Conformation shows, also referred to as breed competition or simply “dog shows,” are the evaluation of breeding stock to determine the adherence to the breed standard. The breed standard is the definition of what make one breed different from another. The breed standard defines the essence, attributes and ideal of a breed, also referred to as breed type. The dogs are evaluated by a judge as to how well they “conform” to the breed standard in such areas as structure, movement, and temperment. A conformation championship is generally considered a reasonably objective indication of merit, as it indicates that the dog has been found to be a good example of its breed by, at minimum, three different judges on separate occasions. Many breeders consider a championship title to be prerequisite for breeding.
After achieving a conformation championship title, a dog can continue to compete against other champions to determine superior examples of breed type.