Frequently Asked Conformation Questions

 


General Questions

What is the purpose of dog shows?
For each breed the AKC registers, there is a breed standard which is a word description of the perfect dog of that breed. Standards describe the mental and physical characteristics that allow each breed to perform the function for which they were originated. The standard describes the dog's looks, movement and temperament. Breeders involved with each breed are attempting to produce a dog that most closely conforms to the breed standard. In this respect, dog shows are not unlike cat shows, bird shows, cattle shows, horse shows, etc. In fact, for almost every species bred by man there are competitions among breeders. AKC approved judges examine the dogs and place them in accordance to how close each dog compares with their mental image of the "perfect" dog as described in the breed's official standard.

There is a dog show coming up in my area. How do I find out about the schedule for the show?
You can get basic information about upcoming events on our website.

If you have specific questions about the schedule for the event, you would need to contact the event secretary or superintendent who can help you with the specific details about the schedule. You can find an updated list of all the Superintendents and their contact information on our website.  The larger superintendents have web sites where you can look at the actual schedules for the events. If the schedule is not on the superintendent's site, you can usually get the information by calling their office.

Can dogs be registered with a color or marking that is considered a disqualification in Conformation according to the breed standard?
Decisions about acceptable colors and markings for registration and Conformation competition are made by the national breed clubs for each of the respective breeds.  In addition to color information in the breed standards related to Conformation, the national breed clubs also determine what colors may be used in the registration of their breed. While some colors may be disqualifications within the breed standard, dogs of a disqualifiable color may still be registered. However, AKC may ask for color pictures of the dogs prior to registration. For example, in the case of Miniature Schnauzers, dogs will not be registered as white unless pictures are submitted with the Registration Application. Two 3 x 5 color photographs (close up front view and standing side view) must be submitted or the application will be delayed.

Anytime that color questions arise and pictures are submitted, they should be sent to:

American Kennel Club
Attn: Special Services Color Committee
PO Box 900059
Raleigh, NC 27675-9059
colors@akc.org

Please allow about three to four weeks for processing.

How does the AKC decide what is right or wrong about any individual breed? Who makes the decision?
The official standard for each breed is a written description of the correct characteristics for that breed.  The standards originate with the national parent clubs for the respective breeds. Any changes or revisions to the standards must also originate with the parent club. To find the standard, look on our web site under "Breeds" and then under "By Name". This will link you to the standard for the breed. If you have a specific question or concern about any element of the standard, you can contact the appropriate national parent club.

I am interested in contacting an AKC club. How do I find information?
You can find a complete list of all AKC-affiliated clubs on our website. Each club listing refers to a contact person for that organization. For information about the club, this is the person you would need to contact. The list is broken down into several different categories.

What if I need more help?
Most of the information you need can be found by using the search option on the AKC webpage.  If you need assistance You can obtain additional information by contacting the following departments:

General Conformation issues: awards@akc.org
Conformation Judges: judgingops@akc.org
Junior Showmanship: juniors@akc.org
Agility: agility@akc.org
Obedience: obedience@akc.org
Tracking: tracking@akc.org
Field trials: fieldtrials@akc.org
Hunting Tests: huntingtest@akc.org
Coonhound Events: coonhounds@akc.org
Earthdogs: earthdogs@akc.org
Lure Coursing: coursing@akc.org
Herding: herding@akc.org

How does the AKC determine the dog and bitch counts necessary for attaining certain sets of points for the different divisions each year?
Divisions are normally a grouping of adjacent states that share the same schedule of points. However, HI, AK, and PR (because of their geographic isolation) are of a single state or territory.

The calculations only take into account the number of dogs that actually competed (not those that were entered, but marked absent) during the previous year.

In each division, except AK, HI, and PR, the schedule is set according to the following formula, considering the dogs in regular class competition for the previous year.

One point-95% of the shows where there was competition carry one or more points for dogs and bitches.

Two Points-set at half the difference between the one and three point breaks.

Three Points-As close as possible to 18%, but should not exceed 20%, of the shows in a division are to carry major points (3, 4, or 5) for both dogs and bitches. Majors created by Best of Winners, Best of Breed and Best of Opposite are not counted in this calculation and are in effect bonus majors over and above the 18%.

Four Points-Set at 2/3 of the difference between the three and five point breaks.

Five points-As close as possible to 2% of the shows are to carry 5 points for both dogs and bitches.

