What is a Dog Show?

Every breed has a written standard that describes what the head of a particular breed should look like, its body, forelegs, hind legs, tail placement, etc. In other words, the breed standards describe what a perfect specimen of a breed should look like, from head to toe. The judge compares the dog that he is judging with a perfect specimen according to his interpretation of the standard. The judge’s interpretation of the standard can vary, and that is why a dog that has won at a previous show may not win at a following show under another judge. This makes dog shows all the more interesting. In addition to the dog’s conformation, the judge also looks at his movement, which must not be faulty. He makes the dog gait away from him to see the action of the hindquarters; across the ring, to see if his movement has sufficient drive and power and towards him to see the action of the front legs. Temperament is also taken into account. A dog that is nervous and shies away from the judge, or one that tries to bite him is penalized. In order for the dog to give of his best in the ring, he must be handled well and classes are held by the SKC in show handling. Bad handling can ruin the chances of a good dog.