Becoming a Champion

To become a Champion, dogs must win points at an AKC approved point show. Dogs are evaluated by judges who are licensed by the AKC to judge dogs in that breed. The judge evaluates the dog against the Standard of Excellence for that breed. The dog and bitch which, based on that judge's evaluation, come closest to the standard are awarded the points on that day. Since judge's evaluations are not exactly alike, different dogs may get the points on different days under different judges.  Each show catalog prints the relevant rules in the front of the catalog; the schedule of points for all breeds in the division in which the show is held are printed either in the front of the catalog or under the class entries. Even so, figuring out the points is an area which many, especially novices, find confusing.

  • Points at each show are scaled in different regions of the country based on the number of dogs of the same sex competing, with from zero to 5 points awarded for a win. If there is one other dog of the same sex defeated, the show is worth one point. A win of three or more points is called a major. A total of 15 points must be earned under three different judges to become a champion and at least two of the shows at which points are earned must be majors won under different judges. Winners Dog (WD) and Winners Bitch (WB) are awarded points based on the actual number of dogs/bitches competing in the classes, not the number entered. Each competitor of the same sex in the classes, including the winner, counts towards points earned according to the listed Points Schedule as determined by AKC. Dogs which are absent, disqualified, excused, etc. do not count towards points earned.
  • A dog can finish his Championship in as few as three shows (five points each) or in 11 shows (two three-point majors and nine one-point shows) or may never finish if he can't win two majors or can only win under two judges. Once a dog is a Champion of Record, he no longer competes for Championship points, but may be entered in the Best of Breed competition and earn Grand Championship points. The AKC annually revises the point count (usually effective in mid-May) to reflect prior show entries in each breed - the more Bulldogs exhibited in the previous, the greater will be then number required to earn the same number of points the following year. Similarly, the smaller the number of dogs shown, the fewer dogs will be needed subsequently to earn the same number of points. The point count varies by breed and by AKC division within the U.S. To confuse matters more the AKC Divisions and the BCA Divisions are not contiguous. You can find the current point count for shows in the surrounding area by going to Dog Show Events to view the Calendar.
  • Check the posted copies of the judge’s book before you leave the show to make certain your dog was marked correctly. Mistakes do happen! Also, verify that your dog’s AKC registration number is correct in the catalog. If it is not correct, let the superintendent know before you leave the show. In both cases, it's easier to make the correction on the day of the show rather than later.
    • Most of the confusion occurs when a class dog goes on to another major award. The AKC specifies that points are further computed as follows:
      If WD or WB also wins Best of Breed (BOB), you add to the number of class dogs of the same sex competing, all specials of either sex entered in BOB who were defeated. Dogs competing in BOB because they were entered in non regular classes (e.g., Veteran) and the other Winner are not counted in determining points since they were not entered in BOB.
      If WD or WB wins Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed (BOS), in addition to the class dogs of the same sex competing, only the dogs of its own sex which were entered in BOB and were defeated are added to determine points.
  • After applying the rules above, the dog awarded Best of Winners gets the larger of number the points awarded as computed above or the points awarded to WD or WB.
    • Thus, in NY, in a competition of 4 class dogs, 22 class bitches, 2 special dogs, 5 special bitches and a veteran dog, Winners Dog would have 4 dogs in competition (the 4 class dogs [including WD]) and get 1 point, while Winners Bitch would have 22 bitches in competition and get 4 points.
  • If WD went BOB, he gets three points for Breed since he would have been in competition with 4 class dogs plus 7 specials (the Veteran and class bitches don't count). If the same class dog went BOS instead, there would be 6 dogs (4 class dogs and 2 special dogs) in competition and it would be worth 2 points as BOS.
    • As BOB from the classes, he is automatically BOW, since he is the best animal in the show in that breed. As BOS, he may or may not get BOW, since the bitch may be a better example of the breed than the dog. If he takes Best of Winners, he earns 4 points as BOW since that is what the bitch points are worth with 22 in competition. If WB went BOS over the 5 special bitches, she would earn the 5th point, having had 27 bitches in competition; therefore the BOB class dog would also get the 5 points awarded to WB. Under this scenario, if the bitch gets BOW she does not earn any extra points, since she gets more points as WB than WD earned.
  • Finally, if the class dog goes on to a Group 1, it earns the highest number of points earned by any class dog in that group and if it goes on to Best In Show from the classes, it gets the maximum number of points awarded to any breed at the show.

The following categories of dogs may be entered for Best of Breed competition:

  • Dogs which are already Champions of Record.
  • Dogs which according to their owners' records have completed the requirements for a championship, but whose championships are unconfirmed may show in Best of Breed . The showing of dogs whose championships are unconfirmed is limited to a period of 90 days from the date of show where a dog completed the requirements for a championship according to the owners' records.
  • In addition, the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch together with any undefeated dogs that have competed at the show only in additional non-regular single-dog (e.g., Veteran Dog and Veteran Bitch) classes shall compete for Best of Breed or Best of Variety of Breed.

In this competition, the judge selects for Best of Breed the dog or bitch who, in his or her opinion, comes closest to meeting the standard of the breed. The class dog or bitch which the judge believes best exemplifies the standard is awarded Best of Winners. Finally, the dog of the other sex who the judge evaluates as the best example of the standard is awarded Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Breed.

In addition, dogs that have already achieved their championships may be awarded Grand Champion points. At the discretion of the judge, the Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex and one additional dog of each sex (Select Dog and Select Bitch) may be awarded points towards the Grand Champion title, provided they are already Champions. If Winners Dog or Winners Bitch take Best of Breed or Best of Opposite Sex, they do not get Grand Champion points.

A Champion may earn additional titles in Conformation by winning Best of Breed or Select Awards in further competition.

A dog must be (1) a Champion of Record or (2) have been transferred to BOB competition based upon the owners’ records of their having completed the requirements for a CH title to be eligible for Grand Championship (GCH) competition.

The American Kennel Club requires a dog to obtain a total of 25 points with three major wins (a major win is worth three points or higher) to become a Grand Champion. The majors must be won under three different judges and at least one other judge must award some of the remaining points – so you need to win under at least four different judges. Also at least one Champion of Record must be defeated at three of these shows.

Best of Breed – BOB
Best of Opposite Sex – BOS
Select Dog – SD
Select Bitch – SB

Remember, point schedules vary by show location. If you are not at the show, make certain you get the points schedule for the event region where your dog won.  The Grand Championship (GCH) points awarded are determined by the same divisional point schedules that are used for the calculation of championship (CH) points.

Check the posted copies of the judge’s book before you leave the show to make certain your dog was marked correctly. Mistakes do happen! Also, verify that your dog’s AKC registration number is correct in the catalog. If it is not correct, let the superintendent know before you leave the show. In both cases, it's easier to make the correction on the day of the show rather than later.

TIPS: Veteran dogs or any other non-regular class dogs are not counted in determining points. All eligible entrants from non-regular classes can earn Grand Championship points. Any Champion dog from the regular or non-regular classes is not considered for the requirement to defeat at least one Champion of Record at three shows.

When counting dogs in competition, you only count dogs present that are judged. Dogs that are disqualified, dismissed, excused, absentee or have all awards withheld do not count.