Model Dog Online
Rules and Guidelines

Free online model dog photo shows open
to the public are held once a month
January through December

General Rules:


  1. How To Enter Entries are made using the PHP Model Dog Show Program. You will find the Main Page at:
    Model Dog Shows

  2. Entrants must join by registering their Kennel Name and receive a password. Please be sure to name your kennel something easy and to remember the EXACT spelling of the kennel name. Entrants will then upload and be responsible for making all entries, deletions and repairs to their images.

  3. Photos must be in .jpg format and no larger than 450 pixels in width and or height, scanned at not greater than 300 dpi or less with a file size of 100k or less. This will be strictly enforced and any other images will not be approved.

  4. Photos that have been copyrighted, signed or named somewhere on the photo will be allowed as long as the writing or copyright mark does not cover the dog in any manner.

  5. Framed or oval shaped photos will NOT BE allowed.

  6. Digitally enhanced backgrounds, touchup of dog or background is not allowed. Adding or removing anything from the original photo is not allowed. The only editing allowed for images is resizing, adjusting the brightness or gamma and cropping.

  7. Unlimited photos per show.

  8. The same photo, i.e. filename, may not be used for more than one event. In particular, performance / activity photos may not be used for conformation entries. It is impossible for the software program to differentiate between points earned for different classes if the same photo [filename] is used more than once. However, if you have a model which is "doing something" and you want to use it for conformation and an activity, you can upload the photo twice but with a different filename and obviously a different description. For example, your Cute Munchkin which is lying down could be entered as (1) CuteMumchkin.jpg for conformation and then as (2) CuteMunchkin_obed.jpg for "long Down" in the Obedience section".

  9. There are no entry fees for any of the online model dog groups or IKC Online Dog Shows.

  10. Once you have entered the show you do not have to re enter. The program does that for you. If you have new additions you must send those as stated above.


These classes are judged using AKC or UKC breed standards unless noted in your comment line that you are showing under the rules of another organization (such as CKC, or FCI, for example).


  1. Correct structural anatomy/conformation
  2. Breed type
  3. Realism
  4. Presentation
  5. Photo quality
Props (leads, show ring barriers, handlers, judges, etc.) are allowed but not required.

Each breed is divided into the following four classes:

  • Open (Adult) Dog - for male dogs 12 months of age or older
  • Open (Adult) Bitch - for female dogs 12 months of age or older
  • Puppy Dog - for male dogs under the age of 12 months
  • Puppy Bitch - for female dogs under the age of 12 months

The Others Classes are for all dogs both AKC or UKC registered not listed above and all dogs recognized by other sanctions or associations.   Other Classes are for breeds list in the Foundation Stock Service.   Reference to these dogs are at FSS

Conformation Champion Titles:

  • Conformation Champion. 250 points in (CH places in front of dog’s name)
  • Superior Conformation Champion. 500 points in (SP CH places in front of dog’s name)
  • Premier Conformation Champion. 1000 points in (PR CH places in front of dog’s name)
  • Supreme Conformation Champion. 2000 points in (SUP CH places in front of dog’s name)
  • Dogs are given a prefix title by the PHP Program after achieving each of these titles.


Photos in these classes may not be entered in other classes. Each photo must have all the dogs for that class in one photo.

Brace is judged on similarity of both dogs. Markings and structure/conformation alike. It is open to either both puppies or both adults but not one puppy and one adult. Entry may be of mixed genders. Entry must have both dogs in the same photo.

Irish Brace is judged on two different dogs that are unlike but from the same Group. It is open to either both puppies or both adults but not one puppy and one adult. Entry may be of mixed genders but always of the same group. An example would be a Harrier and a Foxhound, or a Powderpuff Chinese Crested and a Smoothcoat Chinese Crested, or a Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever. An irish brace may also consist of two dogs that are of the same breed but of different colors. The term comes from the hunting man of lesser means who could not afford matching dogs. Entry must have both dogs in the same photo.

Stud Dog and Brood Bitch are judged on the quality of the offspring and the merits that the parent have transferred to the offspring. Litter is judged on the overall quality and appeal of the group. Family is judged on the overall quality and appeal of the group plus the merits that the parents have transferred to each puppy. Entry must have all parent and puppy or puppies in the same photo.

Breeder's Champion Titles:

  • Breeding Stock Started - BSS = 50
  • Breeding Stock Novice - BSN = 150
  • Breeding Stock Champion - BSC = 300
  • Breeding Stock Intermediate - BSI = 500
  • Breeding Stock Advanced - BSA = 1000
  • Breeding Stock Excellent - BSX = 2500
  • Dogs are given a suffix title by the PHP Program after achieving each of these titles.

Headstudy Division:
Headstudy is judged on the quality and breed type of the head and neck of the entry. Entry should not have any other part of the body in the photo frame.

Headstudy Champion Titles:

  • Headstudy Started - HSS = 25
  • Headstudy Novice - HSN = 50
  • Headstudy Champion - HSC = 150
  • Headstudy Intermediate - HSI = 250
  • Headstudy Advanced - HSA = 350
  • Headstudy Excellent - HSX = 500
  • Dogs are given a suffix title by the PHP Program after achieving each of these titles.

