AKC Conformation Classes Explained

July 13, 2012

Competition Events

A lot of class descriptions and explanations of the AKC conformation classes are confusing at best, so here’s a (very) plain English version. (to see the official ones, click here) These descriptions are in the order that they are judged.

Dogs (Male Canines)

  • 6-9 month, 9-12 month, 12-18 month:
      • Simple enough- dogs that are in that age range.
  • Novice (rarely used):
      • Dogs that haven’t won any other classes (minus puppy classes), have 0 championship points, and have not won the Novice class 3 times
  • Amateur Owner Handler
      • The owner and handler isn’t being paid to show the dog, nor have they EVER been paid to show any dogs.
  • Bred By Exhibitor
      • The person showing the dog is the owner AND bred the dog. (Bred, in this case, means owned the mother at the time of whelp)
  • American Bred
      • Made in the USA.
  • Open
      • Anyone!
  • Winners
      • Dogs that have won their class (listed above) The dog that wins this class is called Winners Dog, and advances to the Best of Breed Competition.
  • Reserve Winners
      • Dogs that have won their class AND the dog that got 2nd place to Winners Dog (above)

Bitches (female canines)

  • All Classes listed above, but the females this time.

Best of Breed Competition (one class)

  1. Champion and Grand Champions (CH or GCH)
  2. Winners Dog
  3. Winners Bitch



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About BredByBitch

Hello! My name is Dani, and I've been in the "dog world" since I was 8 years old. My mother raises and breeds Irish Wolfhounds, which was my introduction to the show ring. I showed in Junior Showmanship for many years before aging out and getting my first German Wirehaired Pointer. I live in Tucson, AZ with my German Wirehaired Pointer, Luke. Luke is my man, from my first home-bred litter of wires.

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