New AKC Title: GRAND CHAMPION
By Jennifer Krawsczyn
As of May 12th, AKC has added a new title that our champion dogs can now earn known as the GRAND CHAMPION (GCH). There are still a lot of unknowns for this title, even with the AKC reps, as we work out the details that are either unstated or unclear in the rules. In time, I think most of us will understand but right now, it is still very new. I would like to help some of you understand what I know to be true about this title in hopes you will better understand how it can be earned.
ONLY CHAMPIONS CAN EARN THIS. Your dog must be entered as a finished champion to earn this title. If your dog takes the breed and finishes the same day, that does not count. BOB or BOS wins from the classes do not count. However, if you move your dog up to BOB for the day after finishing, that will count.
Additionally, champions entered in non-regular classes such as veterans are eligible for GCH points. But if the judge awards a veteran or other non-regular class winner (like hunting or field classes) with points towards the GCH and the dog is not a champion, the points will not be awarded by AKC.
The awarding of GCH points applies only to entries at the breed level. Group wins or Best In Show do not allow for extra points or majors if not earned already at the breed level.
WHO GETS GCH POINTS?
Grand champion points are at the discretion of the judge. Just because your champion wins BOB or BOS, it is not automatic. The judge must fill in the part of the judgeís sheet concerning if he/she wants to award GCH points.
If the judge does not award select dog or select bitch in your sex and you took BOB or BOS with your champion, you do not know if your dog will be awarded GCH points if the judge does not tell you. It is a good idea to ask the judge if they do not let you know. Judges DO NOT have to give any GCH points at shows to any of the champions if they do not consider them deserving.
Assuming the judge feels the BOB and BOS are worthy, the judge can also further award two more champions with GCH points by selecting a SELECT BITCH and SELECT DOG. Obviously, if you are awarded a select, you know you are getting GCH points if the count allows for any points as the judge would withhold these awards if he/she didnít feel any of the entrants were deserving.
HOW POINTS ARE CALCULATED:
If your champion wins BEST OF BREED (BOB), you calculate the number of points by adding up ALL of the dogs of your breed entered. So if the count for the breed in your region requires 19 dogs or 23 bitches for a 3 point major, and the entry is 21, the decision on if this is a major will depend on the sex of Best of Breed. With 21 entered, a BOB dog will earn a major, but a BOB bitch will only get 2 points.
If your champion wins BEST OF OPPOSITE SEX (BOS), you calculate the number of points by adding up ALL of the dogs of your sex only entered. You would include all class dogs plus the specials of your sex.
If your champion wins SELECT DOG (SD) or SELECT BITCH (SB), you calculate the number of points by adding up ALL of the dogs of your sex only entered and subtract 2. You would include all class dogs plus the specials of your sex minus 2.
You champion must earn 25 points for this title.
Of this 25, 3 wins minimum must be majors.
You must win the majors under 3 different judges and have at least one other judge (total of 4 or more judges) award your dog GC points.
Your dog must also defeat at least one other champion at at least 3 different shows.
WHAT I DONíT YET KNOW:
I am unsure what the official abbreviation for this title will be. I think it will be GCH, but I have yet to see that posted anywhere.
UNTRUE CLAIMS IíVE HEARD
Iíve heard people say that when counting dogs shown, you subtract your own dog. This is incorrect. If it takes 23 bitches for a major and your bitch takes BOB with 23 total shown, she gets a GCH major.
The first AKC dog to earn this title was a Weimeraner. I heard from a friend that AKC told her there will be a page on their website listing the first dog and first bitch to earn the GCH title for each breed but not to expect this until at least mid to late June. Currently, I know of three Goldens who reportedly have earned this title; one bitch and two dogs.
I think this is a nice additional title for AKC to offer conformation dogs. With obedience, hunt tests, and agility, there are graduated titles one can attain including the OTCH and MACH. In conformation, after a championship, there is no other title one can earn with AKC. Now there is the Grand Champion which allows champions to work towards the next level. Yes, the GRCA has the SDHF, but until now, there was no AKC title higher than "champion". This gives people with finished champions another avenue to obtain an even higher AKC title if they choose to special their dog.