Independent Parent Club specialties or Designated Parent Club specialties held in conjunction with an All Breed are not counted. Independent Local Specialties and Designated Local Specialties with All Breed shows are included in the computations. Additionally, events held in conjunction with the AKC Eukanuba National Championship Show (+ 3 days) are not included.

Because there are so few shows in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, we calculate the schedule of points per the above formula, and then adjust to assure a fair and equitable distribution of points that result in similar distribution as the divisions within continental United States.

Can my purebred dog compete in AKC events without being AKC registered? What is a Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege?
The Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege Program (PAL/ILP) is designed to allow dogs that are ineligible for registration, but are distinguishable as a member of an AKC registrable breed, to participate in many AKC Companion and Performance Events. Once enrolled in the PAL/ILP program, entering AKC events is as easy as with a registered dog. The only difference is that instead of an AKC registration number, you would list the dog's PAL/ILP number on the Entry form.

Applying for this program is a simple process. Applications for enrollment into the Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege program can be downloaded from our website. If you are not able to download the application, you can e-mail PAL@akc.org to request an application be mailed to you. When requesting a form via email please include your name and current mailing address.

Enrollment in the Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege program is not to be construed as an alternative form of registration, but rather, as a listing so that dog who are ineligible for AKC registration may participate in AKC Companion and Performance Events. However, a PAL/ILP may be cancelled for cause.

Over 2000 dogs in this innovative and fast-growing AKC program were granted PAL/ILP numbers in the year 2001, and the American Kennel Club awarded over 2000 AKC titles to PAL/ILP dogs in that same year. Enrollment in the PAL/ILP program is easy and the benefits for you and your dog are endless.

For more information or questions about the PAL/ILP program contact PAL@akc.org. You can also find additional information on our website.

Why does the AKC allow surgical procedures like debarking, ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removal?
The American Kennel Club recognizes that ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removal, as described in certain breed standards, are acceptable practices integral to defining and preserving the breed character and/or enhancing good health. Appropriate veterinary care should be provided.

AKC rules do prohibit changes in appearance "except as specified in the standard for the breed." If a breed standard provides for ear cropping, tail docking, or dewclaw removal, it is permitted. No AKC breed standard has a disqualification for any of these alterations.

Ear cropping is a decision made by a dog's breeder or owner. While it is true that some breeds are shown with their ears cropped, there is nothing in AKC rules and in fact nothing in any breed standard that compels an owner to have this procedure performed as a prerequisite to entry at a dog show. Even if it is traditional in a particular breed that the dogs have one of these alterations, it has the same potential to win as any other dog of the breed and will only be judged based on the compliance of that dog to the breed standard.

Debarking is also a decision left up to a dog's breeder or owner. Because debarking does not change the appearance or temperament of a dog, the AKC Board has determined that debarking does not make a dog ineligible. This procedure allows owners to alleviate noise in populated neighborhoods so that the dogs do not become a nuisance.

How can I find out which breed it was that I saw on TV?
Because of the large number of events that occur, we are unable to assist you in identifying a particular dog in a particular event. You should contact the club that hosted the event for assistance because they have the exact schedule for the competition and the time that specific breeds competed.

You can also go to our website and find a picture and physical description of each breed. This may assist you with identifying the breed.

Once you have determined the breed, if you are interested in purchasing a dog of this particular breed, please visit the breeder referral search on our website.

This search will enable you to find responsible breeders of a particular breed by contacting club-designated Breeder Referral persons for the national clubs. They should be able to help you find a breeder in your area.

If you are unsure about what breed would be best for you, you should read about each breed in which you are interested and then contact the Breeder Referral persons for those breeds. They could answer any breed-specific questions you may have and help you determine which is the right breed for you.

Are club officers, show officials, and the show photographer allowed to exhibit at a show?
The AKC Rules Applying to Dog Shows prohibits the show secretary/superintendent and the show veterinarian from exhibiting in a dog show. There is information in the AKC Show Trial Manual that addresses this question for other positions: Regarding the question of whether or not club officers or show officials and members of their households should exhibit at their club’s show, the AKC has no desire to legislate in this regard, but does expect clubs to seriously consider their own policies on the subject. The AKC recognizes that in some parts of the country there are few shows, consequently an exhibiting restriction placed on club officials is a hardship. However, a club should realize that exhibitors and spectators sometimes arrive at the wrong conclusion when a dog owned or handled by a club officer or show official, or by a member of such person's household, wins at its show. Therefore, clubs should consider an exhibiting restriction for its officers, show chairs, and members of the show committee, as well as for members of their households. In addition to club and show officials, clubs should also give consideration to placing a voluntary restriction on the exhibiting activities of the show photographer. As the show photographer has constant contact with the judges at an event, complaints are received when the show photographer or a member of his or her household exhibits dogs at the show. If a club decides to adopt a restriction, a notice stating which club officers or show officials and members of their households will be ineligible to enter or handle dogs at the show should appear in the premium list.

