Best of Breed
Best of Breed is the
title given to the
has been judged the best representative specimen of its
Dogs compete in a
fashion at each show, where winners at lower levels are gradually combined to
narrow the winners until the final round, where
Show is chosen.
Each breed is divided into classes based on sex and age. Dogs (males)
are judged first, in their age classes. Within one breed, there are puppies
(dogs under a certain age), mature male dogs (subdivided by age into junior,
limit (or intermediate) and open); bitches (female
dogs) have corresponding classes. At some events, usually single-breed or
shows, there may be a baby puppy class (typically under three months
old) which is usually contested after the adult classes as a ploy to keep
spectators interested. Baby puppies are not eligible for Best of Breed and are
judged largely on their ‘cuteness’ factor, as young puppies from many breeds
look very much alike and their
conformation is most likely not yet evident.
The winners of all classes in each sex compete for Challenge (best) Dog
and Challenge Bitch; the individuals who will challenge each other
for the accolade Best of Breed. The remaining class winners are joined by
the runner-up from the class from which the challenge winner was selected and
there are competitions for second place in each gender, called Reserve
Challenge Dog and Reserve Challenge Bitch. This is for fairness, as
one class may contain a stronger field of specimens of the breed. If the judge
believes that this is the case, the Challenge Dog and Reserve Challenge Dog, for
example, may both be from the same class.
From the two finalists (Challenge Dog and Challenge Bitch) is selected Best
of Breed. The runner-up is deemed Best of Opposite Sex. There is then a
run-off in which the second best individual in the gender of the winner (the
Reserve Challenge from the same gender as the BOB) is brought back to stand
against the Best of Opposite Sex (the Challenge who did not win) for the
title of Runner-up to Best of Breed. So, if for example the Best of Breed
is the Challenge Bitch, the Runner-up to Best of Breed may be the Challenge Dog
or the Reserve Challenge Bitch if, in the judge’s opinion, the
competing bitches were superior to the competing dogs.
In some breeds, the males and females of the breed have decidedly different
appearances, and it is often the males who have the quintessential look
of the breed (females may be smaller, have less ‘coat’
and feminine or less pronounced features. The judge must set personal preference
aside and decide objectively whether the bitch is a better example of the female
of the breed than the dog is an example of the male.
In multi-breed and all-breed shows, the winners of
all breeds within the
breed groupings then compete for
General Specials . So, for example, all the
Terrier Group breed winners compete to determine Best
(sometimes called Best in Group). The group winners (in some countries nicknamed
The Magnificent Seven ’) go on to compete for Best in Show. In
large shows, there are so many competitors that General Specials must be
held on a different day, for which the Best of Breed winners must return.
The audience at a dog show is expected to be participatory and vocal, and
often applaud the silkiest, fluffiest or more popular breeds while ignorant of
breed requirements. Those who are owners and
cheer for a popular handler or a sympathetic favourite from a particular
the judge is supposed to ignore all attempts to influence the decision.
The value of titled dogs and their progeny increases greatly with the
attainment of a title. Because of the subjective nature of judging and the
politics involved in any judged competition, some breeders feel that it is next
to impossible for dogs in their chosen breed to win Best in Group or Best in
Show. For these reasons, Best of Breed is the often the most
highly-coveted title among fanciers.
| Best of Breed
| Breed Clubs
| Breed Standard
| Champion Dog
| Companion Dog Title
| Conformation Point
| Dog Groups
| Dog Showmanship
| General Specials
| Gundog Group
| Herding Group
| Hound Group
| Nonsporting Group
| Novelty Show
| Show Dogs
| Working Groups
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