I’ve been writing for NZ Dog World magazine since 2010; this is the magazine of Dogs New Zealand (formerly known as the NZ Kennel Club).
For those of you who have heard of shows like the Westminster Dog Show, but have never been to a dog show, here are some basic terms:
Handler, agent, or exhibitor (depending on what country you’re in)
This is the person who shows the dog in the ring. The handler isn’t necessarily the dog’s owner and in high-stakes shows like Westminster, the handler may be paid to show the dog.
Usually treats or a toy that the handler uses to get a dog’s attention or to have the dog look alert in the ring
Best in Show
The final award which is presented to the dog that is judged to be the best of all dogs shown
A dog show which judges the dogs against a breed standard
A type of conformation show that is limited to a single group of dog such as Hunting Dogs or Sporting Dogs
A type of conformation show that is limited to either a single breed or a group of breeds, such as terriers
The posing of the dog in a natural standing position for evaluation by the show’s judge
Kathleen Crisley, Fear-Free certified professional and specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand