What is the purpose of dog shows?

For each breed the AKC registers, there is a breed standard which is a word description of the ideal dog of that breed. Standards describe the physical and mental characteristics that allow each breed to perform the function for which they were developed. The standard describes the dog’s appearance, structure, movement and temperament. Breeders involved with each breed are attempting to produce a dog that most closely conforms to the breed standard. In this respect, dog shows are not unlike cat shows, bird shows, cattle shows, horse shows, etc. In fact, for almost every species bred by man there are competitions among breeders. AKC approved judges examine the dogs and place them in accordance to how close each dog compares with their mental image of the “ideal” dog as described in the breed’s official standard. Conformation competition is comparing the dogs in the ring to the standard describing how the dogs should look. Winning at conformation is the road to obtaining the Champion title. After obtaining their Championship dogs may continue on to Grand Championship and to earn rankings in their breed or group.

Read the Official AKC Breed Standard for the Lhasa Apso.

Read How to Get Started in Dog Shows.