National Canine Association

Event Rules & Regulations

Event Rules

Click on an individual item to view it, or scroll down to see them all. Included in this section are the following:

Breed and Group Assignments
All purebred dog breeds are assigned to a Group. The eight basic Groups are:

  1. SPORTING 
  2. HOUND 
  3. WORKING  
  4. TERRIER
  5. TOY
  6. NON-SPORTING 
  7. HERDING
  8. RARE BREEDS

The listing of breeds currently assigned to each Group is given in Attachment B. The NCA may add to, transfer between Groups or delete from a Group a breed whenever it is appropriate. Purebred Companion Dogs and Mixed Breed Canine Companions are not assigned to a Group; however, they will be allowed to compete in special classes established for them by the event-giving association.

Events

An NCA event is any event approved by the NCA. Competitions may be held by NCA affiliated organizations or by the NCA itself.

Matches

An authorized NCA match may be held by NCA affiliated organizations. A match is an informal show at which no points toward championships are awarded.

Affiliated Canine Associations or Corporations

Individual(s) desiring to establish an affiliated association should first contact the President/CEO to discuss the proposed association. Generally the following requirements will apply:

  1. Have adequate financial resources,
  2. Retain or demonstrate a willingness to hire appropriate expertise,
  3. Be committed to the ideals and philosophy of the NCA,
  4. May be an all-breed, Group, or related cluster of breeds (such as Spaniels, sighthounds, etc.) organization.

Requirements for Events

In order to hold an NCA approved event, the applying individual(s)/canine association must:

  1. Apply on NCA Form #12 Event Application (see Attachment C) at least six (6) months prior to the date of the proposed show or event.
  2. NCA will notify the requesting individual(s)/canine association within two (2) weeks whether the event is approved.
  3. The applying individual(s)/canine association can select judges from NCA’s list of approved judges.
  4. Judges will not be approved to judge the same breeds at an NCA event which is within 225 miles and 30 days of another previously approved NCA event. This restriction does not apply to Group or Best in Show judging.
  5. Judges will be restricted to judging a maximum of 180 dogs at any one event.
  6. When necessary due to schedule needs and timing, the NCA event-giving association may reallocate certain breeds to another judge.



Championships and Competition


NCA REQUIRES THAT A DOG ATTAIN 100 POINTS TO BE CERTIFIED AS AN NCA CHAMPION. NCA believes that the quality of a dog can be demonstrated, not only by winning within the breed, but also by defeating Best of Breed winners in the Group and Best in Show competition. This should prove beneficial to those quality dogs in breeds in which entries are generally more limited. A maximum of thirty-five (35) points may be awarded at any one show inclusive of Group and Best in Show wins. The rules are set out below.


Non-Professional and Professional, Classes and Breed

NCA CONFORMATION COMPETITION IS DIVIDED INTO TWO (2) TIERS: NON-PROFESSIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL.
The determining factor to distinguish between non-professional and professional is the status of the handler, and NOT the dog, for all classes, Best of Breed, Group and Best in Show. A dog may be exhibited in different tiers (Non-Professional – Professional) at different shows dependent on the status of the handler.

NCA has developed a unique procedure to level the playing field to assure a more interesting and equitable platform for the owner exhibitors (non-professional ) while at the same time providing keenly competitive competition for the professional handlers to participate fully at all levels. The procedures provide for an Ultimate Winners Dog and Bitch (competition between the respective Non-Professional and Professional Winners Dog/Bitch) and a Supreme Group winner (competition between the respective Non-Professional and Professional Group winners). For Best in Show competition between Non-Professional and Professional Best in Show winners, a Supreme Best in Show winner will be selected. Cumulative points earned in either tier are totaled for award of titles.


In the Professional Tier, in the event that the original professional handler is not available for competition at a higher level and at the owner’s discretion, a non-professional exhibitor may show the dog in competition with the other professional handlers, but under no circumstance will any professional handler be allowed to compete in the Non-Professional classes against the non-professional exhibitors.


A Non-Professional entry may be transferred to the Professional classes without penalty by the superintendent or show chairperson (the superintendent or show chairperson to mark judge’s book accordingly). A Professional entry may not be transferred to the Non-Professional classes.



