There is a lot to an All-Breed Dog Show, and learning all the details can be confusing! It is important to remember that it is OK to be confused, and overwhelmed your first time attending, and there is always someone who is willing to help explain things. Just ask! FOr now, we are going to try and give you a quick explanation of things and how you will see them work. Here we go...
Let's start with the beginning, which are called 'The Classes'...
The classes are for dogs who are trying to obtain their championship. To begin with all dogs in the classes are divided by age categories, and by sex with male dogs always being judged first. The classes move like this until we get to Best of Breed!
There are five general classes, remember, we do these for each sex:
This is the dog shows BIG finally! A lot of the time the show club will add to the excitement by making the ring bigger for this competition, thus giving the dogs lots of room to move!
All seven dogs that were awarded the Best of their group enter the ring for Best in Show. Usually the Ring Steward calls the dogs in to the ring in Group order, starting with the Sporting Group and ending with the Herding Group. The judge then looks at these dogs, once again, just like they have for every dog on that day... with a physical exam and by moving the dog. Dogs are moved as individuals and in a group. Most times, the judge likes to put in a bit of a Show while doing this, making sure each dog gets plenty of time to strut it's stuff and to build the excitement! The judge will bring out the BIG ribbon when it comes time to point to that special dog!
Sometimes, there is also an award called Reserve Best In Show that will be given before the Best in Show award to the dog that is next best to the BIS dog.
And finally, there is a the Best Puppy in Show competition! The same thing happens here where seven puppies, one from each group, are called in to the big ring for the big award!
sometimes there are classes that are 'Unofficial' in nature held. They are used for fun and to recognize dogs that are unable to compete in the 'Official' classes listed above. These classes are:
Veterans Class: for all dogs over 7 years of age.
Baby Puppy Class: For puppies that are between 3 and 6 months of age.
We are not going to discuss these classes here for the sake of simplicity.