Dog Shows, or Conformation shows are the beauty pageants of the dog world. Dogs are compared, by a judge, against a written standard for each breed. This standard describes the appearance of the dog built to perform the tasks it was bred to do.

A conformation show is a process of elimination. Dogs are entered into specific classes based on age, sex, breed and other criteria. Once each class has been judged, first place winners compete for bigger awards. By show’s end group winners are competing for Best in Show honours.

Dogs may be handled by their owners or by a professional handler. They require some foundational training such as an ability to stand for a thorough physical examination by a judge.

Like all dog sports there are beginner to advanced levels of showing, from a local club to the famous Westminster Dog Show. In Canada formal conformation shows are held under the rules of the Canadian Kennel Club. Your breeder can give you more information as most are very happy to have their dogs shown. Dogs must remain intact (not be spayed or neutered) to show.

Getting Started

Attend a Handling Class
Handling classes are offered at many local training facilities and will help you and your dog understand what is required of you. You will learn how to stack and gait your dog and other basics to get you started in the ring.

Find a Show is the place to start to find your first show. You can search by region and then filter for specific types of events. You can even set up notifications for events in your area. Your breeder will also be a great resource in getting you started.