Non-Professional Classes

(handled by a Non-Professional as defined in Section 1 of this chapter)
Separate classes for dogs and bitches.

 

  1. Puppy Class – For dogs/bitches at least six (6) months to twelve (12) months of age. Two (2) placements.
  2. Bred-By-Exhibitor Class – For dogs/bitches bred by the exhibitor or a member of immediate family. (The immediate family is father, mother, son, daughter, husband, wife, brother, sister.) Dogs must be at least six (6) months of age. Two (2) placements.
  3. Open Class – Open to all dogs/bitches at least six (6) months of age. Two (2) placements.
  4. Winners Class – For the winners of the Puppy, Bred-By-Exhibitor and Open classes. One (1) placement for Winners Dog and Winners Bitch. Winners Dog/Winners Bitch each receive one (1) point for every dog/bitch competing in the classes.
  5. Reserve Winners Class – Selected from the remaining dogs/bitches in the Winners Class and from the second place dog/bitch (if there be one) from the class from which Winners Dog/Bitch was selected. One (1) placement for Reserve Winners Dog and Reserve Winners Bitch. If ten (10) or more dogs compete, Reserve Winners receives five (5) points.



Professional Classes


(handled by a Professional as defined in Section 1 of this chapter)

Separate classes for dogs and bitches.

 

  1. Puppy Class – For dogs/bitches at least six (6) months to twelve (12) months of age. Two (2) placements.
  2. Open Class – Open to all dogs/bitches at least six (6) months of age. Two (2) placements.
  3. Winners Class – For the winners of the Puppy, Limited and Open classes. One (1) placement for Winners Dog and Winners Bitch. Winners Dog/Winners Bitch each receive one (1) point for every dog/bitch competing in the classes.
  4. Reserve Winners Class – Selected from the remaining dogs/bitches in the Winners Class and from the second place dog/bitch (if there be one) from the class from which Winners Dog/Bitch was selected. One (1) placement for Reserve Winners Dog and Reserve Winners Bitch. If ten (10) or more dogs compete, Reserve Winners receives five (5) points.

Ultimate Winners Dog Class

Competition between Non-Professional Winners Dog and Professional Winners Dog—AWARD Ultimate Winners Dog. Ultimate Winners Dog receives one (1) point for every dog competing in the Non-Professional and Professional classes. Points are cumulative. Irrespective of winning or losing, both will advance to Best of Breed in their respective tier (Non-Professional or Professional).

Ultimate Winners Bitch Class

Competition between Non-Professional Winners Bitch and Professional Winners Bitch—AWARD Ultimate Winners Bitch. Ultimate Winners Bitch receives one (1) point for every bitch competing in the Non-Professional and Professional classes. Points are cumulative.  Irrespective of winning or losing, both will advance to Best of Breed in their respective tier (Non-Professional or Professional).

Non-Professional Best of Breed Class

(handled by a Non-Professional as defined in Section 1 of this chapter)
Open to all non-professional NCA champions, Winners Dog and Winners Bitch—AWARD Best of Breed and Best of Winners. A non NCA champion Best of Breed winner receives one (1) point for every dog/ bitch competing in the breed. Best of Winners receives one (1) point for every class dog/ bitch competing in the regular classes.

Professional Best of Breed Class

(handled by a Professional as defined in Section 1 of this chapter)

Open to all professional NCA champions, Winners Dog and Winners Bitch—AWARD Best of Breed and Best of Winners. A non NCA champion Best of Breed winner receives one (1) point for every dog/ bitch competing in the breed. Best of Winners receives one (1) point for every class dog/ bitch competing in the regular classes.


For both Non-Professional and Professional Best of Breed classes: Dogs which, according to their owner’s records, have completed the requirements for an NCA championship but whose championship is not confirmed, may be shown in the respective Best of Breed classes for a period of 90 days from the date of the event at which the dog completed the requirements for its NCA championship. If the championship certificate has not been received within 90 days, NCA should be contacted for clarification.


At the judge’s discretion and at the conclusion of Professional Best of Breed (Non-Professional Best of Breed if no professionals entered) for a rare breed, the judge may discuss the breed briefly with the exhibitors.

