Dog shows can be a little bit confusing until you understand how they work. Each individual dog is judged according to how close it conforms to its written AKC standard. They are not judged against one another in a “beauty contest.” Each dog that wins goes on to the next level of competition, until one dog remains undefeated as Best in Show. The chart below, from AKC, illustrates the process. Below the chart, you can review AKC’s Beginner’s Guide to Dog Shows, which explains the process and the classes in much greater detail.
AKC's Beginner's Guide to Dog Shows