Conformation is one of the most popular American Kennel Club (AKC) events, and it’s more than just a beauty pageant for dogs. While the dogs have to be groomed impeccably, the competition lies in how well each individual dog conforms, or matches up to, the breed standard as established by the AKC. The event is open to all breeds recognized by the AKC, and can range from specialty shows focused on a particular breed or class of dog, or a more general show where dogs of any recognized breed can enter.
Why is conformation important? Because the closer a dog’s appearance to the breed standard, the more likely that dog is to produce puppies that also meet the standard and have other desirable genetic traits. It’s also the reason mixed breeds, and spayed or neutered purebreds are ineligible to compete in this event.