Dog Shows - How Do They Work?

Dog Shows - How Do They Work?


(Image from Deposit Photos)


Have you been looking for purebred Malinois for sale?  If your answer is yes, it is likely that you are familiar with dog shows. They are incredibly popular in many countries around the world and attract hundreds of dog owners every year. But what are these shows about and how do they work?

If you want the answers to these questions, you are in the right place! In this article, you will find a short guide to dog shows, ranging from the definition of a dog show and groups that take part in dog shows to judging and how to win best in show. Check it out!

What Are Dog Shows?

Dog shows are events where dog owners exhibit their pets to be judged according to breed standards. In other words, dog shows are events where the best specimens of a given breed are rewarded with various titles.

The goal of these events is to promote healthy breeding, recognize the best specimens of given breeds, and give dog lovers an opportunity to see a variety of different breeds with their own eyes.

Most dog shows include a wide selection of events, such as obedience trials, agility trials, and field trials. However, there are dog shows where only one event is included and that event is conformation judging.

Conformation judging is the part of the show where dogs are evaluated on how they fit into the standard of their breed. Here is a list of characteristics that get judged!

  • proportions
  • weight and size
  • eyes (shape, size, color)
  • ears (position, shape, length)
  • head (shape)
  • muzzle (shape, length)
  • whiskers (thickness)

(Image from Deposit Photos)


What Are Dog Show Groups?

You might not be aware of this, but dog breeds are divided into show groups according to their functions and sizes. Each country has its own classification system for dogs and their show groups, but there are a few that are not hard to come by. Here is a list!

Sporting Group

Dogs in this group should be agile and energetic, as they were originally bred to locate and retrieve quarry. They enjoy field activities, have water-repellent coats, and require invigorating exercise. The most popular breeds in this category are the American Water Spaniel, the English Cocker Spaniel, and the English Setter.

Working Group

Dogs in this group are intelligent, alert, and strong. They were originally bred to assist humans in many different ways, including pulling sleds and guarding property. The most popular breeds in this category are the Alaskan Malamute, the Boxer, the Chinook, the Doberman Pinscher, and the Great Dane.

Hound Group

Dogs belonging to this group are quite diverse, but they have one thing in common - their ancestors were skilled hunters. Because of that, they have incredible stamina and acute scenting powers. The most popular breeds in this category are the American Foxhound, the Basenji, the Beagle, the Borzoi, the Dachshund, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Terrier Group

The members of the terrier group are energetic and feisty. They were bred to hunt vermin and guard property, though they are not that big. In fact, they tend to be a bit small. However, they do have exceptionally keen senses and are quite agile. Some popular breeds in this group are the Bull Terrier, the Miniature Schnauzer, the Rat Terrier, the Russell Terrier, and the West Highland White Terrier.

Toy Group

Breeds in this group are short, affectionate, sociable, and full of energy. Consequently, they are popular with people who live in big cities. The most popular breeds that belong to this group are the Chihuahua, the English Toy Spaniel, the Maltese, the Pekingese, and the Pug.


(Image from Deposit Photos)



The outcome of every dog show depends on its judges, who are expected to adhere to strict show regulations and the judge’s code of best practice. In addition to that, they have to have sufficient knowledge and experience of a specific dog breed.

Moreover, the judges from quite a few countries around the world have to attend dog show judge, movement, and conformation seminars, complete stewarding appointments, take and pass examinations, and take part in mentoring sessions.

How Do You Win Best in Show?

For starters, it is worth noting that winning this title is a special achievement. It requires time, effort, and knowledge. First of all, your dog has to be healthy and fit perfectly into its breed’s standard.

Second of all, you have to learn how to present your dog during the conformation judging process. To do that, you should look for training videos and take part in professional handling classes.

In addition to that, your dog should be properly trained. Once you are in the middle of a busy dog show, your dog will have to deal with a busy environment filled with strangers and other dogs. If it is not prepared for that, it might end up misbehaving and cause a scene.

Next, you will need to ensure that your dog looks its best. Ideally, you should look for a professional groomer that knows what dog shows are about. It might be a bit costly, but it is a must if you want your dog to stand a chance against its competitors.

Lastly, you need to familiarize yourself with the world of dog showing. What does that mean? In short, you should attend a few different dog shows and see what they are like with your own eyes. It will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed!


The Bottom Line

If you have made it this far, it means that you have learned quite a bit about dog shows! On top of giving you an opportunity to meet different people, admire their pets, and have fun, it gives your dog a chance to win a coveted title!

In addition to that, you will get to take a look at a wide range of different breeds of dogs, learn what makes these breeds special, and get to meet the most talented breeders, judges, and handlers out there.

In conclusion, next time you hear about a dog show, take your loved ones there and have fun! It can end up being a pretty unique and educational experience!

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