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AKC’s Virtual Title program has been a big hit, and it’s easy to see why: there is a lot to enjoy!

Though dog shows are being held again, they are still few and far between. An excellent way to get your puppy buyers interested in competing and enjoying AKC dog sports is to encourage them to earn virtual titles. And it also gives you the opportunity to put titles on your dogs!

In addition to the titling opportunities themselves, AKC has many resources to help owners train for them. Keep reading to learn how to participate.

AKC Rally® Virtual Pilot Program

The AKC Rally Novice and Intermediate Virtual program lets Rally competitors set up a pre-designed AKC Rally® course in an appropriate place of their choosing, record the performance, and submit it to AKC.

AKC will then assign a pre-selected AKC Rally Judge to virtually review and score the team’s performance.

There are pre-designed Rally courses, five each for Novice and Intermediate levels, to choose from on the AKC website. Just as with in-person trials, teams must earn three qualifying scores with three different courses. To participate, follow the Virtual Entry Instructions, video record the performance, upload the video to YouTube, set the required YouTube viewing options, and submit the video link with the entry form and fee to AKC.

You can download and print every Rally sign at home and learn each skill through instructional videos.

Trick Dog

AKC Trick Dog

All five Trick Dog titles, Novice through Elite Performer, can be earned virtually.  Full rules and requirements for video submissions are on the AKC website. Entries are sent to AKC Canine Good Citizen evaluators. If you don’t know a CGC evaluator, you can find one here.

Dogs who have earned the Elite Performer Trick Dog title by Oct. 1, 2020, can enter the 2020 Virtual AKC Trick Dog National Competition! Click Rules For 2020 AKC Virtual Trick Dog Competition for instructions.

Havanese leaping over a jump in an agility course outdoors.
herreid/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

ACT (Agility Course Test) Program

Dogs can take the Agility Course Test (ACT) from home! Exhibitors record their performance and submit to AKC, and then AKC assigns a pre-selected AKC Agility Judge to virtually review and score the runs.

There are two levels of ACT events – ACT1 and ACT2. ACT1 is designed for the beginning level dog to show beginning sequencing and performance skills. There are no weave poles or teeter in ACT1.

ACT2 requires an increased skill level shown by the additional obstacles to be performed, including weaves and all contacts, including teeter.

The ACT program is open to all dogs over 15 months of age that have not earned any AKC agility titles. Dogs do not have to have an ACT 1 title to be entered in ACT 2. If a dog already has one leg in ACT 1, they may be entered in ACT 2. They do not need to complete the ACT 1 title.

Visit AKC Agility ACT 1 & 2 Virtual pilot program to find courses and instructions on how to enter. Teams can stay at home or use their local training site and enter an AKC ACT 1 or ACT 2 event. You can buy equipment online.

AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge

Are you missing the fun and competition of dog shows? Want to try conformation but don’t know where to start? The AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge is an online conformation event for AKC-recognized breeds and the Miscellaneous class.

AKC Fit Dog

If you live somewhere where it is safe for you and your dog to get out of the house regularly to walk,  don’t forget about AKC’s Fit Dog program. Check your local regulations and maintain at least 6 feet of distance between anyone else you may pass on your walk. This is a great activity for kids too. For the program you and your dog commit to either: 

  • Walking at least 30 minutes 5 times per week for a total of at least 150 minutes per week for at least 3 months. For dogs and people in good shape.
  • Walking at least 15 minutes per session at least 10 times per week (e.g., two 15-min walks per day) for at least 3 months. For dogs or people who would benefit from a walk that is a shorter duration, e.g., senior dogs. 

 When you and your dog have achieved either of these benchmarks you fill out the AKC FitDog form and will be sent a free FitDog program magnet!

Virtual Water Test

Several pointing breeds are required to pass the AKC Water Test in order to be awarded field trial or hunting test titles. Owners have faced a lack of water tests, so the AKC Performance Events Department is offering a Virtual Water Test on a pilot basis. The owner or handler submits a video of a dog performing the water test. The dog’s performance is evaluated by two field trial or hunting test judges. The owner will receive an e-certificate proving their dog passed the test. The Virtual Water Test will be a convenient option for owners to demonstrate their dog’s ability to retrieve over water.

Passing a water test is a requirement to earning a Field Champion (FC) or Amateur Field Champion (AFC) for the Weimaraner and German Wirehaired Pointer (GWP). It is also required for the Spinone Italiano and GWP in order to earn a Senior Hunter (SH) title or Master Hunter (MH) title.  While this is not required for other breeds, water tests are open to all pointing breeds 6 months of age and older. For instructions and the entry form, click here.