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Best In Show, China


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Laure Echeverria



Welcome to the exciting world of dog shows in China! Dog shows, also known as conformation shows, are events where dogs are judged based on how closely they adhere to breed standards. These shows provide a platform for dog enthusiasts, breeders, and owners to showcase the beauty, athleticism, and temperament of their beloved canines.


China, with its rich history and diverse culture, has its own unique dog breeds that have been cherished for centuries. While many people are familiar with popular international breeds like the Labrador Retriever or German Shepherd, China has a treasure trove of indigenous breeds that have their origins deeply rooted in the country’s history and traditions.


In recent years, the popularity of dog shows in China has skyrocketed. From small local competitions to grand national events, these shows attract dog lovers from all walks of life. Whether you’re a dog owner, breeder, or simply fascinated by the world of dogs, exploring the dog show scene in China will unveil a fascinating blend of tradition, beauty, and passion.


In this article, we will delve into the world of Chinese dog breeds, explore the top dog shows in China, and discuss the history and significance of dog shows in promoting and preserving these unique breeds. Join us as we embark on a journey to discover the best in show in China’s vibrant dog show community.


Chinese Breeds

China is home to a remarkable array of dog breeds, each with its distinctive characteristics and rich cultural heritage. These indigenous breeds have been bred and cherished in China for centuries, playing significant roles in various aspects of Chinese society.


One of the most well-known Chinese breeds is the Shih Tzu, often referred to as the “Lion Dog” due to its resemblance to lions in traditional Chinese artwork. These small and regal dogs were bred as companions for the royals and nobles during the Ming Dynasty. With their flowing coats and unmistakable charm, Shih Tzus have earned a special place in the hearts of dog enthusiasts worldwide.


Another iconic Chinese breed is the Chow Chow. With its distinctive blue-black tongue and lion-like mane, the Chow Chow is an instantly recognizable breed. Originally bred as working dogs for hunting and guarding, Chow Chows have since become beloved companions known for their loyalty and independent nature.


The Pekingese, often called the “Sleeve Dog” due to its small size, is another ancient Chinese breed that holds deep cultural significance. Legend has it that the Pekingese is the result of a lion mating with a marmoset, thus explaining its lion-like appearance. These dogs were highly valued as companions to Chinese emperors and were even considered sacred. Today, they continue to captivate people with their proud and dignified demeanor.


Other notable Chinese breeds include the Chinese Crested Dog, the Shar Pei, the Tibetan Mastiff, and the Chinese Shar-Pei. Each of these breeds possesses its unique traits and beauty, reflecting the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage of China.


As you navigate the world of Chinese dog breeds, you’ll encounter a captivating mix of history, artistry, and deep symbolism. These breeds not only serve as loyal companions but also serve as living testaments to the rich cultural heritage of China.


Top Dog Shows in China

China boasts several prestigious dog shows that attract participants and spectators from all over the country and beyond. These shows offer a platform for breeders, owners, and handlers to showcase the best examples of Chinese breeds and compete for recognition and accolades. Here are some of the top dog shows in China:

  1. China Kennel Union (CKU) Championship Dog Show: This annual dog show, organized by the China Kennel Union, is one of the most prestigious events in the Chinese dog show calendar. Held in different cities across China, the CKU Championship Dog Show brings together top-quality dogs from various breeds to compete for titles and championship points.
  2. Beijing International Dog Show: As the capital city of China, Beijing hosts an impressive international dog show attracting participants from around the world. This multi-day event showcases a wide range of breeds and offers competitions in conformation, obedience, agility, and more. The Beijing International Dog Show is a must-attend event for dog enthusiasts and breeders.
  3. Shanghai International Dog Show: The bustling metropolis of Shanghai is home to another prominent dog show. The Shanghai International Dog Show features a diverse range of breeds and offers various competitions and activities for both participants and spectators. Alongside the dog show, visitors can also enjoy informational sessions, breed presentations, and opportunities to meet breeders and experts in the field.
  4. Hong Kong Dog Show: While technically not part of mainland China, the Hong Kong Dog Show is a highly regarded event that attracts participants from both Hong Kong and the mainland. This show offers competitions in conformation, obedience, and agility, providing a platform for both local and international breeds to shine.
  5. Guangzhou International Dog Show: Known as the “Canton Dog Show,” the Guangzhou International Dog Show is one of the largest dog shows in southern China. It features an extensive lineup of competitions, including conformation, obedience, and junior handling. The event also includes special showcases and exhibitions highlighting Chinese breeds.

