The Golden Retriever Club Inc.
New Zealand

What the Judge looks for

  • Written Standard- Dog shows began as a way of comparing top dogs and identifying superior breeding stock. Each breed has a written standard describing the ideal specimen of that breed; breeds were developed by man to perform specific duties. As such, a dog’s physical characteristics relate form to function.

    The written standard describes the ideal structure for the breed. For example, a greyhound is a sight Hound that pursues and brings down game, so he needs to be built for speed. A deep chest, with plenty of room for heart and lungs; a lean, powerful, aerodynamic body; and an unencumbered line of sight are among the traits that allow the performance of their function.

    If a dog is a Terrier, he needs a strong spirit and a protective coat to go to the ground to chase vermin. Most standards are very specific about details such as: eye placement, shape and colour; ear structure and shape; the proportion of the body (long, square, tall, and short), feet and tail - and more.
  • Breed History - Every judge must know the history of a breed and what he was bred to do to best understand how form and function must come together in the show ring. They must also know the standard for each particular breed being judged and apply that to each individual animal. At conformation shows, a dog doesn’t get the chance to perform its duties, yet the judge must envision the dog doing so.


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