Conformation Classes at the Regional Specialty

The Regional Specialty will host a variety of conformation classes allowing exhibitors and breed fanciers alike to get a look at the breeding stock being shown in the area or a look at some of the older dogs who produced the up-and-coming dogs. (Conformation means the judge is looking for the dog(s) that best conform to the Breed Standard.)

Please note, The Wine Country show will include Supported Entries for PWDs on all three show days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

There is no better place to learn about your breed of choice than at a Regional Specialty or National Specialty. Specialties are your best opportunity to spend time with others who share your interest and love of the breed.

Conformation classes generally start with the 4-6 month puppy class which allows the babies to strut their stuff, get some ring experience and have fun. The winners are awarded Best of Breed and Best Opposite Sex

Next are the Sweepstakes classes. These classes are specifically designed to recognize outstanding puppies and young dogs in the Puppy Sweeps and older dogs in the Veteran Sweeps. A different judge from regular breed classes is assigned to judge these dogs. Classes are generally divided by age with puppies in 6-9 month or 9-12 month and 12-18 month for junior pups in both dogs and bitches. The Best puppy from each class competes for Best of Breed and Best Opposite Sex to Best of Breed in Sweepstakes.

Veteran Sweepstakes classes are generally divided by age for both dogs and bitches, 7 years to under 10 years, 10 years to under 13 years and over 13 years of age. (Please note, it is ALWAYS appropriate to applaud when Veterans are in the ring.) The winners of these classes then compete for Best of Breed and Best Opposite Sex in Veteran Sweepstakes. The class placements and winners of the puppy and veteran sweepstakes classes all receive a portion of the entries for each division.

Our Sweepstakes (both Puppy and Veteran) judge will be, Wendy Corr.

Next up are the Breed classes which again are divided by sex and a variety of classes.

  • 6-9 month puppy
  • 9-12 month puppy
  • 12-18 month puppy
  • Novice class – dog has not previously won 3 1st places ribbons)
  • Bred-By-Exhibitor
  • American Bred
  • Open

All the 1st place winners in each sex compete for the winner and reserve winner (Winners Dog/Bitch, Reserve Winners dog/bitch). The Winners will go on to the breed ring and compete for Best of winners and Best Opposite Sex or Best of Breed.

Next come the non-regular classes divided by sex which include Veteran (7 and under 10 yrs, Veteran 10 and under 13, a 2023rd Veteran over 13 years) and working (limited to dogs and bitches with a water title). The winners of these non-regular classes also go into the breed ring to compete with the champions of record entered for Breed, Best Opposite Sex or an Award of Merit. This is the finale of the specialty breed classes and the big winner is Best of Breed, next is Best Opposite Sex, either the Winners Dog or Bitch gets selected for Best of Winners, then other Champions entered in Best of Breed class vie for Select Dog and Select Bitch. Honorable mentions get an Award of Merit. After Best of Breed there are more non regular classes including, Best Working, Best Bred By Exhibitor, Best Puppy, Best Veteran, Brood bitch and Stud dog.

Our Breed judge will be Diane Collings.

Please note, you may enter the Conformation Show with the form in the Premium List, or you may go online to services such as to make entries. These entries go directly to the AKC and are not paid through the Regional Specialty. Entry fees are shown in the Premium List.

More information can be found at AKC; How to Select a Conformation Dog Show Class – American Kennel Club (