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United German Shepherd Dog Alliance

Frequently Asked Questions About United Kennel Club Conformation

What is the benefit of UKC conformation? Why would I want to do it?
What do I need in order to show my dog in UKC?
How Do I Earn a Championship
How do start one show at 9:00 and the other at 10:00 a.m.? Do you finish a show in an hour?
I entered your show - how do I know what time I will show?
What class do I enter my dog in?
What's this TOP TEN thing?
What's a TOTAL DOG?
Does UKC allow altered (spayed/neutered) dogs? How does this work?

Q: What is the benefit of UKC conformation? Why would I want to do it?

A: The United Kennel Club is the second largest registry in the US. The focus at UKC events is on a family-friendly environment. UKC prohibits the use of professional handlers and most dogs are owner handled, even in the group or Best in Show rings. Many people also help out and take in a dog for other people if a an extra pair of hands is neeeded. The environment is laid back and people are in general very friendly. Exhibitors are encouraged to keep grooming to a minimum and present the dog in a natural state. All these factors make it a different show environment from what you may have experienced and it is a lot of fun!

We are often asked about the quality of dogs showing and how it compares to other venues. At our shows, many of the dogs who exhibit are AKC Champions, Canadian Champions and have won other honors in other clubs. We think (and our judges agree) that the quality of dogs at our shows rivals any other organization. UKC is not for "second rate" dogs. Our judges still judge the dogs to the breed standard and expect quality.

Q: What do I need in order to show my dog in UKC?

A: All dogs entering UKC shows (even in non-licensed classes) must be permanently registered with UKC, have a Limited Privilege (LP) listing number, or have a valid Temporary Listing Number. If your dog is AKC registered, you can usually just fill out a form and pay a fee in order to UKC register them. The requirements do vary by breed, so
contact UKC for details.

An LP is for dogs that are spayed or neutered and would only allow you to compete in performance events.

A Temporary Listing (TL) is a number that is issued to you to allow you to show your dog until you register them. This is used if you don't have time to register your dog before a show. You can apply for a Temporary Listing Number (TL) on line at https://www.ukcdogs.com/DEWebCom.nsf/TL%20Web?OpenForm.

UKC is the final authority on all registration issues. Contact UKC with any questions you have.

Q: How Do I Earn a Championship

A: There are two levels of championship in UKC - a UKC Championship and a UKC Grand Championship. UKC has a
great page on their web site explaining the rules.

Q: How do start one show at 9:00 and the other at 10:00 a.m.? Do you finish a show in an hour?

A: We run two shows concurrently in two different rings. One show starts at 9:00 a.m. and then other starts an hour later. The two rings judge the dogs in the same order, so depending on the speed of the judges, you should only have a short wait between showing in show 1 and show 2. You will never show in show 2 before show 1.

Q: I entered your show - how do I know what time I will show?

A: One of the great things about UKC is that many clubs (including ours) offer day of show entries. This allows people to sign up for the show when they get there rather than enter weeks in advance. However, because we offer day of show entries, we can't provide a judging schedule like you may have seen in other organizations. Sometime we get almost as many day of show entries as pre-entries, so any schedule we provided would be guaranteed to be incorrect.

Our club policy is that we take a look at the entries once day of show entries close and we determine a judging order based on several criteria. We look at how we can organize it to allow the most people to leave early and we look at where people are driving to after the Sunday shows. We also have to consider our people working the show and how to best schedule them. We do our very best to make it as easy as possible on everyone, but unfortunately sometimes people do end up spending a little extra time at the show.

You should always plan to be ready to show whenever the show starts (usually 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. for our shows). We'll post the judging order by 9 a.m. each day and you will know when you will be in the ring. However, since we run two shows at the same time, we do sometimes have to reorder the posted judging order to accomodate conflicts, so please be available.

Q: What class do I enter my dog in?

A: UKC conformation classes are a little different from other venues. In many clubs, your dog might qualify for several different classes and it's up to you to decide which to enter. UKC makes it very simple. All non-champion dogs are entered according to age. The only exception to this is that there is a Breeder/Handler class. The classes are as follows:

Q: What's this TOP TEN thing?

A: UKC has a wonderful program called the TOP TEN program. When a dog wins Best of Breed, he is awarded one TOP TEN point for each dog beaten. These points are added up and the ten highest point earners are listed on the UKC Web site. For more information, read the
UKC TOP TEN rules or view current TOP TEN standings.

Q: What's a TOTAL DOG?

A: UKC is sometimes called "the total dog registry". What this means is that UKC promotes the idea of a dog that can achieve success in many different areas. UKC show dogs aren't just pretty - they can also compete and excel in performance events. Total Dog is an award given to a dog who qualifies in a UKC performance event on the same day they earn a competition win in UKC conformation. We try to partner with another club to offer performance events at least once a year so we can offer Total Dog. For more information, read the
UKC Total Dog rules (scroll down on the page).

Q: Does UKC allow altered (spayed/neutered) dogs? How does this work?

A: UKC has offered a non-licensed class for altered dogs for some time. Starting in 2010, Altered has become a licensed titling program in UKC. The classes for altered dogs are identical to the classes for intact dogs. You can also earn both an Altered Championship (ALCH) and Altered Grand Championship (ALGRCH) title. These classes are run in parallel with the regular classes. Altered dogs never compete against intact dogs. For more information, read the
Altered Conformation rules. Please note that at this time, altered conformation does not count towards Total Dog or TOP TEN.