A dog show is an event where dogs are exhibited. A conformation show, also referred to as a breed show, is a kind of dog show in which a judge, familiar with a specific dog breed, evaluates individual purebred dogs for how well the dogs conform to the established breed type for their breed, as described in a breed's individual breed standard.
Such shows are useful to breeders as a means of evaluating dogs for breeding purposes. A conformation championship from a recognised national kennel club is generally considered a reasonably objective indication of merit, as it indicates that the dog has been found to be a superior example of its breed by a number of different judges on a number of separate occasions. Many breeders consider championship a prerequisite for breeding.
Conformation shows have been controversial, as critics argue that the shows encourage selective breeding of traits and lower genetic diversity, which reduces the health, happiness and longevity of the dogs.
The first modern conformation dog show was held in Newcastle Town Hall in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, in June 1859.