Playtyme Papillons of Distinction - AKC Breeder of Merit

Criteria Used for Judging Show Dogs

In a conformation dog show, judges aren't merely comparing the dogs to each other. Rather, they judge each dog against the parameters of the idealized version of its breed. In other words, when the judge looks at our Papillons, lets say “Puzzle”,  he is comparing Puzzle to the written standards of the ideal papillon. The standards address various body parts and attributes, including:

  • Balance: overall appropriate proportions in size
  • Weight
  • Size
  • Eyes: color, size, shape
  • Ears: shape, length, position
  • Head: shape, correct proportions
  • Muzzle: shape, length  
  • Teeth: kind of bite (e.g. level or scissors bites)
  • Tail: how it arches and sets (is it over the back correctly or is it too tight or a flag)
  • Shoulders: bone, muscle tone
  • Legs: muscles, stance, proportionality, are they strait  
  • Coat: texture, length
  • Color: accepted breed colors

A judge will use his hands to inspect the dog's body, including its bones and muscles. In addition to assessing physical characteristics like these, judges assess the dog's walk (gait) and attitude. For instance, criteria in the papillon standard requires that the dog's attitude be cheerful and happy. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has assembled these criteria for each of their recognized breeds. It gathers this information from the clubs and organizations that specialize in those breeds.(Papillon Club of America and other Papillon breed clubs) The dog that the judges determins matches its breed's criteria the best should win the competition.


  • In 1999 Westminster Dog show: The eight-year-old Papillion named
    • Ch. Loteki Supernatural Being won Best in Show.