The purpose of the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series (NOHS) is 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.
- The best chance of increasing entries and providing exhibitors with the most additional opportunities to compete is by offering the NOHS on all days of conformation competition.
- Trophies are optional, but clubs are encouraged to offer the same size rosettes as offered for the regular groups.
- On the day of competition, a briefing should be held each morning by the club to refresh club members, judges, and stewards regarding the NOHS procedures.
- If an AKC Executive Field Representative is attending your event, the club representative for the NOHS and the Show Chair should work with them at the event to ensure the smooth and orderly operation of the NOHS throughout the day.
- Group judging for the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series may take place in separate rings from regular group judging. It is recommended that the group judging for the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series begin at least thirty minutes prior to regular group judging. Judging may be adjusted to prevent any delays or interference with the regular group judging.
- For maximum recognition of the NOHS, schedule the NOHS Best in Show just prior to the Best in Show judging for the regular show.
- Notify the judges prior to the event that they are scheduled to judge the NOHS Group(s) and/or NOHS Best in Show. It is recommended to include the information in the judge’s contract or the club’s hospitality letter to the judge.
AKC National Owner‐Handled Series Regulations
Section 1: General Information
- There is no additional fee to enter this competition.
- Entries must be marked as eligible to compete in the AKC NOHS prior to the closing of entries for that show.
- The handler must be an owner of record according to the AKC’s records as of the date of the show.
- Ribbon colors for NOHS competition are:
NOHS Best of Breed/Variety – Maroon
NOHS Group 1 – Neon Pink
NOHS Group 2 – Neon Green
NOHS Group 3 – Teal
NOHS Group 4 – Cream
NOHS Best in Show – Turquoise
NOHS Reserve Best in Show – Light Green
Section 2: Eligibility
- Professional handler, 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.
- Current assistants that are eligible to compete in Junior Showmanship (meet age and amateur status requirements) may participate in NOHS.
- Professional handler is defined as any person who belongs or has belonged to a professional handlers’ organization, distributed rate cards, or otherwise advertised or represented themselves as handling dogs for pay within the last five years.
- Dogs must be handled by an eligible owner/handler for the AKC NOHS throughout the breed level (all classes, Winners, and Best of Breed) competition. Additionally, dogs must be handled by an eligible owner/handler for all AKC National Owner‐Handled Series competition (Group and Best in Show). Any person may exhibit the dog in the regular Group and Best in Show competitions.
- Eligibility restrictions apply to all members of the same household.
Section 3: Day of the Competition
- Larger rings must be used for the NOHS Group competition. It is advisable to convert two adjacent rings into one large ring as is often done for the regular groups.
- Judging for the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series Best in Show may take place prior to or after regular Best in Show judging and the start time of the NOHS Groups must be published in the judging program.
Section 4: Judging Eligibility
- A judge must be approved (including permit judges) for at least one breed in the group to judge the AKC NOHS Group, unless they are approved for 1 full group then they may judge any AKC NOHS Group.
- Judges assigned to judge NOHS Groups and/or NOHS Best in Show may not exhibit on the day(s) they judge. Judges only assigned to NOHS Groups and/or NOHS Best in Show may exhibit the day before and the day after the event that they judge.
- The same judge cannot be used to do all the NOHS Groups at an event.
- A judge cannot be assigned the NOHS Group on the same day they are assigned that same group for the all‐breed/limited‐breed show.
- The same judge may not be approved to judge a breed and, at the same event, the NOHS Variety Group of which breed is a part and NOHS Best in Show.
- A different judge must be assigned to the same NOHS Group for each day of a weekend/cluster/circuit.
Section 5: Judging Procedures
Determining Exhibitor Eligibility
The first step in judging the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series is determining exhibitor eligibility. Dogs declared eligible must be identified by an asterisk or other representative mark in the judge’s book, steward’s book, and the show catalog. The Owner‐Handled Best of Breed will be selected from the eligible dogs that competed in the Best of Breed/Variety competition for the regular show. This includes Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, and the undefeated winners of the non‐regular classes. This excludes all dogs defeated during class and winners competition for the regular show.
Determining Best of Breed/Variety
Breed judging for the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series is conducted following Best of Breed judging in each breed ring. All eligible dogs in the BOB competition (including WD & WB) will stay in the ring after the judge makes their placements in BOB competition. The ring steward will ask all professional handlers, household members of and current assistants to a professional handler, any exhibitor that did not indicate on their entry that they were eligible for the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series, and any dog no longer eligible for the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series to leave the ring and then the judge will select the Owner‐Handled Best of Breed. A dog being “cut” or otherwise “defeated” in the Best of Breed ring remains eligible to compete in the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series. The Owner‐Handled Best of Breed will be selected from the eligible exhibits based on the program procedures.
Judging of the breed/variety for the regular show may determine the dog that is awarded
Owner‐Handled Best of Breed. Please follow these procedures:
- If the Best of Breed/Variety winner of the regular show is eligible for the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series competition, it will also be awarded Owner‐Handled Best of Breed. In this case, the dog will be eligible to compete in group competition for the regular show and group competition for the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series.
- If the regular show Best of Breed/Variety winner is not eligible for AKC National Owner‐ Handled Series competition and the regular show Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed/Variety is eligible, the regular show Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed/Variety will compete against the eligible exhibits of the other sex to determine Owner‐Handled Best of Breed.
- If neither the Best of Breed/Variety nor the Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed/Variety from the regular show is eligible for the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series competition and both the Select Dog and Select Bitch are eligible, the judge is to choose Owner‐Handled Best of Breed from the Selects and any eligible Winners Dog or Winners Bitch.
- If one of the Selects from the regular show is eligible for AKC National Owner‐Handled Series competition, excuse all eligible champions and non‐regular class winners of the same sex and then choose Owner‐Handled Best of Breed from the remaining eligible dogs of the opposite sex including the eligible Winners.
- If the regular show Best of Breed/Variety, Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed/Variety, Select Dog & Select Bitch are not eligible, the judge may choose any eligible dog that competed in Best of Breed including Winners Dog or Winners Bitch as the Owner‐Handled Best of Breed.
- If no dog remaining in the ring is eligible for the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series competition, Owner‐Handled Best of Breed will not be awarded and the breed/variety will not be represented in group competition for the AKC National Owner‐Handled Series.
Group and Best in Show Competition
- Eligibility should be checked before each level of AKC National Owner‐Handled Series competition. In the Group and Best in Show competition, special attention must be paid to the requirement that dogs must be handled throughout the NOHS competition by an eligible owner.