I provide event secretary services for many clubs and their events. Am I required to be licensed by the AKC or pay any AKC secretary/superintendent fees?
The answer to that question is dependent upon the types of events that you are the event secretary for. In the Conformation area, any individual that is the secretary for more than one All-Breed club per calendar year is required to be licensed by the AKC as a Superintendent. There are no limits on the number of Conformation Specialties that an individual can provide secretary services for. An individual can provide secretary services for up to eight Obedience or Rally events (total combined) in a calendar year without having to pay any secretary/superintendent’s fees. After eight events, the individual must pay a $10 secretary/superintendent’s fee per event.

What forms and documents do I need to submit to the AKC for each Conformation or Obedience event that my club would like to hold?
The AKC has developed a Conformation/Obedience Application Checklist (http://images.akc.org/pdf/MEAC01.pdf) to help guide clubs through the process of submitting required information to the AKC. Please review the information on the Checklist to ensure the timely approval of an application or judges panel.

Where can I obtain a wicket for measurements within Conformation competition?
The exclusive provider for measuring wickets for AKC Conformation competition is:
HJ Services
5787 West Ken Caryl Place
Littleton, CO 80128-7098
Phone: 303-979-7638
Fax: 303-979-2578
Please contact HJ Services directly for your wicket needs.

What are the different kinds of specialty events that can be held in conjunction with an all-breed or group show?
The AKC provides specialty clubs many different ways to hold competition in conjunction with an all-breed or group show.  The club holding the all-breed or group show is referred to as the host club.   A brief overview of each are presented below.

Designated Specialty:  A specialty club may designate the regular breed judging at an all-breed or group show as its specialty show.  The specialty clubs must submit an event application for the designated specialty.  The specialty club does not submit a judges panel, the judge for the breed is submitted as part of the panel of the host club’s show.  The host club must provide permission to the specialty club to hold a designated specialty and that permission must be submitted to the AKC.  The specialty club may offer sweepstakes and special attractions as part of their designated specialty.  No limit on entries for the designated specialty is required.  There is not limit on the number of designated specialties that may be held at a host club’s show.

Concurrent Specialty:  A specialty club may offer an independent specialty on the same date and at the same site as an all-breed or group show.  Specialty clubs must submit an event application and a judges panel for the concurrent specialty.  The host club must provide permission to the specialty club to hold a concurrent specialty and that permission must be submitted to the AKC.  The specialty club may offer sweepstakes and special attractions as part of their concurrent specialty.  There is a limit of one hundred (100) total entries for the concurrent specialty.  The limit includes any entries in sweepstakes or special attractions held in conjunction with the concurrent specialty.   There is a limit of one hundred (100) total entries for the breed judging in the host show.  The limit includes any entries in sweepstakes or special attractions held in conjunction with the breed judging in the host show.  Host clubs must get pre-approval from the AKC if they want to have more than five concurrent specialties with their show.  Judging for the concurrent specialty cannot begin until the completion of the breed competition in the host club’s show. This includes regular judging, sweepstakes, and special attractions. The judging in the concurrent specialty must not be stopped to accommodate entries that are participating in other competition.  If a conflict occurs, the exhibitor must choose which competition they want to participate in.

Evening Specialty:  A specialty club may offer an evening specialty on the same date and at the same site as an all-breed or group show.  Specialty clubs must submit an event application and a judges panel for the evening specialty.  The host club must provide permission to the specialty club to hold an evening specialty and that permission must be submitted to the AKC.  The specialty club may not offer sweepstakes or special attractions as part of their evening specialty.  There is a limit of fifty (50) total entries for the evening specialty.  Judging for the evening specialty cannot begin until thirty (30) minutes after the completion of the best in show judging (or group judging at a group show) at the host club show.

Supported Entry with Sweepstakes:  A specialty club may offer sweepstakes on the same date and at the same site as another show without the club offering regular conformation competition for their breed.  Specialty clubs must submit an event application and a judges panel for the sweepstakes.  The host club must provide permission to the specialty club to hold the sweepstakes and that permission must be submitted to the AKC. 