Puppy Activities Division

Activities classes are various types of fun things that puppies of all ages can participate in. Activities classes are not divided by age or sex in this section; the word “dog” in this section refers to both sexes. Mixed, and Non-Show-Quality as well as purebreds may enter these classes.

Judging Puppy Activities Criteria:

  1. Realistic depiction of the stated activity
  2. Correct performance
  3. Pup in proper position
  4. Appropriate background, footing, and props
  5. Photo quality
Classes are placed 1st through 4th. The 1st place winner in each class will compete for the Best in Activities award.

Performance Champion Titles for Puppy:

  • Performance Champion. 250 points.
  • Superior Performance Champion. 500 points.
  • Premier Performance Champion. 1000 points.
  • Supreme Performance Champion. 2000 points.
  • Dogs are given a prefix title by the PHP Program after achieving each of these titles.


Judging Performance Criteria:

  1. Correct, qualifying performance according to the rules and regulations of the stated event.
  2. Realistic footing, background, and equipment
  3. Realistic dog
  4. Presentation (dog and props in the proper position for the class).
  5. Photo quality.

For those classes that are judged using a governing association such as AKC or UKC guidelines or if you are showing under another organization’s rules, reference the organization and define the event in the comment line. Performance dogs are not required to be of conformation championship “show” quality.

Explanation of your dog’s performance is not required but is strongly encouraged.   Otherwise the judge will be forced to guess as to what your dog is supposed to be doing.

Basic props and/or equipment are required in most all of the performance classes. Review the Quick Guide to see what are necessary to comment in each class.

Handlers, judges, ring stewards, prop dogs, ring equipment, etc. may be helpful in many classes but are not necessarily required (again, check the regulations of the event you are entering). Please note judges that props are hard to hard for this hobby and the scale of dogs sizes is all over the map. So please do not mark down for props or obstacles that may be slightly out of scale.

It is suggested that you reference and document all “Other” performance classes.


MDHA Quick Reference Performance Guide

MDHA Dog Performance Guide

Performance Champion Titles for Adult Dog:

  • Performance Champion. 250 points.
  • Superior Performance Champion. 500 points.
  • Premier Performance Champion. 1000 points.
  • Supreme Performance Champion. 2000 points.
  • Dogs are given a prefix title by the PHP Program after achieving each of these titles.


Any reputable person who is in good standing may apply for approval to judge of any of the clubs. If a judge is not familiar with these breeds and activities, it is expected that he or she will have available printed or electronic reference material to familiarize him/herself with the groups’ breed standards and performance events. Judges are expected to be impartial, and to have a genuine interest in real and model dogs and organized dog competitions. Judges must provide a phone number and email address to the club president.

Time limits, scheduling, and show results: When volunteering to judge a show, please plan ahead and try to schedule a month when you will have plenty of time to complete your assignment. Avoid scheduling conflicts by limiting the number of shows you volunteer to judge during the month.

Emergency Substitutions: If an emergency situation prevents you from judging your assigned show, notify the club president as soon as possible. A substitute judge, if available, will be assigned to fill in for you. The club president must announce the judging change by email, and/or on the Model Dog message group as soon as possible.

Conflict of interest: Judges are presumed to be honest, competent and dedicated. Nevertheless, in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety, judges may not exhibit his/her own dogs at any show at which he/she is officiating, nor are they allowed to judge at any show where a member of his or her household or immediate family is exhibiting.

Judging: You are responsible for your own interpretation of the breed standards and the performance rules in effect during your judging assignment. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask the club president. You may also discuss the rules with any other club’s president and/or other knowledgeable person.

Always judge dogs solely on the basis of their appearance as they are presented in the photographs on show day. Give absolutely no consideration to what a dog's quality may have been if photographed from a different angle, or what a dog's condition might have been if it not been damaged by breakage or paint rubs.

All classes are placed 1st – 4th. Judges may use their own discretion to designate Awards of Merit for dogs of exceptional quality in any class or finals.

Judge’s decisions are final. A judge's decision shall be final in all cases. Full discretionary power is given to the judge to withhold any, or all, placements for want of merit. After a class has once been judged in accordance with the rules and regulations, exhibitors may ask the judge questions, but the class shall not be rejudged nor the results changed. If any typographical or gender division errors have been made by the judge, these may be corrected by the president if possible.

Judges’ critiques and comments: Critiques and comments are allowed but not required. Some exhibitors will appreciate critiques and comments, others will not. Positive comments and constructive criticism can be very helpful and are not prohibited, but judges are expected to be courteous and tactful when making comments, either privately or publicly, keeping in mind that a perfectly innocent comment or suggestion can be misconstrued, causing hard feelings and complaints. Judges should be prepared to answer questions regarding their placements and their comments / critiques.

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This site is maintained by MDHA. Its contents are copyrighted ©MDHA, 2006.

Updated October 17, 2015