Dog Show Awards: Celebrating Canine Excellence

Dog Show Awards

Dog Show Awards is something that makes us curious about it. Showing dogs is a fun sport where you enjoy the excitement of competition and admire beautiful dogs.

Dog shows, also called confirmation events, started as a way for breeders to assess their breeding dogs.

While this purpose still exists, dog shows offer a great chance to meet people who share your interests and build lasting friendships.

Most dogs in these events are competing to earn points toward their AKC championships.

A dog needs fifteen points, including two major wins (worth three, four, or five points), judged by at least three different judges, to become an AKC “Champion of Record.”

The number of points a dog can earn at a show depends on how many male (“dogs”) and female (“bitches”) competitors there are.

The competition earns more points with an increase in the number of dogs participating. The maximum number of points a dog can get at a show is five.

Types of Dog Show Awards

There are three types of conformation dog shows.

All-breed shows

These include competitions for over 190 breeds and varieties of dogs recognised by the AKC.

Specialty shows

These are limited to dogs of a specific breed or varieties of one breed. For instance, the Bulldog Club of America

Specialty is only for Bulldogs, while the Poodle Club of America’s specialty show includes all three Poodle varieties: Standard, Miniature, and Toy.

Group shows

These are for dogs belonging to one of the seven groups. For example, the Potomac Hound Group show features only breeds from the Hound group.

How Does a Dog Show Awards Work?

Dog shows are elimination competitions where one dog remains undefeated and is named Best in Show. Dogs are judged on how well they meet their breed’s official standard, not against each other directly.

Breed Level Competition:

Division by Sex and Class

Each breed is divided into males and females, and further into classes. Males are judged first, then females. Classes include:

  • Puppy
  • Twelve-to-Eighteen Months
  • Novice
  • Amateur-Owner-Handler
  • Bred-by Exhibitor
  • American-Bred
  • Open

Judging and Placements

In each class, dogs are awarded placements:

  • First place: Blue ribbon
  • Second place: Red ribbon
  • Third place: Yellow ribbon
  • Fourth place: White ribbon

Winners Dog

All first-place male dogs compete for the title of Winners Dog, earning Championship points and a purple ribbon.

Reserve Winners Dog

The dog that placed second in the class from which the Winners Dog emerged, along with the remaining first-place dogs, competes for Reserve Winners Dog, receiving a purple and white ribbon.

The same process is repeated for female dogs to award Winners Bitch and Reserve Winners Bitch.

How to Win Your First Dog Show?

Dog Show Awards

Practice Makes Pawfect

Practicing with your dog before the show is essential. Spend quality time training together to prepare for the event.

Research the specific events your dog will be competing in. If the competition focuses on agility, start with obedience training outdoors.

Teach your dog to walk at your heel without a leash and follow your commands.

Groom to Impress

Make sure your dog looks their best to stand out. Schedule an appointment with your groomer to trim nails and freshen up their fur.

On the day of the show, give your dog a good brush to keep their coat shiny and healthy. Dress your dog in their best collar and maybe a matching lead for an extra touch.

Ensure you consider grooming tips to keep your dog clean and safe.

Distraction Training

Dog shows can be full of distractions from crowds and other dogs. Practice in busy places like town centers or parks to ensure your dog stays focused on you.

Start with a lead until you’re confident in their attention, then practice off-lead.

Don’t Forget to Bring the Essentials

Pack your dog’s favorite snacks to use as rewards and motivators during the show.

Bring a collar, and lead, and wear suitable shoes, especially for agility events where you may need to run alongside your dog.

While water is usually provided, it’s a good idea to bring your own water and bowl, especially on hot days.

Be Patient

Stay calm and encouraging with your dog, no matter how they perform.

Remember, dog shows are about more than just winning. Participating can be a rewarding experience for your dog and a great opportunity for socialization, especially for dogs that missed out on interactions during the pandemic.


Dog Show Awards

Winning your first dog show takes preparation, practice, and patience.

By spending quality time training your dog, ensuring they look their best, practicing in distracting environments, and bringing all the necessary supplies, you set yourself and your dog up for success.

Remember to stay calm and encouraging, as the experience of participating is valuable in itself. Dog shows are a wonderful opportunity for both you and your dog to learn, bond, and enjoy the company of fellow dog enthusiasts.

Whether you take home the top prize or not, the journey and the memories made along the way are what truly matter.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main types of awards given at a dog show?

The main awards in a dog show include Best in Show, Best of Breed, Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, and Reserve Winners Dog and Bitch. Dogs can also earn points towards their AKC Championship titles.

How is Best in Show determined?

Best in Show is awarded to the dog that wins its breed, group, and then competes against other group winners. This dog remains undefeated through all levels of competition and is judged as the best overall dog at the show.

What does Winners Dog and Winners Bitch mean?

Winners Dog is the title given to the best male dog in a breed, and Winners Bitch is the title for the best female dog in a breed. These winners earn points towards their AKC Championship.

How do dogs earn points towards their AKC Championship?

Dogs earn points by winning certain placements at shows. It takes fifteen points, including two major wins (three, four, or five points), awarded by at least three different judges, to become an AKC Champion of Record. The number of points awarded depends on the number of dogs competing.

What is Reserve Winners Dog and Reserve Winners Bitch?

Reserve Winners Dog and Reserve Winners Bitch are the titles given to the second-best male and female dogs in the breed, respectively. These dogs are chosen from the remaining first-place winners and the second-place dog in the class of the Winners Dog or Winners Bitch. They receive a purple and white ribbon.

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