Supported Entry: A specialty club may support another club by providing prizes and trophies. No application or other notification to the AKC is needed. The club must comply with the AKC rules regarding the prizes and trophies offered and they must be listed properly in the premium list, judging program, and catalog. A specialty club that is not licensed or sanctioned with AKC cannot be listed as supporting an entry. If the specialty club is not licensed or sanctioned with AKC they are limited to being listed in the trophy section of the premium list and the listing is limited to a notation that the club is donating a trophy or prize.


Classes and Entries

What is BBE?
Beginning May 1st, 1996, the AKC began awarding special medallions to breeder-owners who place championships on their dogs and to members of the fancy who have made a long-term contribution to the sport of purebred dogs.  A medallion will be awarded automatically to the breeder-owner of each dog that becomes a champion, when all points were accumulated as a result of participation in the Bred-by-Exhibitor class; and the breeder-owner of each dog that becomes a field, amateur field, herding, lure coursing or obedience trial champion, when all points were accumulated with the dog owned or co-owned by the breeder of record. Only one medallion will be awarded for either a field or amateur field championship, but not for both.

Can my dog with Conditional Registration compete in AKC events?
Dogs with Conditional Registration have some unknown ancestors. They are eligible to compete in the same events as dogs with a Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (see below). They may not compete in Conformation shows. Read more about Conditional Registration here.

For a dog that is competing in Conformation or Obedience, what health-related surgical procedures are allowed?
Any procedure undertaken strictly to restore the health of a dog would not in itself affect a dog's show eligibility. Such procedures would include but not be limited to:

The repair of broken legs, even if such procedures involve the insertion of pins, plates or wires
The removal of damaged cartilage
The repair of ligaments that have ruptured or been torn
Caesarian sections
The repair of umbilical hernias
The removal of tumors or cysts
Gastric torsion/bloat surgery
Splenic torsion
Tonsillectomy
Correction of "Cherry Eye" (when the procedure only involves the gland of the nictitating membrane, and not the membrane itself)

These procedures apply to conformation and obedience.

Also, the Obedience Regulations (Chapter 1, Sect.16), state that dogs whose appearance has been surgically altered to correct a congenital or hereditary defect may participate in Obedience Trials provided that the dogs have been neutered. The AKC does not monitor this, although people in Obedience usually keep an eye on one another to keep everyone honest.

Can I show my imported dog using its foreign registration number?
The AKC Rules Applying to Dog Shows (Chapter 11, Section 1) allow you to show in AKC events using a dog's foreign registration number if that registration is with an acceptable foreign registry. Please note that dog cannot be shown on a foreign litter number. The dog must be individually registered with the foreign registry.

The dog may compete for thirty days beginning with the first day of exhibit. When completing an Official AKC Entry Form for an event, the dog's foreign registration number should be recorded in the appropriate space on the form indicating the country of origin.

After thirty days, either one of these two things must happen for the dog to be shown:

The AKC registration must be recorded and the dog must be shown using its individual AKC registration number, or

You must have been granted an extension to continue showing with the foreign number. Requests for extensions must be in writing (by mail, fax, or email) and must have been granted prior to the event.

The "Request for Extension" form with a letter of notification is automatically sent out after the first time that you show a dog on a non-AKC registration number in an AKC event. This form can be mailed to the address on the form or faxed to 919-816-4220. Requests must also include a copy of the dog's foreign registration. The actual request form is not needed for an extension request. A written request can also be mailed to AKC, Attn: Show Operations, 8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27617-3390, or faxed to 919-816-4220. On the request, the dog's foreign number, name, and breed must be listed along with the owner's name, address, and phone number. The request must also include a brief explanation for the delay in registration and a copy of the dog's foreign registration.

There is a Non-Refundable fee of $50.00 for a 90 days extension. If your extension request is granted, you will be sent a letter of confirmation by regular mail within 7 to 10 days. This letter will tell you the length of the extension. You will be able to show your dog under the foreign number for the duration of the extension.

To register a foreign-registered dog with the AKC, you need to obtain the AKC Foreign Registration Application form. The form can be downloaded from our web site. Complete instructions are on the form.

For general information about extensions, you can contact our Special Services Department at awards@akc.org. If you have questions related to foreign registration you can address those to foreign@akc.org.

