AKC National Owner-Handled Series (NOHS)


Best Practices

Clubs have had great success offering the NOHS when they use a combination of these best practices.


  • Identify a club representative who will be responsible for coordinating the NOHS. The representative should have a solid understanding of the NOHS and how the club can successfully offer it.
  • At least two weeks prior to the date of your show, notify your ring stewards that your event will be offering the NOHS and provide them information on how to successfully execute the program.
  • Dedicate a page in the premium list for the NOHS. Explain the basics and reference the AKC website http://www.akc.org/events/nohs/ for more information. Point out that there is no additional cost, but exhibitors must indicate on their entry that they are eligible for the NOHS. Superintendents have standard verbiage that can be used.
  • Trophies are optional, but clubs are encouraged to offer the same size rosettes as offered for the regular groups.
  • The best chance of increasing entries and providing exhibitors with the most additional opportunities to compete is by offering the NOHS on all days of conformation competition.

Judge Assignments

  • To avoid conflicts at the show, assign different judges to the NOHS Group and the judging of the same group in the regular show. You can further avoid conflicts by not assigning any of the regular show groups to judges assigned to the NOHS Group.
  • Use a judge approved for at least one, and preferably many, breeds within the group. Remember that only AKC judges that are approved for at least one breed are allowed to judge the NOHS and they do not have to be on the regular panel for the show.
  • Do not assign the same judge to judge a breed, the NOHS Group for that breed, and NOHS Best in Show at the same show.
  • Notify the judges prior to the event that they are scheduled to judge the NOHS Group(s) and/or NOHS Best in Show. Including the information in the judge's contract or the club's hospitality letter to the judge is recommended.


  • Schedule the NOHS Groups to start at least 30 minutes prior to the judging of the regular group judging. If you can schedule the NOHS Groups to start even earlier, consider doing so. This will help avoid conflict situations between the judging of the regular and NOHS Groups.
  • Schedule the judging for the NOHS Group prior to the regular judging of the same group in the regular show. This minimizes the appearance of pre-judging and allows many owner-handlers to complete their competition earlier in the day.
  • For maximum recognition of the NOHS, schedule the NOHS Best in Show just prior to the Best in Show judging for the regular show.

Day of the Competition

  • A briefing should be held each morning by the club to refresh club members, judges, and stewards regarding the NOHS procedures.
  • If an AKC Executive Field Representative is attending your event, the club representative for the NOHS and the Show Chair should work with them at the event to ensure the smooth and orderly operation of the NOHS throughout the day.
  • Use larger rings for the NOHS Group competition. With the growth of the NOHS, it will become necessary to convert two adjacent rings into one large ring like is done for the regular groups.