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News From America

~ The Show System in The United States ~

by Wanda Cable - Sheranda Collies, U.S.A.

This first article will review the shows in the United States.

The main Kennel Club in the United States is the American Kennel Club (AKC). Although there are other dog organizations which put on shows scattered throughout the US, they are not recognized by the AKC and their points do not count toward AKC Championships.

All collies are to be judged according to the standard developed by the Collie Club of America and adopted by the AKC. Some variations to our standard, when compared to other countries, are the height, weight and color differences. Our standard prefers male collies to be 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 60-75 pounds, females should be 22 to 24 inches and weigh between 50 to 65 pounds. The four recognized colors are Sable and White, Blue Merle, Tri-Color and White.

Blue Merles may have blue eyes, all other colors must have matching dark brown eyes. Sable Merles are not mentioned but are usually shown in the Open Sable Class. Sables may be a fawn sable color of varying shades from light gold to dark mahogany with white markings usually on the chest, neck, legs, feet and the tip of the tail. Blazes are allowed. If your readers want an in depth copy of the standard I can have that completed for the next publication. Severe faults are heavily penalized but are not disqualifications except for monorchids or cryptochid which are disqualified. An important general characteristic described for the collie which probably fits all collies, is the statement that the Collie presents an impressive , proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part to the whole.

Getting back to the shows, with the above in mind, collies are judged against each other at point AKC shows for points and first through fourth placement ribbons. The regular classes are divided as follows:

  • Puppy (optional 6-9, 9-12), 12-18 Month
  • Novice
  • Bred - By - Exhibitor
  • American Bred
  • Open (Sable, Tri, Blue Merle, and White)
  • and Winner

These Classes are divided by sex and judged first through fourth placements. All first place winners from each class then compete in the Winners Class, divided by sex. This includes puppies competing against adults. Winners Dog (WD) and Winners Bitch (WB) is then awarded from each class and points are awarded to each depending upon the number of dogs and bitches entered in total and the area the show took place.

Number counts vary from different localities as determined by AKC. Reserve Winners is also selected from each of these classes. Regular shows that provide Winners Classes also provide Competition and awards for Best of Breed (BOB) or Best of Variety (BOV). The following dogs may be entered in this competition: Champions, Winners Dog, Winners Bitch. If the Winners Dog or Winners Bitch is awarded BOB or BOV, it shall automatically be awarded Best of Winners, otherwise the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch shall be judged together for Best of Winners following the judging of BOB or BOV.

The dog awarded the Best of Winners shall be credited with the number of points calculated for Winners Dog or Winners Bitch, which ever is greater. In the event that Winners is awarded in only one sex, there shall be no Best of Winners award. After Best of Breed or Best of Variety of Breed and Best of Winners have been awarded, the judge selects Best of Opposite Sex to BOB or BOV. The BOB/BOV winner then competes in its Group, collies would be the Herding Group , for first through fourth group placement wins. The Group I winner takes the highest amount of points awarded to any herding dog entered. The Group I herding winner then competes against the group I winners of the six other groups for Best In Show.

The AKC requires 15 points to achieve a championship title. Two of the point wins must be for 3 or more points, called majors. Majors usually require at least 14 to 16 collies in each sex just for a 3 point major and of course more collies for 4 and 5 point majors. This makes finishing a collie quite difficult and expensive especially if one lives in a low population area.

Other various AKC activities include Speciality Shows for specific breeds which are for AKC points. AKC Fun Matches which are great for pups, rusty adults or new exhibitors to learn. These matches are not for points but are a great learning experience for all and are very relaxed. AKC also sponsors a variety of other competitions for canines.
This article only discusses the confirmation aspect of the game.

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Dogs - This article has been reproduced courtesy of Wanda Cable - Sheranda Collies, U.S.A.

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