Can I show my dog using its litter registration number?
The AKC Rules Applying to Dog Shows (Chapter 11, Section 1) No dog shall be exhibited in a licensed or member dog show, unless it is either individually registered in the AKC Stud Book, or individually registered with a foreign registry organization whose pedigrees are acceptable for AKC registration. A dog with an AKC limited Registration shall be ineligible to be entered in a breed competition in a licensed or member dog show. An unregistered dog with an acceptable foreign after thirty days, either one of these two things must happen for the dog to be shown:

As of January 1, 2010 a dog from an AKC registered litter must be registered as of the day of the show. A dog can no longer be shown on its litter number.

The "Request for Extension" form with a letter of notification is automatically sent out after the first time that you show a dog on a foreign number in an AKC event. This form can be mailed to the address on the form or faxed to 919-816-4220.

The actual request form is not needed for an extension request. A written request can also be mailed to AKC, Attn: Show Operations, 8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27617-3390, or faxed to 919-816-4220.

There is a Non-Refundable fee of $50.00 for a 90 days extension. If your extension request is granted, you will be sent a letter of confirmation by regular mail within 7 to 10 days. This letter will tell you the length of the extension. You will be able to show your dog under the litter number for the duration of the extension.

Please note that dogs cannot be shown under a foreign litter number.

For general information about extensions, you can contact our Special Services Department at awards@akc.org. If you have questions related to general registration you can address those to info@akc.org.

How can I get on the mailing list for information about upcoming dog shows?
We do not prepare or maintain mailing lists for future show notification. The publications that include the information about upcoming events and contain entry forms are called premium lists. Either the AKC-licensed show superintendents or the show secretary for the event distributes premium lists. You should contact them and they can add your name to their mailing list for your area. You can find an updated list of all the Superintendents and their contact information on our website.  You can also get information about both upcoming events and results from past events on our website.

Can a Foreign born dog that is registered with the AKC enter the Bred-by-Exhibitor class?
As long as the dog is registered with the AKC prior to the day of the show, it can be entered in the Bred-by-Exhibitor class. The dog must be handled by an owner/breeder of record of the dog, according to the AKC registration.

If my dog is ineligible for the class it is entered in, can I move it to a different class after entries have closed?
Chapter 11, Section 6 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows defines the movement of entries that are allowed. Dogs determined to be ineligible, by its owner/agent, for the class in which it has been entered may be transferred to an eligible Open class at a show prior to the judging of any regular conformation class within the sex of that breed or variety. When eligibility of the class is defined by the individual handling the dog (Bred-By- Exhibitor and Amateur Owner Handler), a dog may be moved to an eligible Open class if an eligible exhibitor is not present at the event or is not physically capable of handling the dog. Violations of this allowance will subject the dog to having its awards cancelled for the event. The restriction does not apply to dogs moved to the Open class for eligibility reasons not related to the exhibitor (i.e. dog age, foreign dog, Champion, etc.).

Can I have someone exhibit my dog in the Bred By Exhibitor or Amateur Owner Handler Class if I am physically unable to handle the dog?
As eligibility to exhibit in these classes is defined by the person handling the dog, an eligible individual must handle the dog through the completion of competition in the class. This includes those who have received accommodation from the AKC for assistance (such as a runner). These class-based handler restrictions only applies to the completion of the judging of the class and do not apply to other competition the dog may become eligible for, including the Winners class.

Can I move my dog from the Best of Breed class to another class after entries have closed?
Chapter 11, Section 6 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows defines the movement of entries that are allowed. If a dog is entered in the Best of Breed and the handler does not think that the dog is eligible for Best of Breed, the dog can be moved to a an eligible Open class. The move must take place prior to the start of judging of any regular conformation class within the sex of that breed or variety.

I entered my Champion dog into a regular class. Can I move the dog to another class after entries have closed?
Chapter 11, Section 6 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows defines the movement of entries that are allowed. According to the rules, there are two ways that the Champion dog would be allowed to move to another class. If the Champion dog is not eligible for the regular class it is entered in, the dog can be moved to a regular Open class. If the Champion dog became a Champion (determination may be based off of the owner’s records) after the entries closed, the dog can be moved to the Best of Breed class. Otherwise, the dog cannot be moved.

I entered my dog into a class that they are ineligible for because of their sex or puppy’s age. Can I move the dog to another class that they are eligible for?
Chapter 11, Section 6 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows defines the movement of entries that are allowed.  As per the rules, the entry must be transferred prior to the start of the judging of any regular conformation class within the sex of that breed or variety.

Can I show my dog if it has a fault but it is not a disqualifying fault according to Breed Standards?
A judge can’t excuse a dog for a non-disqualifying fault but can excuse a dog for lack of merit.

