What is Conformation?
Conformation shows are meant to judge how closely a dog conforms to the breed standard. Think of a breed standard as a description of the ideal dog for a particular dog breed. Different dog breeds have different functions and temperaments. These are described in that breed's breed standard. I have linked the AKC Golden Retriever breed standard. You will find that it defines an ideal golden retriever. It goes into detail about the structure, movement, temperament, and overall appearance. Often it is helpful to also look at an illustrated breed standard when you are learning the ropes. The GRCA has a ton of material that will help you learn more about Golden Retrievers.
What is a Conformation Dog Show?
A Conformation dog show is a show where dogs are judged according to how well they match the breed standard. The purpose of such a show is to evaluate breeding stock. Dogs aren't really compared to each other. They are compared to their breed standard. The dog that matches the breed standard the closest is the dog that should win. There are many facets to dog shows and how they work. You can find more detail in the blogs below.
What Are Some Resources That Can Help Get Me Started?
There are tons of awesome resources out there that can get you started. I highly recommend the following resources: