"Dog shows, or "conformation" events, are the signature events of the AKC. They concentrate on the distinctive features of purebred dogs and help to preserve these characteristics by providing a forum at which to evaluate breeding stock."
"Exhibits are judged against individual breed standards, which have been established for the AKC-recognized breeds by their parent clubs. These written standards describe the ideal size, color, and temperament of each breed, as well as correct proportion, structure, and movement."
Excerpt AKC Conformation