The official term for dog shows is “conformation”.  Dogs are not being compared to each other; they’re being measured by how closely they conform to the standard of their particular breed. There are many Welsh Springer owner-handlers in the conformation ring who enjoy showcasing their beautiful dogs and earn champion titles.

The AKC website has extensive resources to learn about getting started in and participating in Conformation.

A dog becomes an AKC “Champion” when they have earned 15 championship points, some of which are earned at events that have a sufficient number of dogs to constitute a “major”.  The number of points making up a major varies by breed and region in the country where the show is being held. The AKC periodically updates the points schedule which is posted on the AKC website, along with the methodology for counting points.  There are also smartphone aps that can help exhibitors understand how many points they might earn at a show.