The official term for dog shows is conformation — as in, the act of conforming or producing conformity. While a dog show may look like a beauty pageant, it’s not. Dogs are not being compared to each other; they are being measured by how closely they conform to the standard of their particular breed. Why? Because the closer a dog’s appearance is to the breed’s standard, the better that dog’s ability will be to produce puppies that meet the standard. It is also the reason why mixed breeds and spayed or neutered purebreds are ineligible to compete in conformation.

To compete in an AKC Conformation show, your dog must be:

  • Six months or older on the day of the show
  • Recognized breed by the AKC
  • Registered with the AKC
  • NOT spayed or neutered
  • No disqualifying faults, as stated by their breed’s parent organization
  • In sound health and up-to-date on vaccinations