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Dog Shows – What You Need to Know

Banned to compete in any dog exhibition, contest, or show are sick dogs, disabled dogs (crippled dogs) or dogs with testicular atrophy and also female dogs in heat or with visible signs of lactation or which are accompanied by their puppies, castrated and sterilized dogs. Dogs which are not in the catalogue cannot be judged unless problems occur for which the organising committee is responsible (problem in the printing process of the catalogue, etc.).
Dogs with docked tails or cropped ears are to be admitted to the exhibition in accordance with the legal regulations of their home countries and those of the country where the show takes place. The judging of docked and undocked or cropped and uncropped dogs must be done without any discrimination and solely in accordance with the valid breed standard.
Only the following classes are recognised at CACIB SHOWS (International Exhibitions) under FCI patronage:

  • a. Classes taken into account for the CACIB:
    • Intermediate Class (15 to 24 months, optional))
    • Open Class (from 15 months and over, compulsory)
    • Champion Class (from 15 months, compulsory)

  • To enter a dog in Champion Class, one of the following titles must have been confirmed by the day of the official closing date of entries. Proof of this, by copy, must be enclosed with the entry form.
    - International Champion of the FCI
    - National Champion (this title must have been earned in the same FCI member country with at least 2 awards).
    - National Champion from countries which are not members of the FCI may be recognized.

  • b. Classes in which the CACIB cannot be awarded:
    • Baby Class (6 to 9 months, optional)
    • Junior Class (9 to 18 months, compulsory)
    • Veteran Class (from 8 years, optional)

The decisive date in respect of age is the day prior to the date of the exhibition


EXCELLENT - may only be awarded to a dog which comes very close to the ideal standard of the breed, which is presented in excellent condition, displays a harmonious, well-balanced temperament, is of high class and has excellent posture. Its superior characteristics in respect of its breed permit that minor imperfections can be ignored; it must however have the typical features of its sex.

VERY GOOD - may only be awarded to a dog which possesses the typical features of its breed, which has well-balanced proportions and is in correct condition. A few minor faults may be tolerated but none of a morphological nature. This award can only be granted to a dog that shows class.

GOOD - is to be awarded to a dog that possesses the main features of its breed however showing faults provided these are not concealed.

SUFFICIENT - must be awarded to a dog which corresponds adequately to its breed, without possessing the generally accepted characteristics or whose physical condition leaves something to be desired.

DISQUALIFIED - must be awarded to a dog which does not correspond to the type required by the breed standard; which shows a behaviour clearly not in line with its standard or which behaves aggressively; which has testicular abnormalities; which has dental flaw or a jaw anomaly; which shows a colour and/or coat imperfection or clearly shows signs of albinism. This qualification shall also be awarded to dogs that correspond so little to a single feature of the breed that their health is threatened. It should furthermore be awarded to dogs that show eliminating faults in regard to the breed standard.

Dogs that cannot be awarded one of the above qualifications shall be released from the ring with the rating:
CANNOT BE JUDGED This rating is to be given to any dog which does not move, constantly jumps up and down on its handler or tries to get out of the ring, makes it impossible to assess the gait and the movement or avoids constantly to be examined by the judge and makes it impossible to inspect teeth, anatomy and structure, tail or testicles. This rating is also to be given if traces of operations or treatment can be observed which seem to indicate that the exhibitor wanted to deceive the judge. The same applies if the judge has ample reason to suspect operations that were intended to correct the original condition or feature (e.g.: eyelid, ear or tail). The reason why the dog was rated CANNOT BE JUDGED has to be stated in the judge’s report. The four best dogs in each class are placed provided that they have been awarded at least the qualification “VERY GOOD”.

The only dogs which can be taken into consideration for the CACIB are those which have been awarded "EXCELLENT 1st". A CACIB can only be awarded if the dog in question has been assessed as being of superior quality. The CACIB is not automatically and compulsorily linked to the “Excellent 1st”.
The Reserve CACIB is awarded to the second best dog which was given the qualification "EXCELLENT".
The judge awards CACIB and RESERVE CACIB according to the quality of the dogs without checking whether they meet the conditions regarding age and/or registration with a studbook recognised by the FCI.
Only one judge for each sex and breed carries out the granting of all awards, including CACIB, and this judge shall be appointed in advance.
The dog and the bitch which were proposed for the CACIB, the best junior dog and the best junior bitch which have received the qualification ”1st Excellent” in the Junior class, compete for the Best of Breed.