Can a dog with stitches be exhibited?
Dogs that have staples or bandages may not be exhibited. It is the discretion of the judge whether to allow a dog with stiches to exhibit.

Does a Show Chairperson have to be a member of the club?
Yes, according to Dealing with Misconduct Regulations, all Event Committee Members must be a member of the club. The Show Chairperson must be a member of the Event Committee. The club must ensure that members of its Event Committee be present on the grounds during show hours.

Does the Event Secretary have to be a member of the club?
No, the event secretary can be anyone in good standing with the AKC.

Does a Match Secretary have to be a member of the club?
Yes, according to the Match Regulations, the Match Secretary must be a member of the club.

Can a Concurrent Specialty hold up their judging to accommodate a dog which is also entered in the regular show?
The judging must not be stopped to accommodate entries that are participating in other competition at the show.  If a conflict occurs, the exhibitor must choose which competition they want to participate in.

What is the difference between the non-regular classes for Veterans and the Special Attraction for Veterans? 
The non-regular classes for Veterans are part of the regular points show and the undefeated winners of the class are eligible for Best of Breed.  As per the Show Trial Manual: The Veterans class is for dogs and bitches who meet a minimum age requirement set by the club.  The class may be split further into age divisions.  If the class is split, each first place winner is eligible to compete for Best of Breed.

Clubs my offer a Special Attraction for Veterans and it is often called “Best Veterans”.  This is a non-points competition.  Clubs define the requirements for dogs to compete in the Best Veterans competition and they usually use the winners of the non-regular classes for Veterans in the points show as part of the requirements.

Do Clubs have to add asterisks by Provisional/Permit Judge’s name in their publications?
According to the February 2013 Board Minutes:

The Use of an Asterisk
There was discussion on the possible use of an asterisk to designate Provisional/Permit judges in premium lists. There was a motion by Mr. Gladstone, seconded by Dr. Garvin, and it was VOTED (unanimously) to include an asterisk with the name of every provisional judge in the premium list judging program and catalog, effective July 1, 2013. The status would be determined as of the date the judging panel is approved.

Meeting adjourned on Thursday February 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm

As per the email below  “catalogs must indicate if the judge was Provisional/Permit for an assignment on the date the judging panel was finalized and approved by the AKC”.  The way the policy is now, if a judge gains approval for a breed between the time the panel was approved and the event date, they should still be marked as provisional in the publications.

Who is responsible for applying for Open Shows?
The breed club holding the Open Show is responsible for submitting the application. If the Open Show is being held on the same date and site of an All-Breed or Group show, it is not the responsibility of an All-Breed or Group club.  If there is All-Breed or Group competition on the same day and site, the club applying for the Open Show must gain permission from the club hosting the All-Breed or Group competition on the same day as the Open Show.

What do I need to provide in order to be approved to offer reserved grooming?
Per the AKC Board Policy of 2012, a club offering reserved grooming must also provide a reasonable amount of free grooming of equal desirability.

  • How many reserved grooming spaces will you offer, or alternatively, what percentage of your total grooming area will be for reserved grooming? 
  • Describe the physical condition of the reserved grooming (i.e. indoor/outdoor, surface, and cover).
  • Where is the reserved grooming in relationship to the competition?
  • How many open/free grooming spaces will you offer, or alternatively, what percentage of your total grooming area will be for open/free grooming? 
  • Describe the physical condition of the open/free grooming (i.e. indoor/outdoor, surface, and cover).
  • Where is the open/free grooming in relationship to the competition?

Results, Awards, and Titles

Awards Corrections
If you have seen an incorrect listing of an award on a superintendent's website, please understand that it may take up to 3 weeks from the date of the event for the official AKC records to be processed. Please send information about awards corrections or concerns to awards@akc.org.

They will check the judge's book and do any necessary investigating to confirm the claim. They may need you to send them a copy of the ribbon and/or a photo of the win, if available.

My dog just attained his title. When should I expect to receive his title certificate?
It takes about three weeks for show and trial results to be entered into the computer system here. Once the requirements are met for a title, the computer recognizes that automatically and creates the certificate. The certificates are then mailed by third class mail, which can take as long as three weeks. So, title certificates should be to the owner within about six weeks of the date the dog finished the requirements.

If you do not receive the title within this time frame, you might want to verify the mailing address that is on your dog's record. Third class mail is not forwarded, nor is it returned to AKC. If there is an address problem, we can correct it and re-send the certificate.

