AKC Events

Showing dogs is a great sport where the thrill of competition is combined with the joy of seeing beautiful dogs. Dog shows are one of many types of AKC dog events in which AKC-registered dogs can compete. These events, which draw over three million entries annually, include dog shows and tests of instinct and trainability, such as obedience trials, Canine Good Citizen tests, agility trials, rally, and tracking tests events. Many of these events can be found at the GPCA’s National Specialty and Regional Specialties.

Dog shows (Conformation events) are intended to evaluate breeding stock. The size of these events ranges from large all-breed shows, with over 3,000 dogs entered, to small local specialty club shows, featuring a specific breed. The dog’s conformation (overall appearance and structure), an indication of the dog’s ability to produce quality puppies, is judged. Titles earned include Champion, and Grand Champion.

AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) Program started in 1989. The CGC Program is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club.

Obedience: Consider taking obedience training with your dog to a whole new level! Help your dog realize its full potential by entering obedience trials and earning competitive obedience titles. AKC obedience trials demonstrate the usefulness of the dog as a companion to man. Developed in the 1930’s it is one of the AKC’s oldest events! Obedience trials showcase dogs that have been trained and conditioned to behave well in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs. AKC trials allow exhibitors and their dogs to enjoy companionship and competition as they proudly earn AKC titles. Titles include CD, CDX, UD, and eventually levels of OTCH titles.

AKC Rally® is a companion sport to AKC Obedience. Both require teamwork between dog and handler along with similar performance skills. Rally provides an excellent introduction to AKC Companion Events for new dogs and handlers and can provide a challenging opportunity for competitors in other events to strengthen their skills. The dog and handler team move at their own pace, very similar to rally-style auto racing. Rally was designed with the traditional pet owner in mind, but it can still be very challenging for those who enjoy higher levels of competition. A rally course includes 10 to 20 stations, depending on the level. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience. Communication from the handler to the dog is encouraged and perfect heel position is not required, but there should be a sense of teamwork and enthusiasm as they go through the course.

Agility: Running a dog in an agility trial is the ultimate game for you and your dog and is one of the most exciting canine sports for spectators. In an agility trial, a dog demonstrates its agile nature and versatility by following cues from the handler through a timed obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles and other objects. It’s an activity that strengthens the bond between dog and handler and provides fun and exercise for both, which might explain why it’s so enjoyable to watch and has become the fastest-growing dog sport in the United States! All classes offer increasing levels of difficulty to earn Novice, Open, Excellent and Master titles, and beyond.

Tracking: Dogs have a very keen sense of smell – 100,000 times stronger than humans! Dogs with the help of their noses are often used to find lost people and animals, drugs, avalanche and disaster victims, and even to detect cancer! AKC Tracking is a canine sport that demonstrates a dog’s natural ability to recognize and follow a scent and is the foundation of canine search and rescue work. Unlike obedience and rally trials, where dogs respond to the handler’s commands, in tracking the dog is completely in charge, for only he knows how to use his nose to find and follow the track. For many, the greatest pleasure of tracking is the hours spent outside training and interacting with their dogs. The tracking community is known for its camaraderie and they all share in the excitement of a “pass” and the disappointment of a “fail.”

Draft Dog Test

draft dog
The Draft Dog Test is a series of exercises designed to develop and demonstrate the natural and inherent abilities of purebred Great Pyrenees in a working capacity involving hauling. The specific components of the test include:

  1. Basic Control (obedience): ensuring the dogs are under handler control.
    Before hitching, basic obedience commands comparable to those required for an AKC CD title are tested. Specifically, these are the heel exercises, and a recall.
  2. Harness and Hitch: willingness to be harnessed and hitched to a draft rig.
  3. Practical Draft Work: demonstrating handler and dog teamwork on a maneuvering course, which include left and right turns, circles, backing up, change of speed, going through narrows, greeting strangers, waiting while moveable obstacle is removed/replaced, picking up/dropping off a load, and working through distractions.
  4. Freight Load: demonstrating a willingness and ability to pull the loaded cart.
  5. Group Stay: immediately before the Freight Haul, the hitched dogs complete a ‘stay’ exercise, as in the AKC Obedience Regulations.
  6. Distance Freight Haul: hauling a weighted cart for a half-mile over a mixed terrain.

