Dog Show Glossary

Terms and acronyms related to dog shows, show dogs and showing dogs.

AB - Can mean either All Breed or Absent depending on its context.

AKC - The American Kennel Club operates the world’s largest pure-bred dog registry. It approves and regulates over dog events to promote responsible dog ownership, integrity in breeding, and the health, ownership and sport of purebred dogs.

BIS - Best in Show. At each AKC show, the winning dogs from each Group compete for Best in Show.

BISS - Best in Specialty Show. At each specialty show, the winning dog is denoted BISS.

Bitch - A female canine.

Croup - The croup is the region around the pelvic area (rump). It is a term referring to the area of the topline from the hip to the tail base.

CERF - The Canine Eye Registry Foundation works to eliminate the heritable eye diseases in purebred dogs.

Champion (Ch.) - A conformation title given a dog by AKC as a result of defeating a specified number of dogs at a series of AKC shows.

Dog - A male canine.

Dysplasia - A genetic disease of the hips and/or elbows that causes development of arthritis leading to pain and lameness of affected joints.

Group - AKC classify recognized breeds of dogs into 7 Groups. Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, Herding

OFA - The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is a not-for-profit organization with a mission statement: “To improve the health and well being of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease.” The OFA maintains a database of genetic diseases of animals.

Stop - The stop is the part of the head where there is a step up from the muzzle to the back skull. It encompasses the indentation between the eyes.

Top line - The outline of the dog from ears to tail root. This term is often misused to mean the backline. The backline is the outline from the end of the withers to the tail root.

WD/B - Winners Dog /Bitch; The Dog and Bitch that win the championship points at an AKC show. Only one dog and one bitch at each show win points for each breed.

RWD/B - Reserve Winners Dog (or Bitch)

Titles Appearing Before a Dog’s Name

Ch. - Champion

BIS - Best in Show (all breed)

BISS - Best in Specialty Show

Select - Awarded to the judge’s final few selected for consideration for Best of Breed. ONLY at the American Rottweiler Club’s National Specialty Show.

AOM - Award of Merit is awarded to the judge’s final few seleted for consideration for Best of Breed at Specialty Shows that are not the National Specialty.

Titles Appearing After a Dog’s Name

CD - Companion Dog

CDX - Companion Dog Excellent

UD - Utility Dog

UDX - Utility Dog Excellent

HT - Herding Tested

HPT - Pre-Trial Tested (herding)

TD - Tracking Dog

TDX - Tracking Dog Excellent

NA - Novice Agility

NAJ - Novice Agility Jumper

OA - Open Agility

OAJ - Open Agility Jumper

AX - Agility Excellent

AXJ - Agility Excellent Jumper

VCD1 - Versatile Companion Dog 1

VCD2 - Versatile Companion Dog 2

UCD - United Kennel Club’s Companion Dog