Show Handling classes help handlers and dogs train for the requirements of the Dog Show.  A Dog Show (or Conformation Show) is all about the external appearance and temperament of the dog.  Every ANKC recognised breed has an official Breed Standard, this is what identifies the dog as a particular breed. While a Conformation show may look like dogs are being compared to each other, they are not; they are being measured to how closely they conform to the breed standard and the winner will be the dog that best fits this standard in the judges opinion.

Conformation shows are only open to pure bred ANKC recognised dogs.  These dogs have been bred by registered breeders and are issued with pedigree papers (mains register) that allow them to compete in these shows.  Dogs that compete and are awarded, receive points for each award.  When they have achieved sufficient points, they may be recognised as an Australian Champion, Grand Champion or Supreme Champion, depending on the number of points they achieve.  Entry to a Conformation show can start from pups as young as 3 months.

Dogs are divided into different groups according to the purpose they were originally bred for and judged at class, breed and group standard.  The winner of each group will then proceed to be judged against the other group winners for Best in Show..  These groups are as follows:

Group 1 (Toys)
Group 2 (Terriers)
Group 3 (Gundogs)
Group 4 (Hounds)
Group 5 (Working Dogs)
Group 6 (Utility)
Group 7 (Non Sporting)