These top dog shows not only celebrate the beauty and talent of Chinese breeds but also serve as platforms for breeders, handlers, and enthusiasts to exchange knowledge, network, and promote responsible dog ownership. Attending one of these shows is a captivating experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the world of dogs while appreciating the incredible diversity of Chinese breeds.


The History of Dog Shows in China

The history of dog shows in China traces back to the early 20th century when Western influences began to merge with traditional Chinese culture. The concept of dog shows, originating from Europe and North America, gradually gained popularity among the dog-loving communities in China.


One of the first documented dog shows in China took place in Shanghai in 1907. This historic event was organized by the Shanghai Kennel Club and showcased a variety of domestic and international breeds. The success of this show paved the way for subsequent dog shows across the country.


However, dog shows in China faced significant interruptions and setbacks during periods of political and social upheavals. The Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, in particular, saw a decline in dog shows as they were deemed as symbols of the bourgeoisie and decadent culture.


It wasn’t until China’s economic reform in the late 1970s that dog shows began to resurface. With the country opening up to the outside world, international connections and exchanges flourished, creating opportunities for the dog show community to thrive once again.


In the 1980s, breed clubs and kennel clubs started to emerge, creating a more structured and organized dog show environment. Chinese breeders and enthusiasts actively sought guidance from international experts, attending seminars and importing top-quality breeding stock to improve their breeding programs.


Over the years, the popularity of dog shows in China has grown exponentially. With the rise of the middle class and increasing awareness and appreciation of purebred dogs, more people are actively participating in dog shows as exhibitors, handlers, or spectators.


Today, dog shows in China are not only about competition and recognition but also about knowledge-sharing, networking, and promoting responsible dog ownership. They play a crucial role in educating the public about different breeds, breeding standards, and the importance of preserving and promoting indigenous Chinese breeds.


The history of dog shows in China reflects the ongoing evolution and integration of global dog show culture with Chinese traditions and values. It showcases the resilience and passion of the Chinese dog show community in preserving and promoting the beauty and heritage of Chinese dog breeds.


Exhibiting Dogs in China

Exhibiting dogs in China is a unique experience that requires dedication, preparation, and a deep understanding of the breed standards. Whether you are a seasoned exhibitor or a first-time participant, showcasing your dog in the Chinese dog show scene is an exciting journey that allows you to appreciate and celebrate the beauty of your canine companion.


Before entering a dog show, it is essential to ensure that your dog is in optimal health and condition. This includes regular grooming to maintain their coat, nails, and overall appearance. Training and socialization are equally important to ensure that your dog behaves appropriately in the show ring and around other dogs and people.


When registering for a dog show in China, you will need to submit the necessary paperwork, including your dog’s official pedigree and registration documents. It is crucial to comply with breed standards and ensure that your dog meets the requirements set by the kennel club organizing the show.


During the show, dogs are evaluated by experienced judges who assess their conformation, movement, and overall adherence to the breed standards. Exhibitors must present their dogs to the best of their abilities, showcasing their strengths and highlighting the unique qualities that make their dogs standout.


In addition to the conformation classes, many dog shows in China also offer other activities and competitions such as obedience trials and agility courses. These events allow dogs to demonstrate their training, athleticism, and teamwork with their handlers.


Exhibitors in China often face tough competition, as there is a growing interest in showing dogs and the quality of breeding programs continues to improve. Participating in dog shows provides an opportunity to learn from other breeders and handlers, exchange knowledge, and build connections within the dog show community.


Exhibiting dogs in China is not just about winning titles and accolades. It is a chance to appreciate and promote the unique qualities of your dog’s breed, to educate the public about responsible dog ownership, and to celebrate the bond between humans and canines.


Remember, exhibiting dogs should be a positive and enjoyable experience for both you and your four-legged companion. Regardless of the outcome, the joy and pride of showcasing your dog’s beauty and breed characteristics will make the journey worthwhile.


