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A show dog is a purebred dog who is displayed at conformation dog shows to determine how well it conforms to established breed standards.
In many cases, show dog is used to distinguish dogs whose appearance is valued above its ability to do a job, or whose ancestors were selected more for appearance than for skills, in comparison to working dogs. Show dogs are supposed to be breeding stock and therefore are entire individuals.
Dog shows are hierarchical competitions and winners earn points at each level; these are recorded and added up and eventually a dog may earn enough points to be accorded the title Champion.
A dog who has earned the Championship title is entitled to use the designation "Champion" (or "Ch") in front of its name, for example, Ch. Emerald's Brightest Sparkle.
Show dogs have a registered name, that is, the name under which they are registered as a purebred with the appropriate kennel club, and a call name, which is how their owners talk to them.
The registered name often refers directly or indirectly to the kennel where the dog was bred; kennel clubs often require that the breeder's kennel prefix form the first part of the dog's registered name. For example, all dogs bred at the Gold Mine Kennels would have names that begin with the words "Gold Mine". The call name can be anything that the dog's owner prefers. For example, Ch. Gold Mine Emerald's Brightest Sparkle might be called “Goldie’, "Sparky", "Bright", "Green", "Precious", "Gem", or, for that matter, "Fido".
By contrast, dogs in the breed registry of a working dog club must usually have simple, no-nonsense monikers deemed to be “working dog names” such as “Pal”, “Blackie” or “Ginger”.
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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.