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10 Facts That Will Change The Way You See Dog Shows

Written by: Scott H
Scott Haiduc is the Director of Publishing for iHeartDogs, iHeartCats and The Hero Company. When not working, Scott spends his time on the farm, taking care of his animals and crops.Read more
| Published on March 15, 2016

When it comes to dogs, we all love our pup. In our eyes they are without a doubt the best dog in the world. No matter what anyone says, we know this to be a fact. But, if you’ve ever watched a dog show, you’ve probably wondered how your dog would compare. The thing is, even if you’ve seen a dog show winner, you probably have no idea how they won. Dog shows are a little confusing, but we have 10 facts that will clear things up and they may help you learn if your dog has what it takes to be best in show.


1. American Dog Shows Originated In The 1870’s

To understand the point of dog shows, you need to understand where they started. Shows are believed to have started in the 1870’s in New York, when sporting gentleman would gather. Each man would tell stories of their dog, and each gentleman argued that their dog was the “best” overall. In their competitive nature, the men began to compare their dog to the others.

2.  There Are 9 Different Groupings A Dog Can Fall Under

To best judge a dog, the dog must first be placed in a group to decide if it is the best of it’s group. A group is essentially the type of dog it is. The groups include herding, hound, non-sporting, sporting, terrier, toy, working, foundation stock, and miscellaneous.

3. Only A Little More Than 150 Breeds Are Recognized

Before you go rushing to the dog show to enter your dog in one of the 9 groups, understand that not all breeds are recognized. It’s important to see if your dog falls in one of the approved breeds, which can change each year. In the first ever official show there were only 35 approved breeds, so recognition has come a long way.

4. A Dog Is Judged On 14 Different Attributes

Judges base their decisions on the following, balance: overall appropriate proportions and size, weight: which needs to be considered healthy, size, eyes: including color,size, shape, head shape, muzzle: shape and length, whisker thickness, teeth: kind of bite, tail: how it arches and sets, shoulders: bone and muscle, legs: muscles, stance and proportionality, coat: texture and length, color: accepted breed colors.

5. The Way A Dog Moves Around Could Make Or Break A Champion

When you see the dog prancing around in a circle, you might not be sure why. The reason is a that judgments are being made on the dogs gait. Gait is the action/movement of the dog. Gait is judged when the dogs are running around the ring and helps to show proper (or improper!) structure and conformation. For instance a certain dog like a beagle is expected to move cheerfully, where a poodle may move more proudly.

6. There Are 3 Main Placements

The dog show placements can be quite confusing. To enjoy a televised show, you really just need to know the following:

Best of Breed – The dog was chosen as being the best representative of his breed (won first place).

Best In Group – The dog that won Best of Breed, goes on to compete with all other breeds in his group (see below). The dog that wins “Best in Group” is the dog that best represents his breed compared to all the other dogs in the same group.

Best In Show – After winning Best In Group, these dogs go on to compete for Best In Show. The dog that wins is the dog that the judge feels best represents his own breed at that show.

7. Not All Show Dogs Are Young

If you think your pup is beyond it’s prime years, keep in mind the oldest dog to ever win (a sussex spaniel), was 10 years, 2 months and 9 days old. The dog won the 2009 Westminster Dog Show in 2009, proving dogs can age gracefully, especially if given the right nutrients.

8.  Dog Shows Won’t Make You Rich

Competing in a dog show can be expensive. The dedication owners put in, through both time and money doesn’t always have a great monetary return. Most compete because they love their dog and the competition. The shows can get expensive, when factor flights, hotels, training etc. Most shows don’t offer huge prize returns.

9. Show Proceeds Are Often Donated

The reason for the lack of huge financial gain, comes in part from the fact that dog shows like Westminster donate a significant amount of money to important causes like the ASPCA. During WWI and WWII much of the proceeds from the shows were given to the Red Cross. Which, means that dog shows can save both dog and human lives!

10. The Last 10 Westminster Dog Shows Winners Had The Same Diet

The dogs who win major competitions like the Westminster Dog Show aren’t just sitting around all day practicing looking good. These dogs have healthy well-balanced diets and are also active. The champs have been using Purina Pro Plan to fuel their championship runs. The beauty of Purina, is that it’s readily available to all. This isn’t some secret recipe that you and I aren’t able to get. We can help our little champions through a champion-like diet and staying active with them. Ultimately, these two things are the foundation for creating a healthy and happy dog and after all, isn’t that what makes them the best dog in the world to us?

But it gets better, right now if you share a picture of you and your dog being active, you can win A YEAR’S SUPPLY OF PURINA! Entering is simple. Just hop on Twitter or Instagram share a photo of you and your dog being active with the hashtag #MyChampSweepstakes. It’s easy and the Purina will go a long way in making your dog live a healthier life.

If you want to get your pup started on Purina Pro Plan now, just click here or click on the image below to take a quick quiz and receive a $5 off coupon.







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