Title: Titles of Achievement in Dog Sports
Understanding the different Dog Sports and their qualifications will assist you
When choosing a puppy for your home and lifestyle.
Author: Carole O’Leary and Paula Jordi
The Kennel Union of South Africa awards titles to dogs in various disciplines. Most of the rules governing dog sport are standardized throughout the world. Minor differences can be found in other dog federations, but, in general, the rules are similar. This summary explains, briefly, the requirements and achievements awarded to dogs in the different disciplines. The complete set of rules can be found in www.kusa.co.za
Most categories of work are on an incremental basis, championship status is only awarded on an acquired achievement in the highest class of each discipline. For example, the Obedience discipline starts with Elementary Beginners, Beginners, Novice, Class A, Class B and Class C which is the highest class. On achieving three Challenge Certificates (CC's) under three different Judges, your dog will be awarded the title of Obedience Champion.
This qualification will be added to the dog's name on the Registration Certificate. Only the highest qualification in a discipline will be noted on the dog's Registration Certificate.
Championship status precedes the dog's name and any qualifications (in certain disciplines) that are awarded, working up to championship status, will be added behind the dog's name. Once Championship status, in those disciplines, has been achieved, that championship will precede the dog's name and all the other interim qualifications, acquired for that discipline, will fall away.
Let’s have a look at the different categories.
Breed Champion (CH)
Breed championship status is awarded to dogs in the Breed Show Ring where dogs are judged for their appearance, confirmation and temperament according to that specific breed's standard.
At a Championship Show, dogs that have beaten all the other dogs of their sex, and are worthy, according to the Judge, will be awarded a CC. (Challenge Certificate)
Five CCS’s are required to become a Breed Champion.
Agility Champion (AG)
There are two forms of Agility - Contact Agility and Non-contact Agility.
There are three levels of competition in this discipline A1, A2 and A3, where the dogs are judged according to time and points in a course.
In order to become an Agility Champion, the dog needs to achieve three CCS’s in the highest level, which is A3.
Dog Jumping Champion (DJ)
In this discipline, the dogs are also judged according to time and points in a course.
In order to become a Dog Jumping Champion, the dog needs to achieve three CC's in the highest level, which is DJ1
Obedience Champion (OB)
This discipline comprises of six different levels: Elementary Beginners, Beginners, Novice, Class A, Class B and Class C.
In order to become an Obedience Champion, the dog needs to achieve three CC's and must score at least 290 points or more out of a total of 300 points under three different Judges.
Carting Champion (CA)
There are two levels in this discipline: Novice and Senior.
In order to become a Carting Champion, the dog needs to achieve three CCS’s, scoring at least 95% in the Senior level.
Field Trial Champion (FT)
This discipline is for Gundogs, where the course is set to simulate a hunt.
There are four groups: Retrievers, HPRs (Hunting, Pointing, and Retrieve), Spaniels and Pointers and Setters.
These four groups trial separately due to the specific work required from the dogs.
There are 5 stakes: Puppy Stake, Junior Stake, Maiden Stake, Novice Stake and Open stake.
In order to become a Field Trial Champion, the dog needs to win, with qualifying points, two Open stakes.
Working Trials (WT)
A Working Trial Champion is a dog that is both a Police Dog (PD) Champion and a Tracker Dog (TD) Champion.
CH.PD (Police Dog) needs three CC's with qualifying points.
CH.TD (Tracker Dog) needs three CC's with qualifying points.
Working Trials classes are; Companion Dog (CD), Tracker Dog 1 (TD1) Tracker Dog 2 (TD2) from there, the dog may move onto either TD3 or PD.
There is a qualifying mark and a grading of “Excellent" which is added after the name of the stake e.g. CDex. This means that the dog qualified in Companion Dog with an Excellent mark.
International Tracker Trials (ITT)
There are five levels in this discipline: ITT1, ITT2, ITT3, ITT4 and ITT5
(ITT4 and 5 are the same work as FH4 and 5 in Schutzhund)
To become a Champion, the dog needs 3CC's in ITT5 with an "Excellent" grading.
Internazionale Prufungs Ordnung (IPO)
Only 20 listed breeds are accepted in this discipline.
IPO is run under the same rules as Schutzhund (For German Shepherds only)
In both, the levels are: Sch1/IPO1 ,Sch2/IPO2 , Sch3/IPO3
Dogs do not acquire Championship Status in this discipline.
Instead, dogs winning Nationals gets the title of SA IPO/Sch Champion with the year of the award.
They are graded Sufficient (S), Good (G), Very Good (VG) and Excellent (Ex)
Dogs that qualify carry the level and grading after their names e.g. Sch3VG
In addition to these disciplines there are various other sports available for people to participate in with their dogs, such as:
Canine Good Citizen; Flyball; Sheepdog Trials; Dog Dancing; Breed Working Trials.
KUSA Specialist Clubs may run events specific to their breed e.g. Beagle Trails, Sledging etc.
Child and Junior Handling classes at Breed Shows. Only thoroughbred, registered dogs may enter Breed Shows.
With the exception of IPO, Sch and Field Trials, all breeds, cross-breeds and non- registered dogs may participate.
Levels of achievement at private dog training clubs and schools are at domestic level only and are not recognized. These serve merely as incentive and motivation for clients to train their dogs.
Private school dog trainers and behaviourists should be aware and preferably participate in at least one of these disciplines of Dog Sports as, not only do they indicate what breeds are suitable for what style of work, but the trainer/behaviourist gains more respect and credibility from their clients.eg. a German Shepherd can never be taught Field Trial work as he does not have a "game nose” or a "soft mouth"
In addition, participation in these sports strengthen the owner/dog bond, provides stimulation for your dog and most of all it is a great deal of fun for both of you!