Striving for correct, healthy, performance-driven, versatility

Dog Shows

The American Kennel Club is the Nations most oldest and largest dog breed registry.  The AKC is considered the "Gold Standard" in dog breed registries. Semper Fi Ridgebacks gain all of their championship points from American Kennel Club sanctioned events.

Many people do not understand what a dog show is, and that it really does have a purpose. The biggest, most important thing about a dog show is the people who are breeding dogs. They are not just breeders. The word breeders has been associated with everyone from people who run puppy mills, and those who carelessly breed dogs of unknown lineage. Those involved in the fancy, are not aimlessly mating two dogs together. They are working and striving toward preserving their breed and the characteristics that are so important to the purpose of each individual breed. After all if we didn't adhere to the breed standard, our Ridgebacks would no longer look or act like Ridgebacks.... but something completely unrecognizable. That is why it is so important to only breed dogs who conform closely to the breed standard, and only buy a puppy from someone who knows what they are looking at, and who is testing their breeding dogs for genetic diseases and conditions.

Dogs were individually designed by humans to complete a specific task. Most of the time now, dogs are pets or companions, but it wasn't always this way. In the past for example, a hunting dog who didn't hunt, was destroyed, or otherwise prevented from contributing to the gene pool. After all if the dog couldn't serve its intended purpose, there was no need to continue that particular bloodline.


A dog show is a sanctioned sporting event put on by a local club with approval from the American Kennel Club. The purpose of a dog show is to evaluate breeding stock. This is why the dog must be registered with the AKC, and be an intact animal. Animals who have been altered (spayed or neutered) cannot be evaluated, as they are no longer an active member of the gene pool.
During a dog show, each breed is judged against others of the same breed and sex. They are compared to their particular breed's written standard (which is compiled by the breed's national club). The judge examines the dogs one at a time, and watches as they gait (or trot) around the ring with their handler. The judge is looking for muscle tone, and structure. They are also looking at how well the dogs move, according the their specific breed standard. A Ridgeback should have an easy flowing gait that denotes power and beauty. There should be no wasted energy.

For a dog or bitch to receive a conformation Championship, they must acquire at least 15 points. These points must come from either winning best of breed, winner's dog or winner's bitch. No points are gained from winning your particular class. Of those 15 points, they must have included at least two major wins of 3 points or more. The number of dogs or bitches entered in the classes determines how many points a dog or bitch will receive for winning. The number of dogs required varies from each region within the United States.

The dog shows you see televised on Animal Planet or the BBC, are a small fraction of what goes on every single weekend throughout the nation in small cities and towns. Many dog shows are held indoors in a large building similar to an empty warehouse, while others are held outdoors at a local fairgrounds or events center. The Westminister show is largely dogs that have a lot of money put into them. That's not to say that breeders don't show their dogs at these high visibility shows, but most of the time, it's a dog that has been on the road for a long time, with a lot of money put into them who takes the win. It's pure politics, just like most other sports.

Below are some photos of me showing my dogs and other dogs. I have been asked many times to help friends show their dogs, and I always agree because it only improves my own handling skills for the ring, and helps them out as well.

 Click Here to see some Dog Show Lingo Terms

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