The American Kennel Club is pleased to announce enhancements to the conformation Puppy of Achievement (POA) program. After a successful pilot program in 2017-2018, the Board of Directors decided to accept the recommendation of staff to continue and enhance the POA program. A survey conducted at the end of the pilot program showed there was strong agreement that the program was successful in attracting and retaining new participants.
Puppy of Achievement points are earned by winning regular puppy classes or being awarded Best of Breed or Best of Opposite Sex in the 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy (BPUP) competition. Dogs that earn 10 POA points will receive a certificate for their accomplishment. For details regarding how points are awarded, please see the link at the bottom of this announcement. All dogs exhibited in the regular puppy classes or in BPUP competition are eligible to earn POA points. There is no special entry requirement and no fee associated with the program.
“Since POA points are earned in existing classes, there is no administrative impact on the clubs, superintendents or judges,” said Bri Tesarz, Manager of Dog Show Rules & Programs. “Starting May 1, enhancements to the program include adding POA points to the Individual Dog Award Record and Points Progression report, which owners can access for free to check their puppy’s progress online. In addition, an encouragement email will be sent to owners when their puppy is half way toward earning its POA certificate.”
“New puppy owners sometimes need extra encouragement to maintain their participation,” said Doug Ljungren, Executive Vice President for Sports and Events. “The Puppy of Achievement program is meant to provide a realistic goal that new exhibitors can strive to attain while they and their dog gain experience. Attracting and retaining new exhibitors is important for the future of the sport. The pilot program demonstrated that the POA program is a step in the right direction.”