How Dog Shows Work


Christina Carter outlines the process of showing a pure bred dog at the Salem Civic Center. The dogs being shown are Newfoundlands. Newfoundlands are large working dogs, that can be black, brown, white and black or gray. In Canada the the only correct colors are black and white and black.

Life span: 8 – 10 years
Temperament: Gentle, Sweet-Tempered, Trainable
Weight: Male: 132.3–154.3 lbs (60–70 kg), Female: 99.2–121.3 lbs (45–55 kg)
Height: Male: 27–29 inches (69–74 cm), Female: 25–27 inches (63–69 cm)

“Conformation” is the official name for what goes on at “dog shows.” The purpose of conformation is to evaluate the appearance and structure of the breed for the purpose of identifying the dog’s ability to produce quality purebred puppies that conform to the breed standard. That conformation to the breed standard is what is being judged in the ring. This is also why mixed-breeds and spayed-neutered purebreds are not eligible.

Sometimes an exhibitor gets started in dog shows by finding a mentor or getting classes which are offered . Many AKC clubs also offer handling classes to teach owners how to present their purebred dog to a judge at a dog show.

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