What is a Conformation Dog Show?
Conformation dog shows are a venue in which owners and breeders may exhibit their dogs to be evaluated by an AKC certified judge on how well they conform to a breed standard. Conformation shows were first created to evaluate breeding stock; therefore they are only open to intact male and female dogs (with a few exceptions). Like many areas of the competitive dog world, judging can be largely subjective as an individual judge interprets a given breed standard. This allows for friendly competition among those who cherish this amazing breed. Above all, a conformation show is a competitive event that brings breed enthusiasts together to enjoy each others' dogs in the ring.
Most conformation shows are all-breed shows in which individuals compete within their breed. In these shows, the best of breed winning dogs then move on to compete in their respective Group, and Group winning dogs move on to compete for Best in Show. A Specialty show is a show that can be associated with an all breed show or can be a stand alone event. Specialty shows are specific to a single breed and confers the honor of Best in Specialty Show to the dog winning Best of Breed. These Specialty shows are hosted by breed clubs. They are often accompanied by a Sweepstakes competition that showcases young dogs and veteran dogs under a separate judge. To the casual observer, the main difference between a Specialty show and an all-breed weekend show are the lovely prizes associated with Specialties.
The RMVC hosts two Specialty conformation shows per year with associated Sweepstakes and Supported Entry events. Outside of our Specialty weekends you can often times find an RMVC member with their vizsla in the ring at local Colorado all breed shows -- and we are always excited to meet those new to the breed!
AKC "Getting Started Showing"