What Is an Illustrated Standard?

In an effort to enhance breed education for Judges, AKC asked the Parent Clubs to produce an Illustrated Standard for individuals pursuing AKC approval to judge a breed for which they are unfamiliar. While all dogs are basically the same: four legs, body, head, tail, ears and coat, not all breeds are the same. Thus each recognized breed’s Parent Club has a written Breed Standard that described in detail what their breed should look like, its movement and basic temperament. An Illustrated Standard does not replace the Breed Standard rather its purpose is to help with understanding the written descriptions found therein.

The concept for the Shorthair Illustrated Standard was to keep it simple with illustrations of various dogs/bitches and body parts to “illustrate” a comment or sentence in the Breed’s approved standard. In some places clarifying comments are made to further enhance the learning process.

The Illustrated Standard is an educational tool for the GSPCA in guiding and educating judges, breeders, club members, students of the breed and owners. This visualization of the breed will also be used as a judges’ study guide, a tool that the AKC is encouraging to be utilized in our judge’s education seminars and hands on workshops.

The GSPCA illustrated standard committee worked very closely with our artist to achieve the highest level of educational functionality combined with an aesthetically pleasing presentation. The illustrated standard project required much dedication and persistence on the part of all involved. It is a vital part of breed education that can also be presented in a beautiful way.

The GSPCA Illustrated Standard committee proudly presented the first Shorthair Illustrated Standard at the Annual Meeting held during the 2015 National Specialty Show in Denver, CO.

The GSPCA sent a copy to all AKC approved and provisional judges. The remaining limited number of “first edition” standards are now available for purchase.


GSP Illustrated Standard Revised October, 2022


Patte Titus