How can I find out how many points/legs my dog has acquired toward his title?
Title progress information is available for free in our Online Store. On the home page, highlight "Shop AKC". This will cause a drop down box to appear. One of the choices on the menu will be "Enter Store". Click on it. Click on "Log In" at the bottom of the screen. Sign in to your account (or create an account if you don't already have one).

Once your are signed in you will have several options. Click on "Dog Reports". Click on "Awards Record". Find your dog under dog search. Scroll down this page and you will see "View a Summary of the Title Progression for this Dog". This will cause a box to open that will give you information about any progress your dog has made toward any title.

If you want to see a complete breakdown of your dog's placements, you can order the Awards Record for $8. This will give you a record of every event where your dog got any kind of ribbon. It will show you the date, event, judge, class, placement, and points or legs.


Judges and Judging

How do I find out information about AKC judges?
You can search for AKC judges and foreign judges approved to judge an AKC show on our website.

To use this search, you will need to enter as much information as you have about the judge that you wish to locate. If you have the judge's number, that is the only field you need to enter. You can also enter the name or state if you have that. If you do not have the name or number, or if you are looking for multiple judges, you should use the advanced search. Just click on the link near the bottom for the type of event for which you need to locate a judge.


Junior Showmanship

Are there any special competitions for young people who want to show their dogs?
Junior Showmanship offers young people the opportunity to compete with others of their own age in various AKC events--from Junior Showmanship classes (where they are judged on how they present their dog) to training and exhibiting their dogs in Obedience, Agility and the many Performance events. Junior classes were developed to recognize and support the unique relationship between a young person and a dog, to encourage responsible dog ownership, and to secure a place for these youngsters in the fancy today and in the future, as they become adults. The Board of Director's of the American Kennel Club established a National Junior Organization in January, 1997, to further encourage the involvement of juniors in AKC events.

AKC is also proud to offer a Junior Scholarship program. The criteria for awarding the scholarships include the following:

applicant's need;
applicant's academic achievement; and
applicant's involvement in the fancy.

Each applicant is required to submit current school transcripts, an essay including a description of his or her experiences and interests in purebred dogs, and an explanation of how the individual's perceives his or her future role in the fancy.

There is a newsletter for Junior Handlers, faqs, and many other topics for Junior Handlers on our website.

To compete in Junior Showmanship, the young handlers must have their own Junior Showmanship number.

If you have other questions, or need more specific information, you may contact the Junior Showmanship department in our Raleigh, NC, office via email at juniors@akc.org.


Sweepstakes

Can a sweepstakes judge exhibit on the same day that they judge?
As per the Rules, Policies, and Guidelines For Conformation Dog Show Judges  (see below), a judge with an assignment at a Sweepstakes cannot exhibit on the same day as their judging assignment.  As defined in the rules, this restriction extends to all of the days of conformation competition at a multi-day Specialty.  The prohibition from exhibiting at other days of a multi-day competition only applies to conformation competition.  A sweeps judge can exhibit in other competitions (i.e. Obedience, Rally, Agility, etc.) on the days that they are not judging Sweepstakes.

Exhibiting and Handling: [P]
Conformation judges and household members (as defined in Chapter 11, Section 13 of the Rules) may not exhibit any breed and judge on the day of, the three days before and the three days after an assignment within 200 miles of the assignment. Effective January 1, 2009 Sweepstake/ Futurity judges may not exhibit on day(s) they judge. Sweepstake/Futurity judges will continue to be allowed to exhibit the day before and the day after the event they judge. A multi-day specialty is considered one event, and the restriction will apply for the duration of the event.

Contact Judging Operations for specific questions regarding Sweeps Judges at 919-816-3593 or judgingops@akc.org.

I entered my puppy in the wrong age class for sweepstakes. Can I change it to the correct class after closing of entries?
Chapter 11 Section 6 of the Rules Applying to Dog Shows allows for a dog to be transferred from one “Puppy Class to another or between the Puppy and Twelve-to-Eighteen Month Class…” at regular points shows.  Clubs are given a great degree of flexibility in defining the eligibility requirements as well as the classes offered at Sweepstakes.  Likewise, a club can decide whether they will allow a dog to be moved from a class they are ineligible for at a Sweepstakes.

Can my club offer a three-time win trophy for Best in Sweepstakes?
Three-time win trophies are not permissible in Sweepstakes/Futurities.

