The more than 350 breeds recognized by the DKK have been divided into 10 groups according to type and use, and the groups are judged on different days at the show. The judging always follows a certain pattern.
The breeds are judged separately and the basis of the judging is the breed standard which is a description of the breed’s appearance and characteristics.
Most often, the puppies of both sexes are judged first. Thereafter first the males and then the females are judged in different classes according to age and previously obtained championships and trials. The two sexes do not meet until the competition for "Best of Breed”.
The minor puppy class (unofficial class) is for dogs aged 3-6 months. This class can also be called "baby class".
The puppy class (unofficial class) is for dogs aged 6-9 months.
The junior class is for dogs aged 9-18 months. Dogs entered in the junior class dog not compete for the CACIB (Certificate for the international beauty championship).
The intermediate class is for dogs aged 15-24 months.
The open class is for dogs that have attained the age of 15 months (no upper limit).
The champion class is for dogs that have obtained a national or an international championship before the show. The minimum age in the champion class is 15 months.
The veteran class is for dogs over 8 years. Dogs entered in the veteran class do not compete for the CACIB (Certificate for the international beauty championship).
Furthermore there is a junior handling competition where young handlers from compete about being best at handling the dog. The junior handlers compete in two age groups: Mini for handlers aged 10-13 years – and Maxi for handlers aged 14-17 years. Moreover there is a a progeny group competition where a male or a female takes part with 4 progenies as well as a breeder’s group competition with groups of 4 dogs from the same breeder. In the progeny group and breeder’s group, classes of high quality can be awarded (HP) (prize of honor).
The dogs are judged in the order of succession stated in the catalogue.
The individual dog is first judged by its quality.
The following degrees of quality can be given:
EXCELLENT may only be awarded to a dog which comes very close to the ideal standard of the breed, which is presented in excellent condition, displays a harmonious, well-balanced temperament, is of high class and has excellent posture. Its superior characteristics in respect of its breed permit that minor imperfections can be ignored; it must however have the typical features of its sex.
VERY GOOD may only be awarded to a dog, which possesses the typical features of its breed, which has well-balanced proportions and is in correct condition. A few minor faults may be tolerated but none of a morphological nature. This award can only be granted to a dog that shows class.
GOOD is to be awarded to a dog that possesses the main features of its breed however showing faults provided these are not concealed.
SUFFICIENT must be awarded to a dog which corresponds adequately to its breed, without possessing the generally accepted characteristics or whose physical condition leaves something to be desired.
Furthermore, the dog can be given a CANNOT BE JUDGED or a DISQUALIFIED. CANNOT BE JUDGED indicates that the judge cannot decide which prize degree the dog deserves. DISQUALIFIED is disqualifying and is given to dogs with anatomic, typological or psychical faults.
The dogs from the best quality group (EXCELLENT) take part in a competitive judging where the best dogs are placed as 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th winner and receive a red, blue, yellow or green ribbon respectively. If more than 4 dogs have received an Excellent, these dogs are also placed, but they do not receive a ribbon. If there are less than 4 dogs in the best quality group, the dogs from the second best quality group (VERY GOOD) are included in the competitive judging.
The judge can award a CK (champion quality) to dogs of exceptionally high quality. It is, however, a condition that the dog in question has received an Excellent in the previous quality judging. All dogs that in each official class obtain the qualification CK proceed to the competition for Best of Sex.
During the judging, the national certificate CAC (red/white ribbon) qualifying for the Danish championship and the international certificate CACIB (white ribbon) qualifying for the international championship are awarded. Moreover, a reserve for the CACIB (orange ribbon) and a reserve for the CAC (light blue ribbon) can also be selected.
The judgment proceeds step by step until the best dogs of the breed are at last assembled in the competition for "Best of breed" (BIR) (red/yellow rosette) and "Best of opposite sex" (BIM) (green/white rosette). The dog that is selected "Best of breed" goes on to the afternoon group finals in the main ring where dogs of different breeds - but of the same group - compete together.
In the end, the winners of the 10 group finals go on to the "Best in Show" competition (BIS) where the best dog of the show is selected.
We refer to the show regulations of the DKK for further details about the course of judging.
A leaflet showing a diagram of the course of judging as well as the colors of the many ribbons and rosettes that are handed out in the different classes is available from the DKK information stands at the shows.
After every judgment and competition ribbons indicating prizes and placing’s are handed out in all classes:
Most promising (puppy classes): Pink ribbon
Promising (puppy classes): Light blue ribbon
Less promising (puppy classes): Yellow ribbon
Best minor puppy of the breed: Pink rosette
Best puppy of the breed: Red rosette CK (champion quality): Rose-pink ribbon
EXCELLENT: Red ribbon
VERY GOOD: Blue ribbon
GOOD: Yellow ribbon
SUFFICIENT: Green ribbon
DISQUALIFIED: Grey ribbon
CANNOT BE JUDGED: Brown ribbon
HP (prize of honor): Lilac ribbon
1st winner: Red ribbon
2nd winner: Blue ribbon
3rd winner: Yellow ribbon
4th winner: Green ribbon
CAC (Danish certificate): Red/white ribbon
Reserve for the CAC: Light blue ribbon
CACIB (International certificate): White ribbon
Reserve for the CACIB: Orange ribbon
Best of breed (BIR): Red/yellow rosette
Best of opposite sex (BIM): Blue/yellow rosette
DKCH (Danish champion): Red/green ribbon