What is Conformation?

Conformation is the process of establishing the standard for a particular dog breed. It is overseen by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) through judging at shows and sets the standards required to establish a pedigree line.

What is Involved?

“During a championship show, dogs each await their turn for time in front of the judge, who assesses them on their conformation, movement and temperament. The judge will select which exhibit they think is the most like the standard that is specified by the ANKC.

The standard is the set of qualities that breeders are aiming to breed into each litter; often referred to as the blue print for each breed. It specifies what colour, shape, length and height they should be, what their coat should be like and how they should move, behave and so on. This is to define how the dog will best suit its original purpose.

Thus the judge’s role on the day is to find the dog that best represents its specified standard. The best dog and bitch for each breed selected on the day are awarded the “Challenge”, as well as points which they accumulate towards their Australian Championship title. The best example of each breed will then compete against the other “Best of Breed” winners within their group.

There are seven groups, broken into types of breeds; Toys, Terriers, Gun Dogs, Hounds, Working Dogs, Utility and Non-Sporting. The seven dogs selected as the “Best Exhibit in Group” for each group will then compete for the highly sought after prize of “Best Exhibit in Show”. ”

By Alisha Van Vliet