According to the AKC website, “Conformation” is the official name for “dog shows.” While they may seem glamorous, the true purpose of conformation showing is to evaluate breeding stock. The dog’s conformation—his overall appearance and structure—is an indication of the dog’s ability to produce quality purebred puppies, and that is what is being judged in the ring.
Below are just a few of our awards:
Outstanding Standard Exhibitor
Best of Breed or Variety
Best of Opposite Sex
Best of Winners
In AKC shows, Winners Dog and Bitch are judged against all entered champions for Best of Breed. During this competition, Best of Winners (the better of Winners Dog or Winners Bitch) is chosen, as well as Best Opposite Sex (the best dog of the sex opposite to the Best of Breed).
Best of Breed is the title given to the dog who has been judged the best representative specimen of its breed at a conformation show. Dogs compete in a hierarchical fashion at each show, where winners at lower levels compete against each other at higher levels, narrowing the winners until the final round, where Best in Show is chosen.
In multi-breed and all-breed shows, the winners within the kennel club's breed groups then compete. So, for example, all the breed winners compete to determine Best Terrier (sometimes called Best in Group or, in AKC shows, where the top four specimens are recognized, Group First or Group 1). The group winners (in some countries nicknamed "The Magnificent Seven") go on to compete for Best in Show.