The official term for dog shows is conformation — as in, the act of conforming or producing conformity. While a dog show may look like a beauty pageant, it’s not. Dogs are not being compared to each other; they’re being measured by how closely they conform to the standard of their particular breed. Why? Because the closer a dog’s appearance is to the breed’s standard, the better that dog’s ability will be to produce puppies that meet the standard. It’s also the reason why mixed breeds and spayed or neutered purebreds are ineligible to compete in conformation.
As one of the most popular AKC events, conformation events range from large all-breed shows, with over 3,000 dogs entered, to small local specialty club shows that feature only one breed, known as a Regional Specialty. The GPCA National Specialty is just Great Pyrenees and is held over a number of days. You will see puppies as young as 6 months entered in puppy classes to veterans still loving to compete at 10 years plus!