AKC National Owner-Handled Series Q & A
1. What is the purpose of the AKC National Owner-Handled Series?
To recognize and showcase the quality dogs being exhibited by owner/handlers and to provide a venue for the owner/handlers to compete against their peers. The determination of the awards in the AKC National Owner-Handled Series is based solely on the quality of the entry. The owner/handler’s handling ability is not of consideration.
2. How do I enter the AKC National Owner-Handled Series competition?
The entry form now has an Owner-Handled eligible "check box" located below the lines for signature and telephone number. If you are eligible and interested in participating in the Series at an event, you must check the box on the entry form prior to the closing of the event. When entering an event using online services, check with that organization for instructions on how to enter the Series. There is no additional fee required to enter this competition.
3. How do I find a show that offers AKC National Owner-Handled Series competition?
AKC National Owner-Handled Series shows are listed at here.
4. When and where will the end of year competition be held?
The end of year competition for the AKC National Owner-Handled Series will be held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. Dogs that finished ranked in the top ten (plus ties) for their breed for the current qualifying period will be invited to compete in the competition. The qualifying period for the 2015 qualifying year is October 09, 2014 through October 07, 2015.
5. Is the AKC National Owner-Handled Series the same thing as the Amateur-Owner-Handler Class?
No, the Amateur-Owner-Handler Class is a regular class and the winner of this class will compete in the Winners Class for AKC Championship points. The AKC National Owner-Handled Series is a special attraction that selects an Owner-Handled dog from all eligible dogs in the Best of Breed ring including the Winners Dog or Bitch. However, no points towards a championship will be awarded in the Series.
6. Since AKC National Owner-Handled Series competition occurs in the Best of Breed ring, how can Owner-Handled class dogs compete?
Eligible class dogs that are selected Winners Dog or Winners Bitch are included in the AKC National Owner-Handled Series judging.
7. Can I change handlers during competition?
Dogs must be handled by an owner/handler eligible for the AKC National Owner-Handled Series throughout the breed level competition for the point show. This includes the class competition and subsequent competition in the breed ring. Additionally, dogs must be handled by an eligible owner/handler for all AKC National Owner-Handled Series competition. If the replacement handler is an eligible owner/handler for that dog a change can occur. Any person can show the dog in the regular group and Best In Show competitions.
8. Can a professional handler's spouse or child exhibit a dog in this competition?
No, household members and current assistants to professional handlers in conformation are not eligible to exhibit in this competition. A current assistant is defined as anyone employed by a professional handler on a full-time basis, or, assisting a professional handler at the show or any show during the cluster/weekend. Eligibility restrictions apply to all members of the same household.
9. I have shown dogs for friends and was given gas money. Am I now ineligible?
You may compete in the AKC National Owner-Handled Series as long as you are not a professional handler as described here. Any type of remuneration associated with the service of handling a dog in the conformation ring meets the definition of a professional handler in regards to eligibility for the AKC National Owner-Handled Series. Compensation for expenses outside of the conformation ring does not meet this definition.
10. Can a professional handler co-own a dog in the AKC National Owner-Handled Series competition?
Yes, dogs can be co-owned by a professional handler or members of their household (as described here) and be exhibited in this competition as long as the professional handler or household member does not exhibit the dog during eligible competition (see question 7). Eligibility restrictions apply to all members of the same household.
11. If the Select Bitch is eligible for NOHS is my Winners Bitch still eligible for further AKC National Owner-Handled Series competition?
Yes, unless the Best of Winners was awarded to an eligible Winners Dog.
12. My friend handles several dogs for people. Is she allowed to enter and compete in this series?
Yes, as long as your friend is not a professional handler as described here.
13. Are judges allowed to compete in the AKC National Owner-Handled Series?
Yes, if they have not worked as a professional handler within the last five years as described here.
14. How do I protest an ineligible exhibitor who competes in the AKC National Owner-Handled Series?
Speak with the AKC Executive Field Representative in attendance or send signed protests with supporting documentation that an exhibitor was ineligible to the address below. Included in the protest must be the name of the ineligible exhibitor, the dog(s) they have shown in the Series, and supporting documentation. AKC Attn: Event Records PO Box 900051 Raleigh, NC 27675-9051
15. If a dog fails to compete in the NOHS Group or NOHS BIS ring, will their NOHS awards for the event be cancelled?
No, because the NOHS is a special attraction, there is not a requirement to continue to compete at the show.
