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A Blueprint Into The Mysterious 15 Point Championship

by Ms. Dany Canino

I receive numerous calls from people that are new to the sport of dog shows asking me how a dog accumulates the needed points to become an AKC champion. I´m not going to get into the intricate details of different point systems, taking the dog to another area where the point system is lower. I will, however, give those that don´t already know, a basic outline of how those points for a title are garnered.

The following text is the same for both dogs and bitch classes.

The classes are as follows:

  • (dogs aged from 6 months to under 9 months – on the day of the show)
  • 9-20 (dogs aged from 9 months to under 12 months – on the day of the show)
  • 12-18 (dogs aged from 12 months to under 18 months – on the day of the show)
  • Novice (for dogs that are over 12 months of age that have not won any Championship points, and/or for any dog that has not won 3 blue (1st place) ribbons at an AKC show. Once a dog does win 3 blue ribbons you must enter another class. However, if you are on a cluster show circuit (more than 3 shows in the same location) and the dog wins 3 blue ribbons, you may show the dog in the Novice class at the 4th show. At any future shows the dog must be entered in another class)
  • Bred By Exhibitor (For dogs that are owned or co-owned by the breeder of record. The dog must be shown by either the breeder or his/her immediate family. In the winner´s class the 1st place Bred By Dog may be shown by anyone).
  • American Bred (For dogs that are whelped in the United States. This class is oftentimes used for dogs that are over one year, but not quite mature enough to compete in the open dog class.)
  • Open For dogs of any age that were born in either the USA or a foreign country.)

Winner´s Class All 1st place winners from each class will compete in this class. The eventual winner of this class will be awarded Championship Point(s) and will be given the right to go on to compete against the Champions of record for the award of Best Of Breed. How many points the dog receives for winning Winners Dog (or Winners Bitch) will depend upon how many dogs he competed against and the area the dog is competing in. The point system is different in all areas of the country so, check the show catalogue in your area to see what the point system is for your breed.