Today we join Heart Like A Dog and co-host Terrier Torrent for the Follow-up Friday blog hop.
It’s the the blog hop that:
Lets you wrap up your week and leads you right into the weekend.
Hosted By Heart Like A Dog
This week, my posts were all about the dog show we attended last weekend, so today I am following-up a bit.
In reading comments, I realized that some readers are not familiar with how a dog show works so I am going to explain the basics of an American Kennel Club Conformation Show. These are the very basics of what you would see if you were going to watch any breed of dogs being judged. Of course there are nuances and exceptions.
Freighter Waiting For His Turn (Can You Spot Storm In The Background Being Nerved Up?)
The first thing to know is that dog shows are a process of elimination and dogs are judged against their breed standard. The standard for any particular breed is set by the members of the parent breed club. Standards may be changed from time to time, but it is not an easy process and changes must be approved by the AKC and the breed club members before they can take effect. Standards are not changed very often.
For any particular show, the dogs are entered in “classes” broken down by breed and sex. Each class has specific rules set by the American Kennel Club. For example, Freighter could have been entered in the 12-18 Month Class, but since his breeder was showing him, he was entered in the Bred By Exhibitor Class. He could have been entered in other classes such as the American Bred Class, Open Class, or the Amateur-Owner Handler Class. The class names are fairly self-explanatory regarding which dogs can be entered in each. If you want more details about the different classes, follow this link.
Detroit Kennel Club 2010–Bred by Exhibitor Dogs
Championship points are awarded to the male and female that are named Winner’s Dog and Winner’s Bitch. Winner’s Dog has defeated all of the class males and Winner’s Bitch has defeated all of the class females. There may also be Champions (or “Specials”) entered in the show, but they don’t really effect the class dogs/bitches except that should a class dog be awarded Best of Breed, any Specialss defeated would count towards the number points the Best of Breed dog would earn toward its Championship, (more on that later). Specialss are usually competing for points toward their Grand Championship and for Best of Breed, hoping to move onto the Group Competition, (Chessies are in the Sporting Group), and ultimately Best in Show. It is a big deal to be named Best of Breed, or place in the Group competition, and of course being awarded Best in Show is a huge deal!
Smokey Best Of Winners and Best Of Opposite Sex 2011–3 Point Major
Jodi wanted to know how the points are determined. Sadly, it is not quite as simple as 5 dogs defeated=5 points. Every year the AKC puts out a Point Schedule which sets out how points are calculated. It is adjusted every year based on a formula and how many dogs have competed the previous year, (not the number of dogs that enter, but the number that actually show up and compete in the shows). It is also divided geographically. Michigan used to be in a division with Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, but last year the AKC changed the divisions so that now Michigan is grouped with Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Some popular breeds get a lot of entries, say Golden Retrievers or Labrador Retrievers, so they need to defeat a lot of dogs to earn points. Some breeds are more popular in a particular geographic area so it would take more dogs defeated to earn points. On the other hand, if there are few dogs of any breed competing in a particular area, a breeder may have to travel to earn Championship points. For example, Chessies are not even listed in the Point Schedule for Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi.
The point schedule for shows held in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin is as follows:
In order to become a Champion a dog must earn 15 points, including two “majors” under two different judges. A “major” is any show where 3 or more points are awarded. Should a class dog earn Best of Breed, that dog can count all of the dogs defeated to calculate the points, (any Champions entered are counted to determine points). A dog awarded Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed can count all of the dogs of his/her sex defeated to calculate points including Champions of the same sex. The class dog or bitch designated as “Best of Winner’s” can take the points of the other sex. Sometimes there will be enough of the other sex to bump up the number of points and the “Best of Winners” will take those points.
Thunder Major Win From the 12 to 18 Month Class 5-18-2007
Thunder earned one of his two majors that way because there were enough bitches entered to make a major for them and he was awarded Best of Winners so he was also credited with a major win. Even though the Best of Winner’s may take the points of the other sex, the other sex does not forfeit the major, both the dog and the bitch were awarded a major win.
Thunder Best Of Winner’s–A 3 Point Major
Are you confused yet? If you are interested in learning all the nuances of dog shows, check out the AKC Rule Book.
Raisingdaisy and Val wanted to know :
When a dog is eliminated at any point, can the owner or handler find out why so they know what to work on?
This is a great question; however, since this post is quite long and it is not a simple answer, I post about this next week.
One more question about picture taking at the show:
Sand Spring Chesapeakes wanted to know if I used the sport setting on my camera to take the pictures at the show. I did not. I used the “P” or “Program AE” setting. The reason I did not use the Sport setting is because it will not show the focus points in the view finder and I find that if I am careful with picking the correct focus point, my pictures are less blurry. “Program AE” on my camera will automatically set the exposure, however I can make changes to Aperture and Shutter Speed should I feel the need. One other change that I made from Saturday to Sunday is that instead on setting the camera’s drive for low-speed continuous shooting, I changed it to high-speed continuous shooting and it worked much better to get the dogs in motion since they are moving so fast!
As you can see from these two pictures, my new camera works much, much better to capture fast moving dogs in low light.
Thunder 2010–Old Camera
Freighter 2013–New Camera
This has been a bear of a week for me. I am looking forward to this weekend. Have a nice one!
Unfortunately, I was unable to get the link code to insert in this post. To check out the others in the hop, go to either co-host.