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Scamming The Dog Show Exhibitor?

How are points-majors calculated by AKC?


Have you ever wondered how points-majors are calculated by AKC? Perhaps a secret algorithm, by area, breed, number of entries, or by favoring a certain group?


Subscriber's Comments Below! The Question Is... Are The AKC Points Schedule A Scam?

by Joseph Byer, Jr., Research Editor


I come to this discussion of the AKC Points Schedule with an analysis background that prepares me to understand and question results. I hope it will open your eyes as well.  I liken the points system to Three Card Monte, which is not really a card game, it is a scam. After watching the card game in action I took a statistics course to better understand the chances of ever winning. I did so well that the professor, who needed help with some students, asked me to help him tutor in the afternoons. Here is the way to beat the game of dog shows.


On the Points Schedule the AKC says, “… there are regions where it's a LOT easier to finish dogs than other areas. The point system for each region is calculated annually, based on the entries for that region in the last three years.” PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU CAN TAKE YOUR DOG TO AN EASIER DIVISION – NO PROHIBITION AGAINST THAT…


I campaigned a dog the entirety of 2016 in THREE DIFFERENT divisions. At a majority of the shows where I exhibited my dog, I was the only entrant in my class and the winner’s class for dogs was devoid of any majors for the entire year.  Cross-over points were my only hope for those shows but the majors just were not there in either sex.


So I was shocked to see that in my breed the number of dogs for the points schedule INCREASED in 2016-2017. One more dog was needed for 2 points, one more for a 3 point major as well as for a 4 point major; and two more dogs were needed for a 5 point major. That prompted me to examine the mathematics used.


Here's the AKC methodology for computing the point schedule in every division:

  1. One point- 95% of the shows where there was competition carry one or more points for dogs and bitches. Thus it appears that 5% of shows have NO point in the classes?

  3. Two Points -are calculated at half the difference between the one and three point breaks.

  5. Three Points- are calculated as close as possible to 18% but should not exceed 20% of the shows in a division that carry major points (3, 4, or 5) for both dogs and bitches.

  7. Four Points- are set at 2/3 of the difference between the three and five point breaks.

  9. Five points- set as close as possible to 2% of the shows that carry 5 points for both dogs and bitches.

Majors created by Best of Winners, Best of Breed and Best of Opposite are not counted in this calculation and are in effect, bonus majors over and above the 18%.


While your head may still be spinning from the foregoing description, it is easy to see that the organization (the AKC) is empowered to skew the numbers in any direction because they do not share all the pieces to this puzzle with exhibitors.  While seeming to be a fountain of information the AKC no longer divulges data such as annual registration numbers.


For a number of years Ron Menaker, AKC Board Chairman, has been bemoaning dropping registrations, declining numbers of exhibitors and thus, decreasing revenues to the AKC. By making it MORE difficult to attain a Champion title by raising the number of dogs to achieve the necessary majors, it doesn’t take a math whiz to see the result.  It produces more revenue at more shows and enhances the flagging revenues of the AKC. This is a clear case of controlling the numbers - control the results and be damned to fairness!


If the AKC were to resume publishing registration numbers as well as detailed show results – we could all be assured the game is fair but without tangible proof to the contrary, it may be surmised that the game is rigged. It could be that the point schedule is manipulated to make it more difficult to earn a Champion title when too many dogs “finish” but without explaining the calculation system, an accurate accounting of the calculations is impossible.


Consider these questions and answer whatever applies to you in the comments box below.


1.  Should AKC take into consideration the increased numbers of professional handlers who can adjust travel to areas with points schedules more favorable to their best clients?


2.  Does the points-calculation system still serve the best interests of purebred dogs?


3.  Are you an owner handler or professional handler and for approximately how long?


4.  Are you having a problem finding or traveling to majors? 


Please note, comments have closed but our subscriber's insights have been illuminous! For authenticity we used your names and embedded your email so other subscribers can reach out. Here's what you had to say... EST 2005 1803

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