Awarding of Championship Points

For non NCA champions, points awarded in Breed, Group and Best in Show are cumulative. For any one show, a maximum of thirty-five (35) points may be awarded.
Points are awarded for both the Non-Professional and Professional tiers. The ultimate winner of competition between the non-professional and professional is awarded points based on the cumulative number of dogs in competition. For example, a Non-Professional Winners Dog with ten (10) class dogs in competition is awarded ten (10) points. The Professional Winners Dog with five (5) class dogs in competition is awarded five (5) points. The winner between Non-
Professional and Professional Winners Dog (Ultimate Winners Dog) has won over a total entry of fifteen (15) dogs in competition and is awarded fifteen (15) points. At any time, the judge may, at his/her discretion, withhold any awards if he/she feels the dogs are not worthy. Points are awarded as follows:

  1. One (1) point is awarded for each dog in competition in the corresponding sex and tier up to a maximum of thirty-five (35) points.
  2. For entries of ten (10) or more in a sex and tier (i.e. bitch, Non-Professional), Reserve Winners will receive five (5) points.
  3. No dog may be awarded more than thirty-five (35) points at any one show including Group and Best in Show wins.
  4. In order for points to be awarded, a dog MUST be registered with the NCA within twenty-one (21) days of the show date.



Non-Professional and Professional Group Competition

Non-Professional Group competition—For all Non-Professional Best of Breed winners. Four (4) placements. (A non NCA champion Group winner receives one (1) point for every dog/ bitch competing within the Non-Professional breed classes in their respective Group up to thirty-five (35) points. Second place winner receives one (1) point for every dog/bitch exhibited in the breeds within the Group minus the number of dogs/bitches exhibited in the breed of the Group winner. Third place winner receives one (1) point for every dog/bitch exhibited in the breeds within the Group minus the number of dogs/bitches exhibited in the breeds of the first and second Group winners. Fourth place winner receives one (1) point for every dog/bitch exhibited in the breeds within the Group minus the number of dogs/bitches exhibited in the breeds of the first, second and third place Group winners. Non-Professional Group winner competes with the respective Professional Group winner for Supreme Group competition; irrespective of the outcome for Supreme Group winner, the Non-Professional Group winner will continue to compete in the Non-Professional Best in Show competition.

Professional Group competition—For all Professional Best of Breed winners. Four (4) placements. (A non NCA champion Group winner receives one (1) point for every dog/bitch competing within the Professional breed classes in their respective Group up to thirty-five (35) points. Second place winner receives one (1) point for every dog/bitch exhibited in the breeds within the Group minus the number of dogs/bitches exhibited in the breed of the Group winner. Third place winner receives one (1) point for every dog/bitch exhibited in the breeds within the Group minus the number of dogs/bitches exhibited in the breeds of the first and second Group winners. Fourth place winner receives one (1) point for every dog/bitch exhibited in the breeds within the Group minus the number of dogs/bitches exhibited in the breeds of the first, second and third place Group winners. Professional Group winner competes with the respective Non-Professional Group winner for Supreme Group competition; irrespective of the outcome for Supreme Group winner, the Professional Group winner will continue to compete in the Professional Best in Show competition.


Supreme Group competition—For Non-Professional and Professional Group competition winners. (A non NCA champion Supreme Group winner receives one (1) point for every dog/ bitch competing within the Non-Professional and Professional breed classes in their respective Group up to thirty-five (35) points.) AWARD Supreme Group winner.



Non-Professional and Professional Best in Show & Reserve Best in Show

(when feasible, three judges will judge Best in Show)

Non-Professional Best in Show competition—For all Non-Professional Group winners. One (1) placement. (A non NCA champion Best in Show winner receives one (1) point for every dog/ bitch competing in all of the Non-Professional classes up to thirty-five (35) points.) AWARD Best in Show.


Professional Best in Show competition—For all Professional Group winners. One (1) placement. (A non NCA champion Best in Show winner receives one (1) point for every dog/ bitch competing in all of the Professional classes up to thirty-five (35) points.) AWARD Best in Show.