Do the Sweepstakes entries count toward the judge’s “dogs per day” limits?
Yes

Do the Sweepstakes entries count toward an event’s entry limits (i.e. Evening Specialty, Concurrent Specialty, Two Specialties in one day)?
Evening Specialties are limited to 50 entries.  Sweepstakes, special attractions or matches cannot be held in conjunction with Evening Specialties.  Clubs holding an Evening Specialty may offer a Sweepstakes within the All-Breed or Group show on that day.  Entries in the Sweepstakes within the regular show do not count toward the entry limit for the Evening Specialty.

Clubs holding a Concurrent Specialty are limited to 100 entries for the Specialty, inclusive of Sweepstakes, Special Attractions, and Matches held in conjunction with the Specialty.  The same limitations also apply to the breed competition that is part of the All-Breed or Group show that the Concurrent Specialty is associated with.

Clubs holding two independent Specialty shows in one day are limited to 100 entries for each Specialty, inclusive of Sweepstakes, Special Attractions, and Matches held in conjunction with the Specialty.

Can my Champion enter a Sweepstakes Competition?
The club offering the Sweepstakes establishes the eligibility for Champion dogs.  Eligibility requirements and limitations for a Sweepstakes must be stated in the premium list.

Can professional handlers handle a dog in a Sweepstakes?  Can a dog entered in a Sweepstakes be owned or co-owned by a professional handler?
The club offering the Sweepstakes establishes the eligibility for professional handlers.  Eligibility requirements and limitations for a Sweepstakes must be stated in the premium list.

Can I enter a dog only in a Sweepstakes and not the regular class?
The club offering the Sweepstakes establishes the eligibility for entries. Eligibility requirements and limitations for a Sweepstakes must be stated in the premium list.


Trophies, Prizes, and Ribbons

What color is the Best of Breed ribbon?
According to Rules Applying to Dog Shows Chapter 5, Section 1, Best of Breed ribbons must be purple and gold.  Ribbon colors for regular classes and groups at AKC dog shows can be found in Chapter 5, Section 1.

Can trophies be offered in in honor of a dog or person?
According to the AKC Policy Manual dated March 1995, trophies for dogs may only be offered in memory of deceased dogs.   For a person, trophies may be offered in memory of deceased persons or in honor of a person who is no longer an active breeder, exhibitor, or member of the club.

Can my club offer a three-time win trophy?
Three-time win trophies are:

  • Only permissible for the placements specified in the Rules Applying to Dog Shows, Chapter 5, Sections 8, 9, 10, & 11.
  • Not permissible in Sweepstakes/Futurities                 

Can a club holding a Designated Specialty for a breed with varieties award a Best of Breed or Best in Show for their breed?
These awards cannot be offered as part of the All-Breed or Group show that the Designated Specialty is part of (Rules Applying to Dog Shows, Chapter 3, Section 15). The club offering the Designated Specialty can apply for a Special Attraction to provide for additional competition and awards for the dogs within their breed.   The Special Attraction judging should take place after Group competition is complete for all of the competitors eligible to compete in the Special Attraction.

If a club for a breed with varieties is holding a Designated Specialty and the club hosting the All-Breed or Group Show is also offering an Obedience Trial, can the club holding the Designated Specialty offer a High in Trial (HIT) for the highest scoring dog for their breed in the Obedience Trial?
No.  Only one HIT can be awarded for the Obedience Trial.  The club could offer a special prize for the highest scoring dog of the breed, but it would not be part of the official awards for the Obedience Trial.

Q: Can a club offer a trophy that is retained by the club?
A: Not as prize that is part of the AKC event.  A trophy of this type is considered a perpetual trophy and is not allowed (with an exception for those trophies that were first awarded prior to September 9, 1952) as part of an AKC event as per Rules Applying to Dog Shows, Chapter 5, Section 11.  If the club wants to offer a trophy that is retained by the club outside the auspices of an AKC event, they should follow these guidelines:

  • The trophy cannot be listed as a prize in the premium list
  • The trophy cannot be presented in the prize or awards area of the AKC event
  • It is suggested that the trophy be awarded at a banquet or dinner outside of the event.
  • If a trophy is awarded on the same date and site as the event, it should be presented at an area away from the prize or awards area of the event and preferably while there is a break in judging.
  • The club can offer a take home prize or trophy in the prize or awards area of the AKC event and in event publications (premium, judging program, catalog).  A take home prize or trophy cannot be designated as being a replacement for a trophy retained by the club.
  • The club can have an advertisement or article in their catalog about the person being honored and the trophy.  An advertisement or article of this type should not be near the area in the catalog that details the prizes and awards for the show.