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The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and advocate for all dogs, is pleased to announce the start of its new conformation Puppy of Achievement (POA) certificate program. 

The program is designed to create incremental steps of success for those participating in conformation with their puppies.  POA points will be earned by winning regular puppy classes or going 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.  All dogs exhibited in the regular puppy classes or in BPUP competition will be eligible to earn POA points.  There is no special entry requirement and no fee associated with the program. Dogs can start earning POA points at shows beginning September 1, 2017.

“We’re excited to launch this program as a way to encourage new puppy owners to continue participating in the sport.  Our surveys have shown that new exhibitors are encouraged and likely to continue beyond five shows when they achieve some success,” said Doug Ljungren, Vice President of Sports and Events.  “The Puppy of Achievement certificate program is meant to provide a realistic goal new exhibitors can strive to attain while they and their dog gain experience.  We look forward to helping new exhibitors stay engaged and encouraged.”  

“The POA program is seamless for clubs, superintendents, and judges, as points are earned in existing classes,” said Bri Tesarz, Manager of Dog Show Rules and Programs.  “As always, we are here to help make participation in this program as easy and enjoyable as possible.”

AKC is launching the Puppy of Achievement as a pilot program.  At the end of one year, all owners who have received a POA certificate will be surveyed about their experience, and next steps will be determined.

To learn more about the Puppy of Achievement program, please visit   Questions can be sent to