Best of Group, Best in Show, Breeders’ Group, Couple Class (Brace), Best Veteran, Best Junior (Junior Handling) must be judged by only one judge, who must be appointed in advance.

At the shows, dogs are judged according to the following rules:


  • PUPPY CLASS ( 6 - 9 months ) - descriptive evaluations: very promising (all the dogs in the class can get it and then be ranked within the class), promising and less promising.
  • JUNIOR CLASS ( 9 - 18 months ) - Best Junior Title, only the best dog in the class, i.e. only one dog per sex, the dogs are further ranked, and it can be marked with the V2, V3, V4 (if they are evaluated as excellent)...
  • INTERMEDIATE CLASS (only dogs already graded at CAC show) ( 15 - 24 months ) - CAC title (winner rated excellent), R.CAC (second best rated excellent), V3 is the third...
  • MATURE (OPEN Class) (18 months – 8 years) - CAC title (have been awarded "excellent 1st" winner), R.CAC (second best rated excellent), V3 is the third...
  • CHAMPIONS (dogs that have already won some national or international championship) – CAC title (winner rated excellent), R.CAC (second best rated excellent), V3 is the third...
  • VETERANS (8 years and over) – descriptive evaluations: excellent (5), very good (4), good (3), inadequate (unsatisfactory) (1).

- Dogs are always divided by sex, all the way to the BOB title.
- Third, fourth... dogs do not get the title, but there are marks for them (for example: V3 – rated excellent, placed 3rd in the class), but they are not noted in the stud books.

The judge has to choose the most beautiful young dog of two Best Junior dogs, because in many shows only one of the two Best Junior dogs (male and female) will later compete for the junior BIS. The same is applicable for veterans and for the youngest dogs. (This is rare within many breeds because of small number of entries, but is still can happen if the number of dogs is such that this choice can be made, then at the Specialty Shows etc.)

At the CAC shows (Federal exhibitions): All dogs from all classes, both sexes, which have obtained the title of Best Junior, then those earned CAC title, together with the winner of Veteran class, enter in Best of Breed competition – BOB (only one dog becomes BOB).

The judge may select the most beautiful dog of the opposite sex, i.e. sex that has not won BOB, and the title is BOS (for example, BOB is a male, now among females with CAC titles, then Best Junior title, and winner of Veteran class BOS dog is selected). (This is rare on our exhibitions, often at the Specialty Shows for example...)

At the CACIB SHOWS: All dogs from all classes with the CAC title participate in the competition for CACIB and R.CACIB title (males and females are still divided). It is a rule that CACIB title (most beautiful mature dog divided by sex) is awarded first, so it is the best dog of all given CACs. When selecting CACIB dog, the judge should invite R.CAC dog in its class (for example, CACIB dog was from the Champion class, for CACIB award judge introduce also R.CAC dog from Champion class who also compete for R.CACIB title), which means that of these dogs second best dog divided by sex – R.CACIB dog is selected.

At the CACIB SHOWS: All dogs, of both sexes, with the CACIB title, then those with the Best Junior title and winner of Veteran class compete for the Best of the Breed championship – BOB (only one dog becomes BOB).
The judge may select the most beautiful dog of the opposite sex – BOS dog.
At all the CAC and CACIB shows, BOB dogs go into further competition for the BIS title, but Best Junior dogs are participating also – for best young dog in the group and the best young dog at the show. The same applies for veterans and for the youngest dogs. (Although this depends on the organizers, i.e. exhibition organizer determines the program for BIS.)

Titles in the BIS are – by groups BOG (group winner), R.BOG (runner-up), BOG III (third place), and there may be also BOG IV (if the judge decides so)...
For young dogs applies the same, but with the prefix – J.BOG, JrBOG, J.BOGIII...

At the end of the exhibition, within all Group winners (BOG dogs) following titles are awarded: the BIS (winner of the show – the most beautiful dog at the show), R.BIS (runner-up), BIS III (third place), and there can also be BIS IV (if the judge decides so)... For young dogs applies the same, but with the prefix – J.BIS, JrBIS, J.BISIII...
For young dogs applies the same, but with the prefix – J.BOG, JrBOG, J.BOGIII...

At many shows (often abroad and rarely in our country, but usually at the Specialty) following titles are also awarded: the most beautiful veteran, most beautiful puppy... It is written: VeteranBIS, VeteranR.BIS, BabyBIS, BabyR.BIS...

S. Komlenski

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