Top 20 Conformation Event Guidelines

The Purpose

Top 20 Conformation events, as conducted by many National Breed Clubs, offer all attendees the opportunity to view a collection of the breed’s top conformation dogs from the previous year. Using a scale of points, each dog is evaluated according to how closely it conforms to the Beauceron Breed Standard. This scoring procedure is not available at any point show and will allow Top 20 spectators the opportunity to evaluate the dogs, scoring them one at a time, at the same time they are being judged. The dogs are observed from a positive approach, they are NOT fault-judged.

The purpose of this event is to showcase and honor the Beauceron in conformation, giving special recognition to those Beauceron, breeders, owners, and handlers that have worked hard all year to achieve these top honors. Additionally the event may provide an educational experience for judges, exhibitors, breeders and fanciers. The Top 20 Competition will provide incentive for all to strive for excellence in structure, temperament, type and soundness, both mental and physical. These events have proven to be educational in promoting discussion of the standard, which encourages the exchange of ideas.

Event Rules (For exhibitors):

  1. This is an themed event, please dress appropriately. The theme changes each year and is announced in the invitation.
  2. Professional Handlers are allowed and welcome to exhibit any of the dogs invited.
  3. A handler or owner can exhibit multiple dogs, as dogs are exhibited one at a time.
  4. All dogs must have a song chosen for them to be exhibited too.


  1. A total of 20 invitations are sent out. An invitation is sent to the previous year’s NS winner, Best Veteran, and Top 20 Winner. An invitation is sent to the #1 ranked Canadian Beauceron. 8 invitations are sent to dogs ranked in the breed standings and 8 invitations are sent to the dogs ranked in NOHS. Duplications are taken into consideration and only counted as one invitation, rotating which ranking system it is counted for.
  2. Eligible Dogs, including previous winners and Deceased dogs, must be entered in order to participate in the Top 20.
  3. For the purpose of competition, a Deceased finalist will only be considered a competitor one time following their demise.
  4. Only entered dogs will receive a Rosette to acknowledge their accomplishment for the previous year.
  5. Each entered dog, unless they enter as Deceased, will receive one page for a photo and biography in the American Beauceron Club Charter Magazine.

The qualifying period for the 2024 Event will be September 21st, 2022 – September 20th, 2023


Judges are not announced until immediately before the event begins.

  1. HANDLER (past or present) – a professional conformation handler, meeting the requirements for membership in a Professional Handler’s organization (though not necessarily a member). Must have at least five (5) year’s experience with Beaucerons.
  2. BREEDER – an established Beauceron breeder who has produced at least two (2) Champions of Record as published in the AKC Gazette.
  3. MULTI-BREED AKC APPROVED JUDGE – approved to judge beaucerons and at least four (4) other breeds (in any Group).


  1. Magazines will be made available after judges have been introduced.
  2. Each of the three judges will have a photo and a biography in the Magazine.
  3. Each dog entered in the Top 20 will have a page with one photo and a biography in the Magazine. The biography and photo should be sent in by the owner of the dog.
  4. Dogs that are eligible but are not entered will be printed in the Magazine, but will not receive a page with photo and biography.

Judging Procedure

  1. Each dog will be scored by each judge individually, using the Scale of Points provided (Total Score).
  2. The winner will be determined on the basis of the Total Score of each dog.
  3. In the event of a tie, it shall be broken by using the First Impression Score, (a scale of 1-10 marked by each judge prior to the marking of the score sheet) as the determining factor.

The above are the simple ground rules that will be followed in the judging of this exciting event.

The rationale for this system is as follows:

Whenever a judge examines an individual dog and compares it, mentally, to the judge’s picture of the ideal, the judge is going through the work of judging by scoring. The scoring system adds the assigning of numerical values to the main factors of judging and it demands the judge indicate wherein they penalize for less than ideal characteristics. The judge’s scores, part by part are recorded. The judge will be indicating the degree of deviation in each part from the ideal. They must also score each dog before they actually judge it by using the First Impression Score of 1 – 10. In other words, they must look at the dog as a whole and place the dog on their scale, with a score of 10 meaning that the dog is in perfect harmony with the judge’s picture of the ideal Beauceron.

