Dog shows promote the development of dogs that meet the Golden Retriever standard; the standard dictates that they must be shown in hard working condition. They must meet the breed standard in all areas and have no disqualifying faults. See breed standard for details.

A show dog receives training in all show ring procedures. Dogs must learn to be examined by strangers, to ignore other dogs, and to move around the ring and stand still to show their best advantage. The show dogs also have a personality or presence which somehow makes them stand out as "showy."

At a dog show, dogs (males) and bitches (females) compete. Dog classes and bitch classes are judged separately; the dog classes are judged prior to the bitch classes. Both Winners Dog and Winners Bitch accrue points toward a championship. To become a champion requires at least 15 points, earned under at least three different judges, and two "majors". The two majors must be under two different judges. Majors are determined by the number of dogs entered according to an AKC schedule generated by geographical areas.

The judge looks at the dogs to quickly appraise them and then sends all the dogs around the ring together at a trot to watch their collective movement. The judge evaluates each dog individually, checking for the dog that comes closest to the standard. After physically going over the dog, the judge watches the dog move in a designated pattern to determine the dog that moves closest to the movement described in the standard. The temperament, structure, movement, and overall balance of the dog are clearly delineated in the standard, and each dog is judged against the breed standard, not against the other dogs in the ring. Overall appearance, balance, gait, and purpose are given more emphasis than any single component. Once all the entries have been examined and gaited, the judge selects the top four placements, based on which dogs come closest to the Golden Retriever standard in all aspects.

This procedure is followed in all of the different classes for dogs and bitches. The winners of each of the classes then enter the ring to compete for "Winners Dog" and "Winners Bitch," selected in the same manner as the winners of the classes. The winners are each awarded 1-5 points toward a championship, based upon the number of dogs defeated that day. Both Winners Dog and Winners Bitch then enter the ring with the "finished" Champions being shown and all compete for "Best of Breed." Again, this award is presented to the dog closest to the judge's interpretation of the standard, only this time the sexes are judged together. Once Best of Breed has been determined, the judge selects the "Best of Opposite Sex," awarded to the dog which most closely meets the standard but is not of the same sex as the Best of Breed. Finally, the judge selects the "Best of Winners," either the Winners Dog or the Winners Bitch.

There may be special prizes for these three wins, but only the Best of Breed may go on to compete against other breeds for Group placements and Best in Show. Group placements accrue points toward achieving recognition in the Golden Retriever Club of America Show Dog Hall of Fame.

At a match, dogs compete but are not awarded points towards their championships. Typically, matches are where breeders and owners begin showing puppies before they are old enough to compete in AKC sanctioned dog shows.

The Long Island Golden Retriever Club hosts an Independent Specialty Show & Obedience Trial and Rally Trial every February. This event draws exhibitors from across the country with some of the most beautiful Goldens prior to their appearance in the American Kennel Club Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

We also have a match show see the link to match shows.

Resources

The AKC Beginner's Guide to Dog Shows

AKC Show search

Dog Show Superintendents’ Association

InfoDog

Jim Rau Dog Shows

Everything Golden

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