United Belgian Shepherd Dog
UKC Special Exhibition &
Judging Procedures for Belgian Shepherd Dogs Only.
UKC provides Belgian Shepherd Dogs the opportunity to be shown one of three ways at UKC Licensed
Conformation Shows. This is in keeping with the traditional exhibition procedure in the breed’s country of
origin. The United Belgian Shepherd Dog Association may specify to clubs hosting their breed, which method
they prefer to be used for their breed. While use of the preferred method is not mandatory, UKC hopes that
UBSDA’s wishes will be considered. However, the manner in which they are shown is determined by the host
A. Types of exhibition.
1. Customary Exhibition procedure.
2. Assisted Animation/Critique Procedure (AA/CP), Long Form.
3. Assisted Animation/Critique Procedure (AA/CP) Short Form.
B. Customary Exhibition Procedure. Standard conformation procedure, i.e., handler poses dog for
examination and gaits the dog in a prescribed pattern as directed by the judge. Eligible handler exhibits the
entry without assistance from a third party.
C. Assisted Animation and Critique Procedure.
1. Judges will utilize “assisted animation” (for no more than three minutes per dog) to assess expression,
carriage, etc., at some time during the judging of each dog in each class.
2. “Assisted Animation” is defined as follows:
Assisted Animation involves two people. One is a designated handler, who holds the dog’s lead and makes no
attempt to stack or animate the dog. The other being the person who stands away from the dog, but does not
leave the ring, and attempts to animate the dog by calling to it or making noises. During the Judge’s individual
appraisal of each dog, the dog will be held by the designated handler.
3. The designated handler may be:
a. The primary handler of the dog (i.e. - the person noted on the official UKC entry
form as the handler of the dog); or
b. An alternate - a person other than the primary handler. This could be the steward
or any other capable person designated by the primary handler.
4. While the dog is being held by the designated handler, the other person performs the assisted animation, and
the Judge appraises it. This allows the Judge to see the expression, carriage, and natural stance of the dog more
clearly. The designated handler is to use discretion and common sense during the procedure.
5. All regular UKC Official Dog Show Rules apply to this portion of the judging. Baiting with squeakers, toys or
food is entirely at the Judge’s discretion.
6. The actual hands-on examination and gaiting of the dog are to be done only while the primary handler is in
control of the dog, not during the assisted animation portion of the judging. Exhibitors and spectators outside
the ring are not, under any circumstances, to engage in animation activities. This is considered “double-
handling” and is forbidden under the UKC Rules and Regulations.
7. A suggested procedural guideline follows:
a. The dogs for each class are brought into the ring. This may be in catalog order, or an alternate order, at the
b. The Judge will examine each dog in line for bite, dentition, temperament, etc.
c. One at a time, each dog is brought out of line for its assisted animation evaluation. At no time during the
assisted animation portion of the judging should the Judge attempt to physically examine (touch, hands-on) or
evaluate the dog’s gait.
d. When the Judge is ready to proceed to the movement evaluation portion, the primary handler will return
to the dog, if a designated handler has been used. If not, the person who was performing the assisted animation
will leave the ring. The primary handler will then move the dog as directed by the Judge.
e. When the individual evaluations are complete, the Judge may choose to see some or all of the class
animated in order to finalize their decisions regarding placements. At this time, the Judge may choose to
animate the dog themselves or ask a steward to do so. They may ask for individual dogs to be animated again
using the assisted animation format, but this is not encouraged because of the amount of time involved.
D. Rating System/Critiques.
1. Judges will use a rating system and provide individual written critiques on each dog. The rating system
includes: Excellent (EX), Very Good (VG), Acceptable (AC), and Non-Rated (NR). United Kennel Club
will provide uniform critique forms for a nominal fee.
2. Ratings are separate from the usual UKC placements and point allotments. The ratings may be published by
the Host Clubs in their individual newsletters.
3. Ratings are purely the Judge’s opinion of the dog on that day. The rating is given to each animal as it is
assessed against the ideal described in the breed standards, not against the other dogs in its class.
4. Any or all of the ratings may be given in any one class. For example, one class may consist entirely of dogs
rated Very Good or Acceptable. Another class may have two Excellents, one Very Good, and one Acceptable.
Another class may have every dog rated Excellent.
5. While awarding placements, the Judge may provide verbal explanations for the order of placement to the
exhibitor and/or public, but is not required to do so. At Multi-Breed shows, this practice should only occur if
E. Definition of Ratings. Each rating may be modified by a plus (+) or minus (-) to further indicate the
relative quality of the dogs.
1. Excellent (EX). While recognizing that no dog is without faults or weaknesses, dogs receiving this rating
should be of utmost quality overall and possess many fine attributes according to the UKC breed standard.
2. Very Good (VG). Dogs receiving this rating may be:
a. Otherwise Excellent dogs in poor condition;
b. Dogs with some fine attributes, but lacking in quality in some area(s);
c. Dogs of good type, construction, and character, but not outstanding; or,
*d. Dogs with a major fault which mars an otherwise Excellent specimen.
Dogs rated Very Good may receive a first place award in their class, but it should be noted that this will
award the dog class points for this win. In general only dogs that are rated excellent should receive
Championship points at that show. If the Judge withholds the points, the ribbon, and any award/trophy, are
not to be given.
3. Acceptable (AC). Dogs receiving this rating may be:
a. Dogs that are adequate, marred by faults, and/or lacking in quality;
b. Dogs that are of incorrect/inadequate type.
Dogs rated Acceptable should not receive a first place ribbon and should not earn points at that show. The ribbon
and points should be withheld if it is the only rating given in the class. The Judge may give a single entry in a class
second place in a class of one, or withhold all ribbons.
4. Not Rated (NR). Dogs receiving this rating may be:
a. So lacking in breed type that they appear to be of mixed-breed heritage, and should receive no rating and
b. Dogs that are excused or disqualified.
5. A dog rated lower than others in its class cannot place above them. For example, a dog rated Very Good may not
receive a third place when a dog rated Excellent is placed fourth in the same class.
6. While awarding placements, the Judge may provide verbal explanations for the order of the placements to the
exhibitors and/or public, but is not required or expected to do so.
F. Written Critiques.
1. The Judge is encouraged to comment on all portions of the form, but due to time constraints and large
entries, they may elect to summarize portions. (Examples: “An exceptional dog in body, angulation and
character, whose round eyes detract from an otherwise excellent head piece.” -or- “A dog of lovely color and
character that is otherwise terribly lacking in breed type, particularly in that is long in body, short on leg, and
heavy in head.”)
2. Judges must not be too general to the extent that they provide little information to the exhibitor for
educational purposes, nor information about their own judging. (Example: “Dog has good type and character,
with a nice head.”)
3. Whenever possible, the Judge should attempt to explain the best and worst features of each dog. For example,
under “Head” on the form, one might write “excellent.” but it would be advisable to include additional details
such as “correct planes, well-chiseled, nice length of muzzle.” Or, instead of just listing “ears” as “OK,” it would
be better stated as “well set, too long.”
4. The Judge must indicate the rating given to each dog on the area indicated on the Critique Form.