The judges assess the ability to perform the assigned tasks and the dogs’ willingness and smoothness of performance. A dog that effectively completes the task within a reasonable time period and without physical assistance should be scored as passed if it has performed willingly. Dogs must work on a loose leash.

Passing the test qualifies for a Draft Dog title. Titles include Novice, Open and Advanced for both single dogs and braces.

Download GPCA Draft Dog Test Regulations (PDF) (Revised June 2012)

Christine Palmer-Persen, Co-Chair, pyrcreek@comcast.net
Judy Skorup, Co-Chair, jaskorup@hotmail.com

GPCA Competitions at National Specialties:

Futurity Stake Policies


Futurity Stakes are sponsored by the GPCA in order to encourage breeding the best possible Great Pyrenees accordant to the AKC Standard of perfection. Thus, the stake is weighted towards the breeder. Recognition is also given the owners in whose hands lies the responsibility for developing inherited potentialities. The owner of the sire is recognized for his dog’s genetic contribution.

Eligibility Rules

Prize monies can only be won through competition in stake judging and adherence to the following rules:

  1. Nominations are to be made on Nomination Forms secured from the Futurity Director: Terry Denney-Combs, pyrpacker@aol.com;
  2. Litter must be nominated by GPCA or affiliated club members before it is whelped;
  3. Puppy must be nominated by owner before it reaches four months of age or an additional fee of $5.00 per month will be charged for each month past four months of age and only up to six months of age;
  4. Futurity is an additional class at the National Specialty (no points awarded) and entry form must so indicate;
  5. All information on entry form must be consistent with that which has been supplied the Futurity Director.

Nomination of Litter

Nomination must be by the breeder or co-breeder who must be a member, in good standing, of the GPCA or an affiliated club at the time of nomination. The nominator, if living, must still be a member of the GPCA or an affiliated club at the time of stake judging. This requirement does not apply to the owner of the sire.

Nomination must be after the breeding, but before the whelping date. The date of nomination shall be determined by the postmark on the envelope containing the nomination, which must be dated no later than the day prior to the whelping of the litter.

Fee is $5 for each litter nominated. There will be no refunds and no fee may be transferred from one litter to another or from one Great Pyrenees to another.

Nomination of the litter makes each puppy in the litter eligible for individual nomination, regardless of the ownership when entered or shown.

Nomination of a Puppy

Nomination must be by owner, who need not be a member of GPCA or an affiliated club.

Nomination must be before the puppy reaches six (6) months of age and before entries close for the Futurity Stake. The date of nomination shall be determined by the postmark on the envelope containing the nomination, which must be dated no later than the day prior to the date the puppy reaches the age of six (6) months.

Fee is $5 per puppy for each nomination prior to the puppy being 4 months old on the date of nomination. Post mark to determine date of nomination. $10 per puppy after puppy is 4 months old and $15 per puppy after puppis is 5 months old. Puppies reaching 6 months old prior to being nominated are no longer eligible for nomination. There will be no refunds and no fees may be transferred from one puppy to another.

An entire litter may be individually nominated by paying the fee for each puppy and submitting a completed nomination form or reasonable facsimile for each puppy.

If neither litter registration number nor individual registration number is available at the time of nomination, these must be supplied as soon as available and in no case later than four (4) weeks before stake judging.

Any changes in identifying information which will be included in the Futurity Stake Catalog from that previously provided the Futurity Director must be received by the Futurity Director before entries close.

Entry for Futurity Stake Judging

Great Pyrenees entered for stake judging must also be entered in a regular class at the National Specialty Show or Obedience Trial.Futurity Stake entry must be indicated on an official AKC entry form in the space provided for “Additional Classes”. An example would be: “Futurity Stake (6-9)

The Futurity Stake must be listed as an Additional Class. Any entry fee must not exceed $5. Entry fees constitute the Futurity Stake Expense Fund for the hosting club.

Class Divisions

Stake is divided into four age divisions each for dogs and bitches: 6-9, 9-12, 12-15, and 15 plus months of age. The four dog classes will be judged in the above order followed by the four bitch classes. Puppies are eligible only for the first GPCA National Specialty Show held on or after the date they reach six (6) months of age.