Reading Those Confusing Pedigrees and Show Wins

© Chris Walkowicz

Translating Pedigrees


  • CH – Champion
  • GCH – Grand Champion


  • CD – Companion Dog
  • CDX – Companion Dog Excellent
  • UD – Utility Dog
  • UDX – Utillity Dog Excellent
  • OTCh – Obedience Trial Champion


  • NA – Novice Agility
  • OA – Open Agility
  • AX – Agility Excellent
  • MX – Master Agility Excellent
  • NAJ – Novice Jumpers with Weaves
  • OAJ – Open JWW
  • AXJ – Exccellent JWW
  • MXJ – Master Excellent JWW


  • HT – Herding Tested
  • PT – Pretrial Tested
  • HS – Herding Started
  • HI – Herding Intermediate
  • HX – Herding Excellent
  • HC – Herding Champion
  • DC – Dual Herding and Show Champion

Note: HT, PT are Test Titles
HS, HI, HX – all also indicating Course “A” “B” or “C” and and Stock type “d” (ducks) “c” (cattle) or “s” sheep (thus HXAs means Herding Excellent Course A Sheep)



  • TD – Tracking Dog
  • TDX – Tracking Dog Excellent
  • VST – Variable Surface Tracking
  • CT – Champion Tracker


  • UDT – Utility Dog/Tracking Dog
  • UDTX – Utility Dog/Tracking Dog Excellent
  • UDXTDX – Utility Dog Excellent/Tracking Dog Excellent
  • UDVST – Utility Dog Variable Surface Tracking
  • UDXVST – Utility Dog Excellent Variable Surface Tracking

Translating Show Wins

  • WD – Winners Dog
  • RWD – Reserve Winners Dog
  • WB – Winners Bitch
  • RWB – Reserve Winners Bitch
  • BOB – Best of Breed
  • BOS – Best of Opposite Sex
  • BOW – Best of Winners
  • Gr. I, II, III or IV – Group placement
  • BIS – Best in Show
  • BISS – Best in Specialty Show
  • VD – Veteran Dog
  • VB – Veteran Bitch

Bitch – female

Dog – male, also generic for both sexes

Jr. Puppy or 6-9 Puppy – This class is for puppies that are at least six months old through those that are not yet nine months on the day of the show.

Sr. Puppy or 9-12 Puppy – This class is for puppies that are nine months through those that are not yet 12 months on the day of the show.

Teenage or 12-18 Puppy – This class is for puppies that are 12 months through those that are not yet 18 months on the day of the show.

Novice – A class for dogs that have not yet won three blue ribbons in Novice or any higher class wins. In other words, a dog may win this class three times and then must progress to another adult class. If a dog enters and wins any of the other adult classes, it may not then enter Novice. If a dog wins Championship point(s), it may not again enter Novice.

Bred by Exhibitor – The handler must also be the breeder and owner or co-owner, or a member of the immediate family of the breeder/owner.

American Bred – The dog must be bred and whelped in the USA.

Open – Any dog may enter this class, including puppies and foreign imports.

BOB or Specials – This class is for Champions of Record.

Veterans – Dogs and Bitches over seven years of age. These may be subdivided into ages, such as 7-9, 9- 11, 11 and over. In specialty shows, the winners may compete for BOB.

Brood Bitch and Stud Dog – These are dams and sires with at least two of their “get” or progeny. These classes are held following BOB competition and are judged on the quality of the get, as well as the consistency.

Brace – Two dogs shown together. These are judged on their similarity as well as their quality.

Team – Rarely seen in the U.S. More than two dogs, judged as braces are.

All breed shows-All AKC recognized breeds may enter.

Specialty shows-one breed only.

National specialty shows — sponsored by the Parent Club of the breed, usually held once a year in various areas of the country.

Group shows — one group of breeds (i.e., herding or terriers) may enter.

Sanctioned matches — approved by the AKC.

Fun matches — held by clubs for their members, sometimes offering unusual and fun classes.

Championships are achieved when the dog reaches 15 points. Majors are shows that are classified as three, four or five points. Minors are one and two point shows. A dog must have at least two major wins and wins under at least three different judges to become a Champion.

Points are allotted by AKC, according to the number of litters and show entries in a particular area, i.e., Division 5 is comprised of Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. There are 12 divisions or areas in the U.S.

Wins in dog shows are progressive. The winner of each class must return for the “Winners” class. Out of these blue-ribbon dogs, a Winners Dog is chosen. This dog is the only one that receives Championship point(s). The second-place dog of the class which the WD won returns to the ring for Reserve Winners Dog. If the WD is found ineligible for any reason, the RWD receives the points. This is rare, but does occasionally happen. It is considered poor sportsmanship not to return to the ring for these competitions if eligible.

The same scenario is repeated in the bitches. Once a dog (or bitch) is beaten, it does not continue to compete (with the exception of the RWD).

Following WB, the Champions enter the ring, along with WD and WB. Any of these are eligible for Best of Breed. After the Best of Breed is chosen, the Best of the Opposite Sex to the BOB is chosen. A Best of Winners is also chosen. If the WD or the WB goes BOB, that dog is automatically BOW. At a specialty show, the BOB is occasionally also called BISS.

All BOB winners are eligible to compete in Group, but are not required to stay. All Group winners compete for Best in Show.

Conformation, obedience and tracking classes are progressed consecutively. Herding and agility competitions allow entrants to “skip” classes if they feel they are prepared.