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AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge

UPDATE: Entries for AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge III are now closed. Stay tuned for the results! Visit to follow along with judging.

Are you missing the fun, camaraderie, and competition of conformation dog shows? Maybe you always wanted to try showing your dog but weren’t sure where to start? In these times of social distancing, we invite the dog fancy community to come together virtually to celebrate our beloved dogs in a new way. The AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge is an online conformation event for AKC-recognized breeds and the Miscellaneous class.

AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge III will offer prize money for Group winners and Best in Show:

  • One (1) First Place prize of US$100 for each Adult (Open) and Puppy Group winner including Miscellaneous
  • One (1) Best in Show prize of US$200 for the Adult (Open); and one (1) Best Puppy prize of US$200

The entry fee to participate in our third AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge is $25, and $10 of every entry will be donated by AKC to the California Fire Foundation’s Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program, which provides immediate assistance in the form of gift cards to victims of fire or other natural disasters so they may purchase necessities, such as food, clothing and medicine. The second AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge generated an $8,000 donation to AKC Reunite’s Adopt A K-9 Cop program. Find the judging panel for AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge III.

  • How to Enter +

    To enter the AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge III, read the Official Rules completely, then visit AKC Shop to purchase your $25 entry once entries open. You will receive detailed instructions on how to create and submit a video of your entry that you will upload to the virtual event. Winners will be displayed on the challenge leaderboard once judging completes. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions below if you need additional information.

  • How the Challenge Works +

    Here’s how the AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge is structured:

    • Dogs must be at least six months of age
    • Participants enter into one of two classes in the appropriate breed
      • Puppy (at least 6 and under 12 months)
      • Open (any entry including CH of record)
      • Separate classes for dogs and bitches
    • Each class is judged individually and placed 1st-4th
    • 1st place from each class (up to 4) is then judged to determine Best of Breed
    • Best Puppy selected from the 1st place from the dog & bitch puppy classes
    • Each BOB advances to the Group competition to be judged later
    • Each Best Puppy advances to the Puppy Group to be judged later
    • Groups (regular & puppy) are judged and placed 1st-4th
    • Group Winners advance to Best in Show (regular & puppy) to be judged later
    • BIS & Reserve BIS selected from each competition
    • Puppies could potentially compete in both groups/BIS (if awarded BOB in its breed)
    • If a an entry displays an obvious breed standard or rules disqualification, the judge will mark the entry as “DQ”

  • What Should a Video Entry Include? +

    All entrants must upload a video of their dog to the challenge. Video should not exceed two (2) minutes in length and should include the following components:

    • Dog in stack from the front, rear and side.
    • Display of appropriate oral exam (show front, sides and/or open mouth as appropriate)
    • View of dog gaiting from the side, coming & going. (i.e. around the ring & down and back)
    • Dog presented in a free-stack

    New to conformation and need help learning how to show your dog? Take the AKC Canine College Conformation for Beginners online course for free before you make your video.

    We’ve provided a sample video to help you create your entry.

  • Challenge Dates +

    Important dates for AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge III to note:

    • Monday, September 28 entries open (noon ET)
    • Monday, October 12 entries close (noon ET)
    • Wednesday, October 14 video submissions close (noon ET)
    • Friday, October 16 breed judging begins (noon ET)
    • Monday, October 19 breed judging completed (6PM ET)
    • Wednesday, October 21 breed winners announced
    • Wednesday, October 21 group judging begins (noon ET)
    • Friday, October 23 group judging completed (noon ET)
    • Monday, October 26 group winners announced
    • Monday, October 26 BIS judging begins
    • Tuesday, October 27 BIS judging completed (noon ET)
    • Wednesday, October 28 BIS announced

  • Frequently Asked Questions +

    Does this event award points toward my dog’s show championship?

    No, the virtual event does not award points toward a dog’s show championship. It is meant to encourage owners to keep working with their dogs and provide an enjoyable outlet during this time when there are fewer dog shows to attend.

    My dog is spayed or neutered. Can I still participate?

    Yes, altered dogs may enter this virtual event.

    I can’t find my breed or class. What do I do?

    Type the name of your breed into the search box on This is the quickest and easiest way to find your breed’s challenge. Be sure you are entering a challenge hosted by “American Kennel Club.” If you enter a different host’s challenge, your entry will not be judged as part of this event. You will then click on the appropriate class to enter for your dog’s breed, sex and age from the search results. Each breed has four options: Open Dogs, Open Bitches, Puppy Dogs, and Puppy Bitches

    My entry isn’t uploading. What do I do?

    Your video’s entry name needs to be 25 characters or less, and should only include your order number from the receipt you receive via email when you pay for your entry on AKC Shop. This is the most common reason a video won’t upload! If you have exceeded 25 characters, shorten your entry name to only include your order number and try again. Do not include your dog’s call name, registered name, kennel name, or your name in your video’s entry name—only your order number.

    I named my video entry incorrectly. How can I edit it?

    Go to and search for your breed in the search box. Locate the challenge you entered by breed/sex/age and click the on the name of the challenge. If you are logged in to Clippero already, you will see a pink “Manage My Entries” button. (If you do not see the button, log in to Clippero and start again.) Click the “Manage My Entries” button, and then change the incorrect information in the “Name Your Entry” field to be your AKC Shop order number from your payment receipt, then click the pink “Submit” button. That’s it!

    If you have other questions about the AKC Virtual Top Dog Challenge, you may send them to We will do our best to answer them as quickly as possible.

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