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Activities you can to do with dogs - Conformation Showing

Conformation Showing or other names known as Dog Showing, Showing Dog or just Showing

This is a brief run down on dog showing containing some important points and information. To understand dog showing better it is suggested that you attend dog shows, watch, ask and learn( the junior handlers can be great examples). Seek out dog show training and get to know the people that are involved with showing for all the inside information needed.

Showing your dog can be very rewarding, confidence building, fun and a great day out for you and your dog and your family. The whole ordeal will give you a better understanding of your dog and able you to become more knowledgeable about other breeds as well.

If thinking about dog showing go along to some shows, spend the day there, talk to the breeders and find out what is involved. Do all this before you buy your dog or puppy so you no whether to choose a pet or one with show qualities. To the untrained eye you may not see much difference in the pups but the breeder should help you and let you know the differences, as they should know what the judges will be looking for in their breed.

The breeders you intend on buying your dog/pup from should be willing to help you as it will be very beneficial to them if the dog is shown and does well in the ring. If you are a novice at showing it can be a big help if they are there or you have some that knows about showing around to help you get started and help you understand how the whole show scene works.

Dog showing terms:


The challenge is awarded by the judge to the best dog and best bitch in each breed.
Challenge Certificates(CC) are awarded in most cases.
NB: It is possible for a dog to be refused a challenge.

The CC indicates how many points have been awarded. This is based on the following formula: 5 points for the CC plus 1 point for each animal of the breed & sex shown which is eligible for the Challenge.
These points are needed to obtain a "Champion Title."

Best of breed

The exhibit winning Best of Breed is chosen from the two Challenge winners.
Best of Breed winners are awarded championship points.

Best of Group

The Best of Group winner is selected from the Best of Breed winners in that Group.
Best of Group is (in most cases) awarded 25 points, the maximum amount of points you can collect at a show.

Best in Show

The Best in Show winner is selected from the Best of Group winners.


Owners of a dog which has won at least 100 Challenge points may apply to their controlling body for the title of Australian Champion for their dog.
Once awarded, the dog's official name has "Aust Ch" added to it. eg. Aust Ch Dogs4sale


For conformation showing, dogs are split into a number of Classes - based mainly on age.

1. Baby Puppy Dog (1A - Baby Puppy Bitch) - dogs aged three and under six months

2. Minor Puppy Dog (2A - Minor Puppy Bitch) - dogs six and under nine months

3. Puppy Dog (3A Puppy Bitch) - dogs six and under twelve months

4. Junior Dog (4A Junior Bitch) - dogs nine and under eighteen months

5. Intermediate Dog (5A Intermediate Bitch) - dogs aged eighteen and under 36 months

6. Novice Dog (6A Novice Bitch) - dogs six months or over which have not won first prize in any Open Parade or Championship Show, (Baby Puppy and local classes excepted).

7. Graduate Dog (7A Graduate Bitch) - dogs six months and over which have not won a Challenge Certificate

8. Limit Dog (8A Limit Bitch) - dogs twelve months of age or over which are not champions

9. State Bred Dog (9A State Bred Bitch) - dogs six months or age or over whelped in the State or Territory in which they are exhibited

10. Australian Bred Dog (10A Australian Bred Bitch) - dogs six months or age or over whelped in Australia

11. Open Dog (11A Open Bitch) - dogs six months of age or over and of a breed or variety recognised by the Australian National Kennel Council.


In Australia, dog breeds are divided into 7 groups:
Group 1: Toys
Group 2: Terriers
Group 3: Gundogs
Group 4: Hounds
Group 5: Working Dogs
Group 6: Utility
Group 7: Non Sporting

A Stack

Putting a dog in "A Stack" position presents the dog in a position that allows the judge to examine the dog's appearance. In most breeds, this involves the front legs being straight underneath the body, while the rear legs are extended backwards so the hocks are vertical.


The official controller of the show ring. In most show except for the really big ones the steward will be:
marshaling competitors
keeping official records of results
announcing results of the judging

The Steward has no role in the judging of dogs.

Entering Dog Shows:

Your dog must be registered with a controlling body and you must become a member of the controlling body of the state in which you live in or others as well, eg: Royal NSW Canine Council & Canine Control Council of QLD.

As a members you will receive a journal every one or two months, in which all shows in your State or Territory will be advertised. The ad in your journal will include all the information you need to enter your dog into a show.
The date the show is on
The deadline for the entries
The club conducting the show
The location of the show
The time the show starts
The address to send your entry forms to
The cost of entry (usually around $8.00 - $10. 00 per dog)
Catalogue price (usually about $2.00 - $3.00)
Details of judges, etc.

Workout which class your dog should be entered into. This will go on the dog's age mainly, but in the case of the "State Bred" and "Australian Bred" classes, your dog's origin is also important!

