Conformation shows, also referred to as breed shows, are a kind of dog show in which a judge familiar with a specific dog breed evaluates individual purebred dogs for how well the dogs conform to the established breed type for their breed, as described in a breed's individual breed standard. As the breed standard has only to do with the externally observable qualities of the dog such as appearance, movement, and temperament, separately tested for qualities such as tests for ability in specific work or dog sports, tests for genetic health, tests for general health or specific tests for inherited disease, or any other specific tests for characteristics that cannot be directly observed, are not part of the judging in conformation shows. When a dog has completed the necessary number of wins in conformation shows, and fulfilled any other conditions that may be required by the individual breed club or kennel club, the dog is said to have completed a conformation championship. The exact rules of conformation showing and requirements for championships vary with the regulating kennel club or breed club. The first modern conformation dog show was held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England in 1859. This handler prepares a Silky Terrier to be presented.
Dog show judges attempt to identify dogs who epitomize the published standards for each breed. This can be challenging, because some judgements must necessarily be subjective. For example, what exactly entails a "full coat" or a "cheerful attitude", descriptions found in breed standards, can only be learned through experience with the breed that has that particular requirement.
A dog show is not a comparison of one dog to another. It is a comparison of each dog to a judge's mental image of the ideal breed type as outlined in the individual breed's breed standard. A judge chooses the dog(s) that most closely resemble the ideal on that particular day.
Judges are certified to judge one or several breeds, usually in the same Group. A few judges, called "All-Breed" judges, have the training and experience to judge large numbers of breeds.
All-Breed judges need to have a vast amount of knowledge and experience, but the ability (or inability) of humans to retain so many details for hundreds of breeds (and to maintain their objectivity despite their personal preferences) is the subject of intense debate, particularly from the fanciers of working dogs. Politics in the purebred dog world can be as fierce as in any other human activity.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia