Dog shows

Haymann

Established in the mid 19th century, dog shows are held to find the specimens of a particular breed that best express the traits described in the standard. Dogs can rise through the ranks by winning the coveted titles of national and world champion in their class.

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Shows and events

Dog shows are local, national and international events at which dogs of different breeds are assessed by judges, according to their morphology or working ability.

The national clubs are responsible for training judges. Prospective judges, who are often recruited from among recognised breeders or exhibitors, must have outstanding knowledge of the breeds they wish to judge and experience working in shows as a secretary or steward. They also need to pass a written exam.

Dog clubs or breed associations arrange most shows. Every country affiliated to the FCI must organise at least one international show every year to find the best male and best female of each breed recognised by the FCI with the award of a Certificate of Aptitude at the World Beauty Championship.

Some prestigious shows are held throughout the world every year.

Crufts

Established in1891, Crufts is a three-day show held every March in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Over 25,000 dogs – the cream of Europe – participate every year, after coming through qualifying shows. The event is shown on TV, attracting more than 14 million viewers.

Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Established in 1877, this show brings together around 2,500 dogs in New York’s Madison Square Garden every February. Participation is by invitation only. The decisions of the judges are published on the Westminster Kennel Club website, which welcomes over two million visitors, and are also reported by two TV networks.

World Dog Show

This is held every year in a country affiliated to the FCI. The best male and female earn the title World Show Champions. There are also best junior and veteran dog classes.

European Section Show

This section event is held every year in a European country affiliated to the FCI. The best male, female, juniors and veterans are awarded the title of European Section Show Champions. There are also section shows for the Americas and Caribbean and Asia and Pacific.

FCI show classes

In shows, dogs are presented in different classes depending on their age (on the day of the show) and any show or working titles they have already been awarded. These various classes are only used in shows in FCI affiliated countries where breeds are classified in accordance with the FCI groups.

Haymann

Baby class (optional)

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The best male and the best female of each breed recognised by the FCI is awarded the Certificate of Aptitude at the International Show Championship.

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This class is open to puppies aged 6 months of age and under. The puppies are assessed by the judge and graded as follows: Very Promising, Promising, Fairly Promising, Inadequate. A best baby is generally selected by breed or sex, then for the show as a whole.

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Judging dog

Grossemy

“What criteria do judges use to choose a winner, especially when there are dogs of different breeds?”

First of all, judges compare each dog to the official standard, which describes the ideal individual for that breed. These standards (descriptions of bodytype and temperament) have been established by leading international kennel clubs and federations (FCI, American Kennel Club, the UK’s Kennel Club). Judges choose the dogs that best match their respective standard.

“If dogs are judged against a single standard, why are the same dogs assessed differently by different judges?”

Several factors can have an impact here, including a judge’s personal interpretation of the standard, based on that person’s experiences, preferences and the weight given to individual criteria, and the interaction between dog and exhibitor. Some exhibitors manage to show the dog better than others, especially if they are fitter. Some breeds are also affected by temperature.

Judges also expect exhibitors to conduct themselves properly. They must be punctual, because judges need to work at a regular pace to ensure that they stay focused and are able to remember all the dogs examined in a particular group up until the last dog. Exhibitors have to know exactly what’s expected of them when their turn comes round.

While differences must not be too great, every judge has a preferred style, so it is often useful for exhibitors to observe the judge they will be presenting to. This will give them a better idea of what that particular judge prefers and expects. It is also important that they accept a judge’s decision with good grace, even if their dog does not finish where they expected it to.

The dog must be presented in such a way that the judge can easily examine its teeth, head and any other part of the body that requires evaluation, be that on the floor or a table, walking or standing still. Puppies are given a little more leeway. Out of respect, dogs should be clean and groomed.

“What criteria are used to evaluate the quality of a purebred dog?”

They can be summarised as follows:

The particular breed type: It is often said that type is all about the head, but such characteristics as coat type and colour and gait are also important.

Harmony and balance: A head can be very pleasing to the eye but not the required size for the breed, especially in proportion to the body.

Disposition: Character is fundamental in companion, show and working dogs. A shy, aggressive or lazy dog will not be able to do what it is asked to do. Attitude is also important.

Structure: The appropriate skeleton and muscle mass are extremely important and are minutely examined when the dog is both standing still and moving (walking or trotting).

General presentation: Coat, weight, grooming, cleanliness.

Training: a well-trained dog will be better able to show off its qualities in the few moments it has in front of the judge than an untrained dog.

A “good” dog can be defined as one that presents the greatest number of characteristics common to its sex and breed, has the right temperament, is in presentation condition and is properly trained so that it can show off its qualities quickly.