Remember most show entries close about a month prior to the show date.
A separate entry form must be provided for each individual dog and for each show.
Only official forms may be used and these can be obtained from your controlling body.
Some entries require you to provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your entries, so your passes can be returned to you.
Payment for entries, show catalogues, etc. must accompany your entry.

Showing your dog

Attending your first dog shows can be confusing, exciting and if you are unorganised down right stressful

The night before get organised, check to make sure you have entered the show, if you need passes make sure you have them, work out where you are going and how long it will probably take you to get there, try to get there early so you can set up and plenty of time to walk your dog, groom them again and settle down(you & the dog).

List of thing to take with you:
1. something to provide shade (most show are outdoors & go ahead rain or sunshine) - a beach umbrella is ideal, and most of those sold at dog shows are also waterproof. The caravans at dog shows can also sell you a stake to stand your umbrella - these are essential.
2. a water bowl for your dog
3. your dog's show lead & grooming aids
4. if the weather is hot - consider a towel to wet and drape over your dog
5. something for your dog to lie on
6. if you have more than one dog and you're on your own & you don't have a dog trailer, you'll need either a crate or chains and stakes to restrain your other dogs while you're in the ring. (Don't assume someone there will help. (They probably will - just don't assume be prepared)
7. a clip to hold your number while you're in the ring. A safety pin will do, but better clips or arm bands are on sale at shows
8. appropriate clothing and footwear for yourself
9. something for you to sit on (it will more than likely be a full day out)
10. other things to make life more comfortable (lunch, drinks, sun block, insect repellent, etc.)
11. money (for all the things you might forget!)

When you arrive, park in the shade, leave your dog in the car or trailer, go get your numbers & catalogue. Check the rings to find out which one you are in, go to the toilet if needed.
Check your entry in the catalogue. If the details about your dog (including the class in which it is entered) are wrong, tell the Show Secretary immediately. If your dog is entered in the wrong class and it's their fault, they can correct it then and there. If the fault is yours, your dog may be placed into Open Class. If your dog is shown in the wrong class and you do nothing, it can be disqualified - so it's worth checking the catalogue!
Don't be afraid to ask questions. Once you explain this is your first/second/third show, you'll find most people will be only too willing to assist you.

Set yourself up, attend to your dogs needs and keep an eye on the ring so you know when it is close to time to go to the ring for your judging.

The judging for each Group will be ran in Alphabetical order.
The outline of a championship show judging.

1. Best of each class among the dogs (starting with the youngest class, eg. Baby puppy dog through to Open dog.)
2. Challenge and Runner-up Challenge dog are selected from the class winners
3. Best of each class among the bitches (starting with the youngest class, eg. Baby puppy bitch through to Open bitch.)
4. Challenge and Runner-up Challenge bitch selected from the class winners
5. Best of Breed (chosen from the two Challenge winners)
6. Runner Up Best of Breed (chosen from the other Challenge winner and the dog or bitch who was runner up to the Best of Breed winner)

After the above is done for all the different breeds in this group, then the judge will judge their Best in Group winners.

7. Best of Group is the line up of all the best of breed winners (a winner & a Runner up will be chosen)
8. Classes of group, eg. Baby puppy, minor puppy, intermediate, open are then judged always starting with the youngest class first. (If the best of group winner is out of Aust. Bred class it automatically wins that class as well, so you will be eliminated if you were waiting for that class)

After all the Groups have been judged the the Best in Shows will be judged.

9. Best in Show is a line up of all the Best of Group winners (there will be 7 of them.
10. Classes in Show is a line up of all the Classes winners of the Groups (if the best in show comes out of Open class it automatically wins that class in show as well).

Tip for in the ring
* Listen to the Steward, they will call your number so be ready.
* Stack your dog the best you can.
* The judge may ask you how old your dog is, so remember your dogs age.
* The judge will either ask you to trot your dog in a circle, triangle or straight up & back. Do which ever is asked and try to use as much of the ring as you can. This is you turn and the judge is looking at your dog so make the most of it.
* Try to be courteous in the ring and give the dog in font of you a bit of space, the person behind you should do the same for you.
* Take note if the judge mentions or asks you something.
* If you win be happy, if you don't be happy and always remember you always go home with the best dog no matter what the judges opinion was.

Some other Points

* Be on time, you don't want to go to all the trouble and get marked absent.
* Listen to the steward at all times, in many ways the stewards run the show
* Listen to the judge and the steward while in the ring
* Don't leave the show until you have been knocked out of the judging. eg: a Challenge winner who doesn't stay for Group can have their Challenge Certificate revoked
* If you don't understand - ask someone
* Be courteous and considerate towards other competitor and dogs while at the show
* Most of the bitchiness at dog shows is outside the ring. If you join in, don't be surprised if your comments come back to haunt you!
* This is supposed to be fun! So enjoy and have a great day with your dog.

This is only a brief run down on showing for more information attend more shows, ask people who have been competing for awhile more questions, find a club near you that is running show training and participate yourself more.

Websites with more informtion on Dog Showing


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