2006 Snow Flake Days Race Results
The Rainbow Bridge
Frequently asked questions
Glossary of frequently used terms
"Teaching Your Dog To Pull"
A Primer on Working the Alaskan Malamute
Equipment and Supplies
Recommended books (with ISBN numbers)
Tips for prospective owners
Comparison Between the Malamute and the Siberian
How Old Is Your Dog?
Flystrike! A Serious Warm Weather Hazard
An expanded look at hip dysplasia
Chondrodysplasia: A Closer Look
A Pictorial Case History of Coat Funk
Early sterilization of puppies
How a Dog Show Works
Just for Fun
"How the Malamutes Saved Christmas
A Beginner's Guide To Dog Shows
The following explanation of how a dog show is organized is from a pamphlet produced by the American Kennel Club.
This is the AKC
The American Kennel Club was established in 1884 to promote the study, breeding, exhibiting and advancement of purebred dogs. It is the largest not-for-profit purebred dog registry in the nation.
AKC approves and maintains the official records of over 11,000 sanctioned and licensed events each year. These events, which draw nearly two million entries annually, include dog shows, field trials, obedience trials, lure coursing, hunting tests, herding trials, tracking and coonhound events.
The AKC has approximately 500 member clubs and over 4,000 affiliated clubs. These clubs are more than show-giving entities. They are public service, educational organizations whose activities benefit their entire community. Some AKC club activities include: public education through school presentations, fairs, libraries, shelters, hospitals, rescue leagues, scouts and 4-H; training classes; and health clinics.
AKC registration means a dog, its parents, and its ancestors are purebred, but it does not indicate health or quality. Dogs registered with the AKC can have their offspring registered, compete in AKC events, and use AKC's full line of education and information services.
The World of Dog Shows
Showing dogs is a great sport where the thrill of competition is combined with the joy of seeing beautiful dogs. Dog shows are one of nine types of AKC dog events in which AKC-registered dogs can compete. Other AKC events include tests of instinct and trainability, such as field trials or herding tests.
At a dog show, the main consideration is the dog's conformation or overall appearance and structure.
The role of the Judge
Judges examine the dogs and place them in accordance to how close each dog compares with their mental image of the "perfect" dog as described in the breed's official standard. These standards include qualifications for structure, temperament and movement. In short, they describe the characteristics that allow the breed to perform the function for which it was bred.
These official written standards are maintained by each breed's national club and published in AKC's The Complete Dog Book.
The judges are experts in the breeds they are judging. They examine or "go over" each dog with their hands to see if the teeth, muscles, bones and coat texture match the standard. They examine each dog in profile for general balance, and watch each dog gait,
or move, to see how all of those features fit together in action.
Specialty Vs All-Breed
There are two types of conformation dog shows: specialty and all-breed.
How a Dog Show Works
Dog shows are basically a process of elimination, with one dog being named Best In Show at the end of the day. See the chart, which illustrates the steps in this process. Along the way, some dogs accumulate points toward the title "AKC Champion."
Most dogs in competition at conformation shows are competing for points toward their championship. It takes fifteen points, including two majors (wins of three, four, or five points) under at least three different judges to become an ACK "Champion of Record." This is indicated by "Ch." before the dog's name.
At one show, a dog can earn from one to five points toward a championship title, depending on the number of males or females, actually in competition for the breed. (Male dogs are often referred to as dogs, while female dogs are referred to as bitches.)
Once the dog is a champion, it can compete for Best of Breed without having to win in the other classes.
Types of Classes
There are six different regular classes in which dogs may be entered. The following classes are offered for male and female dogs separately in each breed entered at the show.
After these classes are judged, all the dogs that won first place in the classes compete again to see who is the best of the winning dogs. This is also done separately for male and female dogs. Only the best male (Winners Dog) and the best female (Winners Bitch) receive championship points. (A Reserve Winner award is given in each sex to the runner-up.)
The Winners Dog and Winners Bitch then go on to compete with the champions for the title of BEST OF BREED. At the end of the Best of Breed Competition, three awards are usually given:
Best of Breed - the dog judged as the best in its breed category.
Best of Winners - the dog judged as best between Winners Dog and Winners Bitch.
Best of Opposite Sex - the best dog that is the opposite sex of the Best of Breed winner.
Only the Best of Breed winners advance to compete in the group competition. Each AKC-recognized breed falls into one of seven group classifications. Four placements are awarded in each group, but only the first-place winner advances to the Best In Show competition.
The Seven Groups In All-Breed Shows
Finally the seven group winners are brought into the ring where they compete for BEST IN SHOW, the highest award at a dog show.
Each dog that receives an award is given a ribbon by the judge. The color of the ribbon denotes the type of award the dog has won.
Tips for the First-Time Spectator
Common Dog Show Terms
Angulation - Angles created by bones meeting at their given joints.
Baiting - Using liver or some treat to get the dog's attention and have him look alert.
Bench Show - A dog show at which the dogs are kept on assigned benches when not being shown in competition, thus facilitating the viewing/discussion of the breeds by attendees, exhibitors and breeders.
Exhibitor - One who is involved in bringing a dog to a show and entering it in the appropriate class.
Fancier - One who is especially interested and usually active in some phase of the sport of purebred dogs.
Gait - The way a dog moves; movement is a good indicator of structure, temperament and condition.
Groom - To brush, comb, trim or otherwise make a dog's coat neat.
Handler - A person or agent who takes a dog into the show ring or works a dog at a field trial or other performance event.
Heel - A command to a dog to keep close beside its handler.
Match Show - Usually an informal dog show at which no championship points are awarded.
Miscellaneous Class - Transitory class for breeds attempting to advance to full AKC recognition.
Pedigree - The written record of a dog's family tree of three generations or more.
Points - Credits earned toward championship status.
Soundness - Refers to the mental and physical well-being.
Stacking - The process of posing a dog's legs and body to create a pleasing profile.
Winners - An award given at dog shows to the best dog (Winners Dog) and best bitch (Winners Bitch) competing in the regular classes of each breed.
Copyright © 2006-2007 Linda Dowdy, last revision 061101