Héléna Mentasti de Spektor, International Judge
Adolfo Specktor, Veterinarian, International Judge
(Argentina)

Puppy class (optional)

This is open exclusively to puppies aged 6-9 months. The grades are the same as for the baby class. A best puppy is generally selected by breed or sex, then for the show as a whole.

Junior class

This is open exclusively to dogs aged 9-18 months. The grades are: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fairly Good and Inadequate. As in all “obligatory” classes, the dogs may also be disqualified if they have eliminating faults as stated in the breed standard. The best junior competes against the best male, the best female and the best veteran for the title of Best of Breed.

Intermediate class

This is open exclusively to dogs aged 15-24 months. The grades are the same as for the junior class. Provided it is graded Excellent, the best in intermediate class competes against the best in working class and the best in open class for the CACS (Certificate of Aptitude of Conformity with the Standard) or may be awarded the CACS immediately depending on the country, while the second-placed dog is awarded the reserve CACS (RCACS).

Open class

The best dogs can compete in this class from the age of 15 months. Provided it is graded Excellent, the best in open class competes against the best in working class and the best in intermediate class for the CACS or may be awarded the CACS immediately depending on the country, while the second-placed dog is awarded the reserve CACS (RCACS).

Working class

This is open exclusively to dogs of working breeds aged 15 months and over. All entrants must provide a copy of the FCI certificate proving that the dog has passed the relevant working trial for its breed. The CACS is awarded in the same way as for the preceding two classes.

Champion class

This is open to dogs aged 15 months and over that hold an international championship title (requiring the award of 2-4x CACIB - Certificate of Aptitude in International Championship of Beauty - in 2-3 different countries under 2-3 different judges, with or without working trial depending on the breed) or a national championship title. The best in champion class generally only competes against the winner of the CACS for a CACIB.

Veteran class

This is open to dogs aged 8 years and over. The best in class generally only competes for the best of breed if it has been graded Excellent.

Collective classes

These are Litter, Kennel, Kennel Lot and Brace, Couple and Group. The prizes reward homogeneity of the breeder’s selection or the quality of the breeder’s education and training.

Out of competition

This is open exclusively to dogs aged 6 months and over registered in a stud book but not participating in competition. These dogs are not examined by a judge.

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Glossary of common terms

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National and international bodies and registries

FCI: Fédération cynologique internationale

AKC: American Kennel Club

KC: Kennel Club

SCC: Société centrale canine (France)

VDH: Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (Germany)

LOF: French breed registries

IR: Initial Registry

SCRA: Regional club affiliated to the SCC

SV: Hunting Society (SPV: Small Game Hunting; SGV: Large Game Hunting)

CEC: Dog training club

Certificates of Aptitude

CACS (or CAC): Certificate of Aptitude of Conformity with Breed Standard

CACIB: Award for the title of international beauty champion

CACT: Award for the title of working champion

CACIT: Award for the title of international working champion

CQN: Certificate of natural qualities

RCACS: reserve CACS

RCACIB: reserve CACIBT

RCACT: reserve CACT

RCACIT: reserve CACIT

Champion titles

CIB (or IB) : International beauty champion

CIE: International Show Champion

CIT (or IT) : International working champion

Ch. INT : International champion

TR : Field trialer

RCI : Règlement de concours international or IPO (RCI champion)

BIS : Best In Show

Classes

COM: Open class for males

COF: Open class for females

CJM: Junior class (males)

CJF: Junior class (females)

CTM: Working class (males)

CCTF: Working class (females)

C. Ch M: Champion class (males)

C. Ch F: Champion class (females)

CDM: Puppy class (males)

CDF: Puppy class (females)

TR : Field Trialer

Miscellaneous

R: Recommended stud

EI: Elite stud

TAN: Test of natural qualities

Exc: Excellent

Minor Puppy: puppies from 6 to 9 months old

Puppy: puppies from 6 to 12 months old

Junior: dogs from 6 to 18 months old

Special Yearling: dogs from 12 to 24 month old

Graduate, Post Graduate, Limit and Open: classes for all dogs limited by qualification and number of wins

Veteran: dog not less than 7 years old

KCJO stakes: for any dog exhibited and handled by a member of the Kennel Club Junior Organisation

Best Puppy in Breed: the puppy unbeaten by any other puppy in the breed

Best Puppy in Group: the puppy unbeaten by any other puppy its respective group

Best Puppy in Show: the puppy selected from the best in group winners and unbeaten by any other puppy

Best of Breed: the dog unbeaten by any other in the breed

Best in Group: the dog unbeaten by any other in its respective group

Best in Show: selected from the best in group winners and unbeaten by any other in the show

Reserve Best in Show: chosen from the remaining group winners after selection of best in show

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