Examining a Dog in the Ring

Judges examine all of a dog’s body to see if it conforms to the breed’s standard.

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Q. What is the judge doing and looking for when he manually examines each dog in the ring?

A. Each breed has a standard which describes the ideal representative of that breed, from nose to tail and everything in between. When planning a litter, breeders select a pair of dogs that complement one another and will produce puppies that are an improvement over both parents.

When examining the dog’s mouth, the judge is checking for the proper bite for its breed. His hands will then run down the chest and brisket, and feel the shoulders for proper placement. Running hands down the back will ensure that it is level and the tail comes off the body at the proper angle.

In heavy-coated breeds, it is especially important that judges get their hands under all that hair to make certain that the structure of the dog is correct and in accordance with its breed standard.

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