Brief Rules of AKC Conformation Dog Shows.

The purpose of conformation dog shows is evaluation of breeding stock. The dog's conformation indicates of the dog's ability to produce quality puppies. Every exhibit is judged in accordance to the individual breed standards. These written standards describe the ideal size, color, and temperament of each breed, as well as correct proportion, structure, and movement. Breeders are aspiring to produce a dog that most closely conforms to the breed standard. Judges examine the dogs and place them according to how close each dog compares with "ideal" dog described in the breed’s standard.

To be eligible to compete, a dog must:
• be individually registered with the American Kennel Club
• be 6 months of age or older
• be a breed for which classes are offered at a show
• meet any eligibility requirements in the written standard for its breed

Spayed or neutered dogs are not eligible to compete in conformation classes at a dog show (except in the Veterans class at an independent specialty), because the purpose of a dog show is to evaluate breeding stock. A dog registered with an AKC Limited Registration is not eligible to be entered in conformation classes for the same reason. Dogs that are Champions of Record may only compete in the Open class or the Best of Breed Class.

Each dog presented to a judge is exhibited by its owner, breeder or agent (hired professional handler). Most show dogs are competing for points toward their championship. To become an official AKC champion, a dog must earn a total of 15 points, which would include 2 major wins under 2 different judges. These points are awarded based on the number of dogs in actual competition--the more dogs, the more points. However, the number of dogs required for points varies with the breed, sex and geographical location of the show. Championship points are recorded for Winners Dog and Winners Bitch. The dog awarded the Best of Winners shall be credited with the number of points calculated for Winners Dog or Winners Bitch, whichever is greater. Dogs can earn from one to five points at a show. A win of three, four or five points is called a major. The 15 points required for a championship must be won under at least three different judges, and must include two majors won under different judges. Dogs that are already champions are competing for Best of Breed Award.

Males and females are judged separately.

The following 7 classes are offered, and are divided by sex:

Puppy - For dogs between 6 and 12 months of age, (the puppy classes are often divided 6-12 month and 9-12 month) that are not yet champions.

Twelve-To-Eighteen Months - For dogs 12 to 18 months of age, that are not yet champions.

Novice - For dogs six months of age and over, which have not, prior to the date of closing of entries, won three first prizes in the Novice Class, a first prize in Bred-by-Exhibitor, American-bred, or Open Classes, nor one or more points toward their championship.

Bred By Exhibitor - For dogs that are exhibited by their owner and breeder, that are not yet champions.

American-Bred - For dogs born in the United States from a mating which took place in the United States, that are not yet champions.

Open - For any dog of the breed, at least 6 months of age (for shar-pei often divided brushcoat and horsecoat).

Best of Breed Class - Dogs that are Champions of Record or completed Champion requirements.

After these classes are judged, all the dogs that won first place in a class compete again to see who is the best of the winning dogs. Only the best male (Winner Dog) and the best female (Winner Bitch) receive championship points. Next, the Best of Breed/Variety class is judged. All dogs and bitches that are already champions enter in the ring for this class, joined by the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch, the judge selects one Best of Breed/Variety. At the end of the Best of Breed Competition, three awards are usually given:
Best of Breed - the dog judged as the best in its breed.
Best of Winners - the dog judged as the better of the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch.
Best of Opposite Sex - the best dog that is the opposite sex to the Best of Breed winner.

Please, notice that procedures that would in and of themselves be considered a change in appearance by artificial means and make a dog ineligible for shows include, but are not limited to:
1. The correction of entropion or ectropion
2. Trimming or removal third eyelid
3. Correction of tight lip
4. Correction of harelip, cleft palate, stenotic nares, or an elongated soft palate resection
5. Any procedure to change ear set or carriage
6. Restorative dental procedures, the use of bands or braces on teeth
7. The removal of excess skin folds or the removal of skin patches to alter markings
8. Correction of inguinal, scrotal or perineal hernias
9. Surgery for hip dysplasia, O.C.D., patellar luxation and femoral head resection
10. Alteration of the location of the testes or the insertion of an artificial testicle
11. Altering the set or carriage of the tail

The American Kennel Club recognizes that dewclaw removal is acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving the breed character and/or enhancing good health.

How can I start to show my dog?

• Join your local kennel club and Chinese Shar-pei Club of America
• Get information about upcoming events from your local club or AKC
• Attend handling classes with your dog
• Read the AKC rules and regulations for dog shows
• Be sure your dog is registered with the AKC
• Be sure your dog is current on all vaccinations
• Don't be afraid to ask questions
• If you do not wish to handle your dog yourself, you may contact a professional handler who will charges a fee for showing your dog.




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