Best In Show

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Like all sporting events, dog shows have their own unique set of rules and terminology. The following is a helpful list of terms associated with the sport.

Best In ShowAngulation: Angles created by bones meeting at their joints. 
Abby thinks Gem has perfect angles

Armband: The number worn on the handler's left arm that corresponds to the number listed in the official show catalog. 
Gem's winning number is 22

Bait: The food or object the handler uses to focus the dog's attention or to have it look alert in the ring. 
Gem likes little pieces of liver

Best of Breed: The dog judged as the best representative of the breed.
Gem was best of breed before she won the group and best in show.  Yeah, a beautiful ribbon!

Breed Standard: Official written description of the ideal dog of each AKC-recognized breed, as specified by the breed's parent club. Includes characteristics that allow the breed to perform the function for which it was bred and outlines the structure, form, movement, coat, and temperament of the breed. Dog show judging is a comparison of dogs to this established standard.
Best In ShowShow poodles have to have so many things right…conformation, expression, gait and temperment…just like Gem!

Breeder: A breeder of a particular dog is the person who owned the dam (mother) at the time she was bred to produce that dog.
Wendell is an expert breeder as well as handler

Catalog: Official listing of all dogs entered in the show, categorized by breed. Each breed is divided first by sex for class judging of non-champions. Next, champions are listed in the Best of Breed class. The catalog assigns each dog a number and follows with the dog's name, AKC registration number, date of birth, parentage, and ownership.

Champion: An AKC title conferred upon a dog that has earned 15 points in competition as a result of defeating a specified number of dogs at a series of AKC dog shows.
Abby knew all along Gem was champion material

Conformation: The form, structure, shape, and arrangement of the parts of a dog, as they relate and conform to the written standard of the breed.

Exhibitor: Someone whose dog is entered and shown at a dog show.
Wendell and Abby both were exhibitors

Expression: The general appearance of all features of the head.

Gait: Pattern of movement of the dog. Can be described as gallop, trot, walk, or hackney. Gait is a good indicator of structure, temperament, and condition. 
Poodles are supposed to have a light, springy gate, like Gem

Groups: All AKC-recognized breeds are a member of one of seven groups:
Sporting (dogs developed for the hunting of feathered game); Hound (dogs commonly used for hunting by sight or scent); Working (dogs used to pull carts, guard property, and for search and rescue work); Terrier (dogs originally used to hunt vermin); Toy (dogs characterized by very small size); Non-Sporting (diverse group of multi-functional dogs not generally regarded to be game hunters); and Herding (group of dogs whose main duty is to drive livestock from one place to another).
Gem is in the Non-Sporting group

Best In ShowGrooming: Making the dog's appearance adhere to the standard by bathing, brushing, combing, trimming, etc. 
This is Abby’s favorite part and Gem loves all the attention, especially the bubble bath!

Handler: A person or agent who takes a dog into the show ring or who works the dog at a field trial or other performance.
Wendell is an expert handler

Heel: A command to a dog to keep close beside its handler.

Judge: An official approved by the AKC to judge dogs at AKC events.

Junior Handler: Person between the ages of 9 and 18 who competes in an AKC-sponsored class called Junior Showmanship. Junior handlers are judged on their ability to show and handle their dog, not on the quality of the dog.

Pedigree: The written record of a dog's family tree of three or more generations.
Gem’s mother and father were champions, too

Points: Credits earned toward a championship.
Gem got her 15 points when she was still a puppy. You are a puppy until you are one year old

Purebred: A dog whose sire and dam belong to the same breed and are themselves of unmixed descent since the recognition of the breed.

Register: To record a dog's parentage with the AKC.

Soundness: Mental and physical well-being.

Stack: To position the dog in a natural standing position or pose. 
Gem stacked naturally when she was a pup!

Winners: An award given to the best dog (Winners Dog) and best bitch (Winners Bitch) competing in regular classes. The Winners are the only dogs of that breed who are awarded championship points on that day.
Gem earned enough of these to win her championship

Definitions taken from

Best In Show