Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F -- Finishing

In the dog show world you'll hear the word "finish" used in an odd way, as in "How long did it take to finish your dog?" or "He finished at 10 months!" To finish a dog means meeting the requirements to earn a Champion title. To do that a dog must earn a total of 15 points, with at least two major wins under separate judges.

The AKC separates the country into fifteen divisions. Each division has a different point schedule, so a dog may need to defeat more dogs in one division than in another. We're in Division 4 (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina). The schedule for German shepherds looks like this:

            1           2           3           4             5
GSD    2   2      5   5      8   8     10  12     14   19

The top numbers are the point value of the show. The numbers below show how many dogs (first number) or how many bitches (second number) are required for those point values. You can see that 1 to 3 point shows are even. But it changes when you get to 4 and 5 point shows. To earn 4 points, a dog only has to beat 10 other dogs; a bitch has to beat 12 other bitches to earn the same number of points.

The point schedule changes in May of every year. The formula used to calculate the point values is based on the number of dogs shown the previous year. Some years there's not much of a change, other years it's downright drastic!

Keep track of your points, and you can get a
"New Champion" photo too. (I can't wait for Jedi's!)
To make things more complicated, shows valued 3 or more points are called "majors." To make Champion, a dog's 15 points must include at least two majors under separate judges. Sometimes finding a show with enough dogs in your breed to make a major can be difficult. You'll hear of dogs that are "pointed out" or "chasing majors." These are dogs that have all needed points minus a major (or two). It's always exciting to see someone earn those last few points.

Calculating points can be tough. Fortunately, the appropriate point schedule is printed in the catalog so you can follow along. See, another reason to buy the catalog! -- K

Tomorrow's topic: Gait

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