Breed Judging

Every issue of Showsight Magazine contains articles on judging the various breeds within all seven AKC Groups plus Miscellaneous breeds and Foundation Stock Service (FSS) Breeds. We are fortunate to work alongside parent clubs and judges to create a better awareness of each breed and how it should be viewed in the dog show Conformation ring.

The purpose of conformation shows (also known as dog shows) is to evaluate breeding stock. Judges select winners based on their ability to contribute and improve the next generation of dogs.

Are Dogs Competing in a Conformation Dog Show Compared to One Another?

The fact that each dog is judged on how he or she compares to the breed’s AKC standard rather than how the dog directly compares to the other dogs in the ring is a common source of confusion for the uninformed.

For instance, a judge is not directly comparing the Airedale Terrier to the Scottish Terrier while evaluating the Terrier Group. Actually, the comparison is between the Airedale Terrier and the Airedale Terrier breed standard and the Scottish Terrier and the Scottish Terrier breed standard. A winner should better reflect their standard than the other dogs do.

Each breed was developed for a specific purpose; for example, many Toy breeds were developed as lap dogs, whereas Working Dog Breeds are excellent in jobs like property guarding, pulling sleds, and conducting water rescues because they were developed to help people. These purposes established each breed’s standard, or ideal for how the breed should behave and look. A judge in the show ring rates dogs according to how closely they conform to their standards.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi judging

Current Judging Concerns in the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Read about the current judging concerns in the Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed: size, eye ...

Fawn Berger Picard head photo

Judging the Berger Picard

Read on to learn how the Berger Picard breed is judged in the conformation ...

Komondor head photo

Komondor Coats: Puppy to Maturity

Adult Komondors, well groomed, have amazing corded coats. The mature adult coat might weigh ...

Judging Shih Tzu

The Responsibility of Judging Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a lively Toy dog with long flowing double coat. Read ...

Judging the Swedish Vallhund

Featured photo courtesy by the American Kennel Club.   Judging the Swedish Vallhund General ...

CH Jacinthe de Ricelaine, "Jackie" - Owned by Walter F. Goodman

On Judging the Skye Terrier

The key words in judging the Skye Terrier are type, balance, style, soundness, and ...

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