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.


Breed Judging

Illustrations of Shih Tzu's head.
American Shih Tzu Club JEC

The Shih Tzu Head

Explore the Shih Tzu head’s history and standards, a breed trait facing loss, as described in a seminal 1972 article. Preservation is key.

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cavalier at a dog show
Jeanie Montford

Cavalier Movement

Explore the essence of Cavalier movement—a vital aspect often overlooked. Delve into its significance and impact on structure.

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Side photo of a purebred Brussels Griffon.
Carole Ross

Judging Brussels Griffons

Carole Ross delves into the intricate art of judging Brussels Griffons, emphasizing the significance of their distinct head features, body structure, and movement.

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Toy Fox Terrier (TFT) standing on top of a brick wall with flowers behind it
John Rawleigh

Judging the TFT

Judging Toy Fox Terriers (TFT): Gain expert insights, breed standards, and essential tips in this must-read article for dog show enthusiasts.

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June 2024 No. 7

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