Dog Shows

Doggie Beauty Contests

Confirmation shows are considered by some to be the “beauty contests” of the dog world. Accredited judges evaluate dogs based on how well they conform to the “ideal” dog of a particular breed, based on documented standards. Of course, there is a subjective aspect to these judgements especially when it comes to qualities such as a dog's attitude or thickness of its coat.

Confirmation shows are part of a system of shows, much like "Miss America" which start at a community level where they are more fun than they are serious. They are a good training ground for people wanting to learn how to show their dogs and start on the ladder to the bigger events.

These "big events" around the world are generally conducted under the auspices of national kennel clubs. Professional handlers and dedicated owners may take their dogs to many of these shows over the course of a year in an effort to gain various honours for their dog, and as a consequence their kennel – the top honour of each show, being “Best of Show”. .

The first Show

The very first conformation show was in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in Britain in 1859, featuring only pointers and setters.

The Most Prestigious Show
The most prestigious show is Crufts in Birmingham, UK, which started in 1891 – it's the largest in the world. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show held at Madison Square Garden is the most prestigious in the U.S. Of course, there are kennel clubs and dog shows in many places throughout the world..

Conformation shows have been criticized by some on the basis that these shows encourage breeding for looks more so than for other qualities such as a dog's ability to do what it was bred to do. Owner groups of some breeds such as Border Collies and Jack Russell Terriers have tried mightily to keep their breeds out of the shows so that they are not subjected to the pressure of conforming to a certain look and possibly diluting the excellent working qualities of these dogs..

In any case, conformation shows are fascinating, as you will see. Enjoy the videos.