Scoring is much more time consuming than the comparison judging we are accustomed to in the show ring …where judges can handle 25 or more dogs in an hour. When scoring dogs, a judge can do no more than about 6-10 dogs an hour. But, when scoring is complete, it provides a written critique of the dog as seen by the judge. The Total Score gives some sense of the ‘approximation of perfection’ of the individual dog. Thus, tradition has it that the great dogs of the breed …the landmark animals …would have scored between 93 and 94 points. In theory, if we had numerical scores of the great Beaucerons of years gone by, we could compare the scores of our present greats to them. So, in setting up the judging for the Top 20, we have set up a system that could provide numerical norms for future comparisons.

Scoring has another virtue. It is a strong discipline for the judge. A fault can seem to stand out to a judge. They can become sensitized to one difficulty or even to one virtue. Thus, they can over fault or overemphasize the virtue. Scoring checks this to a marked degree. It reduces the idiosyncrasies of individual judges.

Ring Procedure

  1. There will be a Master/Mistress of Ceremonies who will announce the activities during the event. The MC will introduce each judge, and the stewards. The MC will instruct the stewards to escort their judge to the center of the ring.
  2. Each participating Beauceron is individually brought into the ring and the MC will announce each dog, by catalog number only, as it enters the ring. Upon entering the ring, the theme song will play, the dog will gait around the ring one or two times and come to a stop for a free stack in front of the judges. The judges will then be escorted to a corner and the dog will do a “down & back”. Each judge will complete their own examination silently, coming to their own judgments, conclusions, and decisions.
  3. After each dog is judged the score sheets will be given to the Tabulator, by each judge’s steward, who will then tabulate the individual dog’s Total Score.
  4. If time allows, after all dogs have been individually examined, all the dogs present that were ranked on the Top 20 will be brought into the ring one at a time, in catalog order. Their bio is read by the MC as they gait around the ring one last time, finishing in the middle for a quick free stack, then out and the next dog has their moment.

Event Scoring

  1. Each participating Beauceron is individually evaluated by each judge using the scale of points on the score sheet (Total Score).
  2. Immediately following the completion of judging, the judges’ score sheets will be turned over to a Representative of the Top 20 Committee, or the steward will deliver, to be delivered to the Tabulator.
    • The scores for each dog, from each of the three judges, are tabulated, and added together to determine the dog’s Total Score.
    • In the event of a tie, the Tabulating Committee determines the winner by consulting the First Impression Score. The finalist with the highest First Impression Score is declared the winner. The First Impression Score is used ONLY to break a tie, and is not included in tabulating the Total Score.
    • In the event the First Impression Score results in an additional tie, there will be two (2) winners.
  3. The finalist with the highest Total Score is the winner.
    • The results of the tabulation will be returned to the Top 20 Chair to announce the winner and two awards of merit.
    • The winner and the two awards of merit are announced at the conclusion of the event by the Top 20 Chair or Representative of the Top 20 Committee.
  4. The Score sheets, Entry forms, and a copy of the Top 20 Catalog are property of the ABC and will be retained by the Specialty Committee. These will be made public.

People’s Choice

  1. This award gives the spectators a chance to “judge and vote” for the Beauceorn they believe is the best of the best.
  2. Official ballots will be handed out prior to judging and collected at the end of judging. They will then be tabulated by the Tabulator and the People’s Choice Beauceron will be awarded.


  1. A rosette will be awarded to the winner.
  2. A rosette will be awarded to the People’s Choice winner.
  3. All dogs entered will receive a rosette for participation recognition

Note: ABC would like to credit the DPCA and the WCA as our Top 20 Guidelines are derived from their programs.