16. If a dog is "cut" or "defeated" during the Best of Breed competition, is it ineligible to compete in the NOHS competition for the breed?
A dog being "cut" or otherwise "defeated" in the Best of Breed ring remains eligible to compete in the NOHS. The NOHS Best of Breed will be selected from the eligible exhibits based on the program guidelines and procedures.
17. If a dog receives an Award of Merit (AOM), are the other eligible dogs in the ring considered eliminated for the purposes of determining Owner-Handled Best of Breed/Variety?
No, the other dogs in the ring are not eliminated by any dog(s) receiving an Award of Merit (AOM). The AOM is a club award which the criteria for awarding are determined by each individual club. Since the AOM is not an AKC award and the criteria varies from club to club these dogs are not considered to have eliminated any dogs in the Best of Breed/Variety ring for the purposes of determining Owner-Handled Best of Breed/Variety. The judging procedures for determining Owner-Handled Best of Breed/Variety for the NOHS can be found here.
18. If a dog is marked eligible for NOHS competition, can a professional handler exhibit the dog at the show?
If a professional handler exhibits a dog in breed, NOHS group, or NOHS Best in Show competition all NOHS awards at the event are subject to cancellation. A professional handler can exhibit an NOHS-eligible dog in regular group and regular Best in Show competition. Additionally, a professional handler may be able to exhibit the dog in other competitions at the event such as Rally, Obedience, Agility, etc. as per the rules and regulations of those sports.
19. What are the qualifications required to judge the AKC National Owner-Handled Series Groups?
Any judge approved (including permit judges) for at least one AKC breed may judge the AKC National Owner-Handled Series. It is best if the judge of a group is approved for one or more breeds in the Group they are judging.
20. Can a judge steward and judge an NOHS Group on the same day?
If the only assignment a judge has for the weekend/cluster is an NOHS Group they must abide by the same restrictions as a sweepstakes judge. Therefore, they may not exhibit on the day of their assignment and may steward after their judging assignment is complete. If a judge has regular class assignments on the same day/weekend/cluster as an NOHS Group assignment they are held to the policy applicable to regular judges in that you may only steward after your entire judging assignment is complete.
21. Can the same person judge all seven NOHS Groups and BIS?
Clubs should not assign the same individual to judge all seven NOHS Groups and BIS (see NOHS Policies and Best Practices).
22. Can AKC National Owner-Handled Series competition be offered at specialty and group shows?
Any conformation event may offer the NOHS. This includes independent, concurrent, designated, and evening specialties.
23. Does the new Board policy requiring the NOHS to be offered if a special attraction with competition is held mean that if I offer the 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy competition that I must offer the NOHS?
No. The 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy competition is not a special attraction. It is an event that must be applied for and has its own event number.
24. What are the most common special attractions with competition?
Best Puppy, Best Veteran, and Best Bred-By Exhibitor
25. If a club offers a demonstration, a parade, Barn Hunt, or Coursing Ability Test are they required to offer the NOHS as well?
These special attractions are not considered competition so the NOHS is not required. It can be offered in addition to these special attractions.
26. Does the new Board policy requiring the NOHS to be offered if a special attraction with competition is held apply to specialty clubs?
At their June 2014 meeting the AKC Board of Directors clarified the policy to reflect that the NOHS requirement applies only if the club is offering another special attraction with group competition. Because a specialty club does not offer group competition, the Board policy on the NOHS requirement does not apply to specialty clubs.
27. Recent Board policy allows clubs to hold the most common special attractions without applying for them. Why does a club have to notify the AKC that they are offering the NOHS?
Clubs must notify AKC so the events offering NOHS can receive free promotional support from AKC. In addition to listing the NOHS on the AKC website and the Weekly Wins email, the AKC will email potential exhibitors in the area information about the club’s event. These emails are sent two and five weeks prior to the event closing date.
28. Is there still a limit on the number of special attractions with competition that can be offered at an event?
With the Board policy requiring the NOHS to be offered if a special attraction with competition is offered, there is no longer a limit on the number of special attractions with competition that can offered at an event.