GreatMountain Chinooks
"Loyal friends to the end of the trail"


Participating in conformation shows helps promote the breed by allowing people to see and meet the dog and gives the breeder valuable information about the dogs they are producing and breeding. The conformation judge looks at the overall structure of the dog to see if they meet the Chinook standard. The judge feels the dog to check muscle, coat quality and physical structure. The judge watches as the dog gaits to see if the dog's back maintains its integrity while working, if the dog has good extension when it thrusts its paws forward and if the dog is generally fit to perform the function it was bred to perform. Here are some examples of the above:

All of the dogs in a class enter the ring together and gait to a designated area for examination by the judge as a class:

Thunder, Rangeley's half brother (left) and Rangeley standing for group examination,
1999 U.K.C. Premier Champions Class


Katahdin in the Cherry Blossom Specialty
with sister Trailbreaker and mom Timba

A.R.B.A. Cross Show, Washington D.C. 1997

Next, each dog is examined individually by the judge and must gait around the ring alone.

The judge measures the head and checks the dogs teeth to see if the bite is correct. Rangeley in 1999 Top Ten Competition.


The judge feels the whole body and runs her hand down the back legs to check structure. Baxter in the 1999 National Cross Specialty Show.

The dog first gaits through the middle of the ring, directly away from and to the judge. The judge watches how the dog tracks (where she puts her feet). Rangeley in 1999 Top Ten Competition.


The dog then gaits all the way around the ring while the judge watches the dog's top line, extension and general ability. Rangeley shows tremendous extension in both pictures. Rangeley in Multi-breed Show, Connecticut 1998.

Finally, all of the dogs stand together as a group and then gait together as a group, allowing the judge to see the class as a whole.

Rangeley standing.
Multi-breed Show, Connecticut 1998

There are three levels of competition in the U.K.C. show ring. First the dog participates in "class" competition. If the dog wins enough points with competition, it becomes a Champion of Champion and enters the "Champion" class. If a Champion dog wins five "Champion" classes under three judges with at least three dogs in each class, it becomes a Grand Champion and competes in the "Grand Champion" class. Finally, the dog winning the overall best Chinook in any given show wins "Best of Breed". By winning Best of Breed, the dog is awarded points based on the number of dogs shown. Ultimately, these points are tallied every year and the top ten dogs accumulating the most points are ranked as the Top Ten Chinooks of the Year. At the end of each show, each dog winning Best of Breed for their individual breed competes against all of the other breeds to win Best in Show. While this is simply a bragging right, it means that, out of all the dogs competing, your dog most closely met its breed standard.

GreatMountain Chinooks

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Copyright 1998-2010, GreatMountain Chinooks. All rights reserved. Last updated 4/10.