Columbia Basin Dog Training Club - Richland, WA and Surrounding Area


Conformation in purebred dogs refers to the judging of the externally visible details of a dog’s structure, appearance, movement/gait, and temperament as defined in detail by each dog breed’s written breed standard. The
AKC Glossary explains conformation as “The form and structure, make and shape; arrangement of the parts in conformance with breed standards.”

The breed standard is not a checkbox list of requirements, but rather a description, giving a detailed “word picture” of an idealized dog of that breed.

A dog that conforms to most of the items of description in its individual breed standard is said to have good conformation.

Conformation in dogs is based on the dog type from which the breed developed, along with many details that have been added to the breed standard for purposes of differentiation from other breeds, for working reasons, or for enhancing the beauty of the animals from the viewpoint of the fanciers who wrote the breed standards.

Requirements for documentation, genetic testing, health testing, testing for particular styles of work or fitness for particular dog sports or requirements for training are beyond the scope of a breed standard, and are instead developed as breeder guidelines by breed clubs, kennel clubs, or even by national agricultural department rules.

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