Chinese Dog Breeds in International Dog Shows

Chinese dog breeds have gained international recognition and are making their mark in dog shows around the world. These unique and fascinating breeds showcase the beauty, history, and cultural heritage of China, capturing the attention and admiration of dog enthusiasts worldwide.


One of the most well-known Chinese breeds in international dog shows is the Shih Tzu. With its long, flowing coat, confident demeanor, and charming personality, the Shih Tzu has become a popular breed in many countries. Exhibitors and breeders from China have successfully showcased the breed’s beauty and elegance, earning top honors and accolades at prestigious international events.


The Chow Chow is another beloved Chinese breed that has made its presence felt on the international stage. With its distinct lion-like appearance and aloof yet loyal nature, the Chow Chow has captured the hearts of many dog show judges and enthusiasts. Exhibitors from China have played a significant role in promoting and maintaining the breed’s standards and showcasing it to audiences worldwide.


Chinese Crested Dogs, with their unique hairless or powderpuff coat varieties, have also gained popularity in international dog shows. These small, expressive dogs attract attention with their charming personalities and unusual appearance. Exhibitors from China have actively participated in showcasing Chinese Crested Dogs on the global stage and have contributed to their recognition and success in international competitions.


Other Chinese breeds, such as the Pekingese, Shar Pei, and Tibetan Mastiff, have also made appearances in international dog shows, drawing attention to their distinctive qualities and capturing the fascination of judges and dog enthusiasts.


Participating in international dog shows provides an opportunity for Chinese breeders, handlers, and owners to showcase the excellence of their breeding programs and demonstrate the quality of Chinese breeds to a global audience. It fosters cultural exchange, encourages collaboration with international breeders, and promotes the preservation and promotion of Chinese dog breeds worldwide.


Furthermore, the presence of Chinese dog breeds in international dog shows brings attention to their unique histories and cultural significance. It allows for the celebration and appreciation of the diversity of dog breeds and encourages a deeper understanding of the importance of breed preservation.


Chinese dog breeds continue to make their mark in international dog shows, enhancing the global understanding and appreciation of the beauty, heritage, and significance of these remarkable canines.


Challenges Faced by Chinese Dog Breeders

Chinese dog breeders face a range of challenges in their efforts to promote, preserve, and breed Chinese dog breeds. These challenges can impact the quality of the breeding programs and the overall well-being of the breeds themselves. Here are some of the common challenges faced by Chinese dog breeders:


Limited Gene Pool: Maintaining a diverse gene pool is crucial for the health and well-being of any dog breed. However, some Chinese dog breeds, particularly those with a long history, have a limited gene pool due to their relatively small numbers or isolated breeding programs. This limited genetic diversity can increase the risk of inherited health issues and hamper the long-term viability of these breeds.


Preserving Breed Standards: Breed standards define the ideal characteristics, appearance, and temperament of a specific breed. Chinese dog breeders face the challenge of preserving and promoting breed standards while also ensuring genetic health and maintaining the unique qualities of their breeds. Striking the right balance can be difficult, especially when faced with outside influences or pressure to conform to popular trends.


Historical Stereotypes and Misconceptions: Chinese dog breeds have sometimes been subject to historical stereotypes and misconceptions. Some people view them as exotic or novelty breeds, rather than recognizing their true value and significance. Educating the public about the heritage, abilities, and unique traits of these breeds is an ongoing challenge for Chinese dog breeders.


Breeding Ethics and Welfare: Ensuring the ethical breeding and responsible ownership of Chinese dog breeds is a priority for breeders. This involves health testing, responsible breeding practices, and promoting responsible dog ownership to prospective owners. However, there can be challenges in raising awareness and enforcing these standards within the breeding community and the wider dog-owning population.


Changing Cultural Attitudes: Cultural attitudes towards dogs in China have evolved significantly in recent years. While there is a growing appreciation for purebred dogs and participation in dog shows, there are also challenges related to dog overpopulation, abandonment, and the rise of puppy mills. Overcoming these challenges requires continued education and advocacy for responsible dog ownership and the importance of supporting reputable breeders.


Export Restrictions and Regulations: In some cases, Chinese dog breeders face restrictions and regulations when exporting their dogs to other countries. These restrictions can pose challenges for breeders looking to expand the reach and influence of their breeds on the international stage.


