This is how I personally judge my shows and pose my petz, after years of showing, judging, winning, losing, and asking questions. A lot of people seem to share these views, and some differ slightly on small things. If you’re unsure as to why your pet didn’t place as high as you wanted, just (nicely) ask the judge! They are usually more than willing to explain it to you.
I have seen every single pet in a nice pose. I’m only unsure of poodles, because I personally have not gotten my poodles to pose lol. I’ve seen poodles posing normally, though I can’t be sure if they actually had poodle personalities.
If you double click in front of your pet, they will automatically give you a new reaction to the camera. This cuts WAY down on the jumping around they like to do, and helps minimize them jumping out of good alignment.
I’ve found the playpen is the best place to take show pictures. Just lock the carrying case and make sure there are no distractions left out. 😀
If you have PetzA, set the pet’s fullness to 100 and energy to 40(ish). I use this for extra excited pets lol.
You can also use PetzA to have your pictures automatically save as .gif or .png, which is what most shows want anyway. It’s under PetzA > Settings… > Camera picture format. Pick GIF or PNG from the drop-down menu.
With catz, try dropping them slightly away from the camera to achieve the front legs looking like one.
Also called “dane” pose. Any breed of dog looks good in this pose. Poodle ears may obscure some of the face.
- The snout is level, or lifted upwards slightly. Never sloping down.
- The ears and eyes are as closely aligned as possible.
- The tail (if any) curves up and over the back, pointing to the middle of the back.
- The front legs are aligned, and the toes line up. Some judges go solely by front legs, some go solely by toes. I look at both and make sure they are as together as possible.
I honestly only like to see dalis and dali-faced mixies in this pose, but all judges are different.
- The eyes and ears are level and the face is totally square with the camera.
- Tip of the tail (if any) points to the tip of the ear.
- The front legs are together and the toes line up. Ideally there will be a tiny sliver of the far leg showing.
- The body (if dali) will make two smooth diagonal lines from the butt to the chest.
Some judges prefer this face for dalis:
The face is turned just slightly away from the camera, so that the ears are smooth on the face and the nose is flat instead of heart-shaped.
All cats do the same pose.
- The eyelids show as little as possible, AND are even. The ears are both up, not flicking around.
- There is noticeable space between the legs. Some hexed catz, persians, and chin persians simply cannot have white space showing due to the size of their feet and/or legs. They should be judged on front leg alignment only.
- The front legs and feet appear as one.
- The tail is smooth (except alleys, obvs) and curves slightly inwards, never outwards.
Breed Specific Notes
Labs should have a sliver of the far eye showing, they look to be turned too far away from the camera when only one shows.
Tabbies are the easiest catz to pose, and I think they get a little discrimination because of it. Make sure they are perfect (it’s easy, lol).
Some judges fault for eyelids untrue to the personality of a cat, like BWSs without angry eyes, or oshies without sad/scared eyes. I personally don’t, because you don’t know what personality that pet has. Just make sure the eyelids are at least even, whatever you decide.