Beginner's Guide Page 3

The Role of the Judge

Judges examine the dogs, then give awards according to how closely each dog compares to the judge's mental image of the "perfect" dog described in the breed's official standard. 

The standard describes the characteristics that allow the breed to perform the function for which it was bred. These standards include specifications for structure, temperament and movement. 

The official written standard for each breed is maintained by the breed's national club and is included in the The Complete Dog Book published by the AKC. 

The judges are experts on the breeds they are judging. They examine ("go over") each dog with their hands to see if the teeth, muscles, bones and coat texture conform to the breed's standard. They view each dog in profile for overall balance, and watch each dog gait ("move") to see how all of those features fit together in action.