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A dog needs 15 points to become an AKC breed champion. Of these 15 points 2 sets of them need to be what’s called a "major" win. A major is a win totaling 3, 4 or 5 points. 1 and 2 point wins are called "singles". The majors need to be given by two different judges. Points are assessed by the number of dogs being shown in the breed and where the show is located. The "point schedule" can be found here.


Points are won by defeating competition starting at the breed level (see article: Conformation dog show class progression). Only two dogs get points at the breed level; Winners Dog and Winners Bitch. These two dogs have defeated dogs of their breed and sex in the classes.


More points can be earned by the Winners Dog or Winners Bitch by going "Best of Winners" or "Best of Breed". More still can be earned if the dog makes it to group competition and wins a first place in that group. And still more can be earned by going "Best in Show"!
You cannot earn more than 5 points a day. Let’s see how points can be won at a typical dog show.



The dog we will be showing is a German Shepherd. You have your dog entered in the Open Dog class at the show and have won first place in your class (sorry, no points given for this win). You will now compete with all of the other first place winners of your breed in the "Winners" class. Your dog is awarded "Winners Dog"! How many points did you win? Add up all of the males that were in competition in the regular classes. Do not count dogs that were absent or excused. This gives you the point value of the win; let’s say it was only a single point.


Now because you are Winners Dog you move into the "Best of Breed" competition. In this class you are competing with dogs that have already earned their championships and also with the "Winners Bitch". Your dog is showing well and looks great, the judges thinks the same thing and awards you "Best of Winners" which means you defeated the Bitch. Does this give you more points? It could. Let’s say the Bitch classes had more in competition than the dogs and the bitch was awarded 3 points for her "Winners Bitch" award. Because the bitch has more points than your dog you gain the extra points for defeating her as it stands to reason that if you beat her you beat all the females as well as all the males. You now have 3 points.


Now, will wonders never cease! The judge gives you "Best of Breed" as well! Did that get you more points? Again, it could. If there was enough competition in the best of breed ring (all those champions you did not have to compete with earlier) and the total number of dogs you defeated falls into another category of points you get them all! So let’s say there was not enough competing in this class to give you more points. Are we done now? Are you going home with 3 points? Nope, not yet, there is still more showing to do.


We are moving on to group competition. The group you will show in is group 7-"Herding" as that is the group the German Shepherd belongs in. Again the judge seems to like your dog and gives you a group first placement. You need to do some homework to figure out how many more points you just won. By getting first place in your group you have defeated all of the other herding dogs in the group so you now get the highest point value given to the other breed winners (if that point value is higher than your 3 points). If the Collie had the most points awarded (4 points awarded at the breed level) of all the herding breeds then you would get an extra point to match the Collies win (the Collie keeps the points awarded to it, you get raised up to match the amount the collie has).


Could there be more? Yes in fact there could be more. You and the 6 other group winners now move on to the "Best in Show" competition. The excitement builds as the class is being judged until?? The judge points at you and your dog as the "Best in Show" winner!! You may have won another point! Just one you may ask? Remember the maximum amount of points you can win in a day are 5. For winning Best in Show you will be awarded the highest point value given to any breed at the show that day. In the ring with you is a Scottie from the terrier group who had a huge entry at breed level and was awarded a 5 point win. You will be given the extra point to match the number of points the Scottie won!


You started with 1 point for being awarded "Winners Dog".
You gained 2 more points for the award of "Best of Winners".
Unfortunately there were no extra points to be had for the nice "Best of Breed" win.
You gained yet 1 more point for a group first win for a total of 4 points. You gained another point for being awarded "Best in Show" for the maximum total of 5 points!

Congratulations! You are on the road to making your dog a "Champion"!!
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