Counting Points at Dog Shows
You have just won your first Winners Class at a dog show. All your hard work has finally paid off, you're ecstatic...your dog is excited...but now comes the hard part. How many points did Blaze actually earn?? Here is a quick and easy guide to calculating points that doesn't require an advanced degree in mathematics.
The American Kennel Club requires a dog to obtain a total of 15 points with two major wins (a major win is worth three points or higher) to become a champion. The majors must be won under different judges and at least one other judge must award some of the remaining points - so you need to win under at least three different judges.
Class, Winners, and Breed Competition
Class dogs are judged in classes against other dogs of the same sex - Puppy, Twelve-to-Eighteen, Novice, Bred-by-Exhibitor, American-bred, Open - are just a few. Classes can also be divided by age (as in puppy) or color. When the judge awards first place in a class that dog advances to the Winners competition of its sex.
During the Winners competition, the judge re-examines all the dogs that have received first place in the classes and picks an overall winner - Winners Dog for males and Winners Bitch for females. Although you may have beaten several dogs in the classes, championship points are only awarded to Winners Dog and Winners Bitch. No points are awarded for class wins or Reserve Winners.
Your Winners Dog or Winners Bitch can also win points in the Best of Breed competition. Best of Breed consists of dogs that have already received their championship. Winners Dog and Winner Bitch also compete with the champions in Best of Breed. There are three possible awards a dog can win at this level:
Best of Breed - Awarded to the best dog in the Best of Breed competition
Best of Opposite Sex - Awarded to the best dog of the opposite sex to the Best of Breed winner
Best of Winners - Awarded to the best dog between Winners Dog and Winners Bitch
Step One: Take Attendance
Count the number of dogs or bitches competing in the regular classes of your dog's sex - novice, puppy, bred-by-exhibitor, American Bred, and Open classes. Remember to include your dog in the total! Don't count any dogs that are absent (no shows), disqualified, dismissed, excused, or have awards withheld. These dogs do not count in computing the number of dogs competing for that show. If you did not keep up with the total number of dogs in the regular classes, ask the ring steward or check the posted copies of the judge's book for a count of total dogs before you leave the show.
Tip: Check the posted copies of the judges' book before you leave the show to make certain your dog was marked as the winner. 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.
Step Two: Check the Schedule of Points
Compare the number of dogs competing that day to the schedule of points for your dog's breed and sex located in the show catalog. The schedule is usually listed with the entries for each breed or at the front of the catalog. If the number of dogs does not match exactly with those listed in the catalog, choose the number of points assigned to the next lowest number. 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. Refer to the Schedule of Points.
Step 3: Calculating Points for Winners Dog or Winners Bitch
Your dog receives the points according to the number of dogs of your dog's sex competing in the regular classes. Let's say that Blaze is awarded Winners Dog. After accounting for absent, disqualified, and excused dogs, you determine that a total of 6 dogs competed in the regular classes. Assuming the point schedule listed above, he receives 2 points.
Now it's your turn...
Blaze's sister, Bianca, wins Winners Bitch. Nine bitches competed in the regular classes:
How many points did she earn as Winners Bitch?
Answer: 3 points
Winning More Points In the Breed Competition
Your dog can add to the points won in the Winners Class during the Best of Breed competition. If your dog wins:
Best of Breed - Count the total number of dogs in its sex plus the total number of Champions of both sexes entered in the Best of Breed competition to figure the number of points earned.
Best of Opposite Sex - Count the total number of dogs in its sex plus the total number of Champions of its sex entered in the Best of Breed competition to figure the number of points earned.
Best of Winners - This one is a bit different. If your dog is named Best of Winners, he is awarded the highest point level awarded between Winners Dog and Winners Bitch. Let's say that Blaze beats out his sister, Bianca, for Best of Winners. If you'll remember Bianca received three points for Winners Bitch and Blaze received only two points for Winners Dog. Since Blaze took Best of Winners, he is awarded three points instead of two and receives one of the majors he needs for his championship.
Now it's your turn...
Using the point schedule and results listed below, compute the point totals for the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch.
Winners Dog and Best of Winners: I'm A Perfect Hound
Number of Dogs:
American Bred: 1
Winners Bitch and Best of Opposite Sex: Three Times A Lady
Number of Bitches:
American Bred: 2
Number of Champions:
Schedule of Points - Points for Dogs/Bitches:
Points Awarded To:
I'm A Perfect Hound (Answer: 3)
Three Times A Lady (Answer: 3)
Here's What Happened...
Prior to the Best of Breed competition, I'm A Perfect Hound and Three Times A Lady had racked up 2 points each. In the Breed competition, Three Times A Lady won Best of Opposite Sex beating two champion bitches in addition to the six bitches competing in the regular classes. This win increased her points to three. Since I'm A Perfect Hound was awarded Best of Winners, he received three points as well (the highest point value awarded between Winners Dog and Winners Bitch).
It is important to check on your dog's point totals from time to time. The AKC offers an online service to verify the number of points your dog has accumulated toward a championship. Allow four to six weeks for your dog's win to be recorded in this system.
Reprinted With Permission From AKC.org