Despite these challenges, Chinese dog breeders are dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to preserve and promote their beloved breeds. Through collaboration, education, and responsible breeding practices, they continue to make strides in ensuring the health, vitality, and recognition of Chinese dog breeds both within China and on the global stage.


The Role of Dog Shows in Promoting Chinese Breeds

Dog shows play a vital role in promoting and preserving Chinese dog breeds, showcasing their beauty, heritage, and unique qualities to a wider audience. These events provide an invaluable platform for breeders, owners, and enthusiasts to raise awareness, educate the public, and celebrate the rich diversity of Chinese breeds. Here are some of the ways in which dog shows contribute to the promotion of Chinese breeds:


Showcasing Breed Excellence: Dog shows allow breeders to present the best examples of their Chinese dog breeds. Exhibitors strive to showcase their dogs’ adherence to breed standards and demonstrate the breed’s unique characteristics, from appearance and temperament to their historical roles. By showcasing breed excellence in a competitive environment, dog shows bring attention to the quality and special qualities of Chinese breeds.


Educating the Public: Dog shows offer a platform to educate the public about Chinese dog breeds. Spectators have the opportunity to learn about the heritage, history, and the important roles these breeds have played in Chinese culture. Breeds such as the Shih Tzu, Chow Chow, and Pekingese can gain recognition and appreciation from a broader audience, dispelling any misconceptions and stereotypes that may exist.


Breed Preservation: Chinese dog breeds often face the challenge of maintaining genetic diversity and preserving their heritage. Dog shows provide breeders with an opportunity to assess the breeding stock, identify any potential issues, and make informed decisions to ensure the long-term preservation of these breeds. Recognizing and rewarding breed preservation efforts through dog show events motivates breeders to prioritize genetic health and maintain breed standards.


Encouraging Responsible Ownership: Dog shows emphasize responsible dog ownership, highlighting the importance of proper care, training, and socialization. Presentation in the show ring requires dogs to be well-behaved and well-mannered, promoting responsible ownership practices. This, in turn, helps to combat issues such as overbreeding, puppy mills, and neglect by promoting a culture of responsible ownership among both breeders and dog owners.


Promoting International Recognition: Participating in international dog shows enables Chinese breeders to showcase their breeds on a global stage. Recognition and success in international competitions contribute to the prestige and reputation of Chinese breeds internationally, raising awareness and generating interest among dog enthusiasts worldwide. It opens doors for collaborations, exchange of knowledge, and global networking, further benefiting the promotion and preservation of Chinese dog breeds.


The role of dog shows in promoting Chinese breeds cannot be overstated. These events serve as a platform for breeders, owners, and enthusiasts to exhibit the beauty, heritage, and qualities of Chinese dog breeds. By raising awareness, educating the public, and fostering responsible ownership practices, dog shows play a crucial role in preserving and celebrating the rich diversity of Chinese breeds and ensuring their continued recognition and appreciation.



As we conclude our exploration into the world of dog shows and Chinese breeds, it becomes clear that these events play a vital role in promoting, preserving, and celebrating the beauty and heritage of Chinese dog breeds. From the regal Shih Tzu to the majestic Chow Chow, Chinese dog breeds have captivated the hearts of dog enthusiasts worldwide.


Through dog shows, breeders, owners, and enthusiasts have the opportunity to showcase the excellence of Chinese breeds, educate the public about their history and significance, and foster responsible dog ownership. These events not only serve as competitions but also as platforms for cultural exchange, networking, and collaboration among breeders and enthusiasts.


Chinese dog breeders face various challenges in their efforts to maintain breed standards, preserve genetic diversity, and combat stereotypes. However, their dedication, passion, and commitment are evident as they work tirelessly to ensure the health, vitality, and recognition of Chinese breeds.


It is through the commitment and participation of breeders, handlers, and dog lovers that Chinese dog breeds continue to thrive and gain international recognition. Dog shows provide a stage for these breeds to shine, not only in China but also on the global stage, fostering appreciation for their unique qualities and contributions to canine diversity.


As dog shows continue to grow in popularity in China, we can look forward to witnessing the continued success and impact of Chinese breeds in the international dog show community. With each showcase of breed excellence, each opportunity to educate and inspire, and each celebration of responsible ownership, we contribute to the preservation and promotion of Chinese dog breeds for generations to come.