Conformation event

Awards in Conformation (Ribbons, rosettes…)

Awards given in a conformation event are assigned in function of classes, sexes, breeds and groups of dogs.

We all know the meaning of breed and sex of a dog. However, to help us understand the course of a conformation event, it is necessary to also have a brief overview of what is the meaning of classes and groups.


Dogs first compete according to their classes and sexes.The main classes are:

Junior puppy (from 6 to 9 months).
Senior puppy (from 9 to 12 months).
12-18 months.
 Canadian bred.
 Bred by the exhibitor.
Open (no matter the age, place of birth or rearing).
• Specials


Breeds are divided in seven groups in Canada:

1. Sporting dogs
2. Hound dogs
3. Working dogs
4. Terriers
5. Toy dogs
6. Non-Sporting dogs
7. Herding dogs

How winners are determined

Dogs competing are examined and compared with the official standard of the breed and also with other dogs of the same breed. The judge proceeds by way of elimination to determine the winners. The sequence of award distribution during a conformation event may seem confusing to the newcomers, so let’s try to make it easier…

We have to remember that during an event, winners are first determined according to their sex in one of the classes (6-9 months, Bred by, Open…). A male Winner and a female Winner for every classes. Afterward, the winners of every single class will compete for the award of Winner Male and Winner Female of all the different classes.

Along with the Winner male and the Winner female (of all classes) only males and females already Champions (Specials) will be in competition for the award of  Best of Breed. A price will also be awarded for the Best of Breed of the opposite sex. For example, if the Best of Breed is a female, a selection will be made for the best male competing to determine the Best of Opposite Sex. The Best of Winners and the Best Puppy of the breed will also be chosen at this time by the judge.

All of the Best of Breed will then compete at the group level to which their breed belongs. The winner will be awarded Best in Group and Best Puppy in Group.

Every Best in Group will then compete for the ultimate honor of a conformation event: Best in Show and Best Puppy in Show.