the following manners.
The class dog must win a minimum of their Best of Sex (Best Male or Best Female) and win over another class dog (any class) of the same breed, same sex.
If the dog is the only one of its sex then it must also win a minimum of their Best of Sex and beat the other Best of Sex for Best of Winners. In other works the Best Male and the Best Female would compete and the dog awarded Best of Winners would receive an appropriate competition win.
If the class dog is awarded the Best of Breed win OVER either Champions or Grand Champions of the same breed then competition would be credited.
If yours is the only dog entered in your breed in order to gain competition, then the dog would have to either:
place in Group competition if groups are held, beating another dog in their respective group or
be awarded a Best In Multi-Breed or Reserve Best In Multi-Breed Show.
UKC also offers the Grand Champion Title. The requirements to earn the GRCH title is as follows: A Champion dogs must win the Champions class a minimum of 5 times with competition (a minimum of 3 Champions shown in this class) under 3 different judges. UKC has also expanded the way a GRCH title is earned. A Champion dog may earn a competition win towards its GRCH title if it wins BOB over a Grand Champion and the total number of dogs entered in the both the Champion class and the Grand Champion class meets or exceeds the minimum 3 dog requirement. For more information on UKC events and shows, please go to www.ukcdogs.com