In dog shows, judges imagine the dog doing the job it was bred to do. They look for special traits that help each breed do its job, such as legs that are good at digging, running fast or scrambling underground.
People often prize specific looks, so judges also look for certain fur colors or eye colors. They might look for especially valued ear or tail shapes.
Today, most people want their dogs to be good companions. We don’t need as many rat chasers or sheepherders today. But even though most modern dogs don’t need to do the jobs their ancestors did, judges still look for the dogs’ ability to do the jobs.
Best in Show
In the Westminster show, the dog breeds are divided into seven groups: sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, nonsporting and herding. The Best of Breed winners go on to compete in one of these seven groups.
Then, the winners of these groups go on to compete for the top honor, Best in Show.
Two new breeds competed this year: the Russell terrier and the treeing Walker coonhound.