Supreme Best in Show competition—For Non-Professional and Professional Best in Show competition winners. (A non NCA champion Supreme Best in Show winner receives one (1) point for every dog/bitch competing in all of the Non-Professional and Professional classes up to thirty-five (35) points.) AWARD Supreme Best in Show.


Non Regular Classes

Purebred Companion Dog class—Open to purebred rescue dogs and all other purebred dogs either not eligible for, or not up to, the competition in the regular classes. One class to include dogs and bitches. Two (2) placements. However, when the number of entries within a particular Group warrants, the dogs may compete by Group. Winner of the Purebred Companion Dog class receives one (1) point for every dog and bitch competing. After attaining at total of twenty (20) points, the NCA will award a ‘Recognition of Achievement’ certificate to the respective purebred companion dog.


Awards and Ribbons

Winners and placements in all classes shall receive a ribbon or rosette. The ribbons shall be a minimum of two (2) inches wide and six (6) inches long and shall have printed on their face the seal of the NCA and the name of the prize (i.e. First Prize, Best of Breed etc.). Winners of the Ultimate and Supreme classes will receive a similar ribbon which has the term ‘Ultimate’ or ‘Supreme’ clearly marked on it. Additional trophies, prize monies or other awards may be offered and will be listed in the event announcements or catalog.


Ribbons

All organizations holding NCA events shall use the following colors for their prize ribbons or rosettes.

Regular classes:

 

  1. First – Blue
  2. Second – Red
  3. Winners – Purple
  4. Reserve Winners – Purple and White
  5. Ultimate Winners – Red and White
  6. Best of Winners – Blue and White
  7. Best of Breed – Purple and Gold


Groups:

 

  1. First – Blue
  2. Second – Red
  3. Third – Yellow
  4. Fourth – White
  5. Supreme Group – Blue and Red


Best in Show:

  1. Best in Show – Red, White and Blue
  2. Supreme Best in Show – Blue, Red and Gold

 

Judges

NCA believes our judges play a vital role in the success of our shows. It is essential that our judges have a fundamental understanding of the NCA Rules and Regulations for Canine Registration and Performance Events as well as a working knowledge of the breeds applied for. NCA’s policy is to assist and help judges in every way possible and to treat each and every one of them with respect and fairness and as an equal member of the NCA team. The NCA encourages approved judges to exhibit their dogs if they so desire. APPROVED JUDGES MUST COMPETE IN THE PROFESSIONAL TIER.



Basic Requirements for Approval to Judge


Approval for Initial Breeds

Anyone in good standing with the NCA who feels he or she is qualified to pass judgment on a breed or breeds may apply to the NCA for approval to judge that breed or breeds. Individuals that are not approved by any NCA recognized registry may apply for initial approval to judge on NCA Form #9 Judging Application – Initial Breeds. (See Attachment C). The application requires an explanation of your experience/qualifications in the Sport. There are nooccupational restrictions. A minimum requirement of eight (8) years in the Sport starting from the date they participated in their first organized show or event (conformation, obedience or field).


Approval for Additional Breeds


  1. Any approved judge from any NCA recognized registry (Attachment A) may apply to the NCA to judge breeds for which they believe they are qualified to pass judgment on. Request will be made on NCA Form #10 Judging Application – Additional Breeds. (See Attachment C). Mention should be made of your approval status from any other recognized registry for consideration by the NCA.
  2. Approved non-Group judges: Judging four (4) years or more may apply for approval to judge the remainder of the respective Group their approved breed(s) are assigned to which they feel qualified to pass judgment on (limited to two (2) Groups on initial application). Judging one (1) month to four (4) years may apply for one-half (1/2) of the respective Group their approved breed(s) are assigned to which they feel qualified to pass judgment on (limited to two (2) Groups – half of each – on initial application).
  3. Approved Group judges: Judging thirteen (13) years or more may apply for approval to judge an equal number of additional Groups that they are presently approved for which they feel qualified to pass judgment on. Multiple Group judges judging eighteen (18) years or more may apply to judge any number of additional Groups they feel qualified to pass judgment on.  In both instances, an explanation of experience/qualifications for the additional breeds or Groups is requested. They should be submitted as an attachment and include overall experience in the Sport, i.e. breed seminars, judges institutes, etc.
  4. All Group judges will be granted approval to judge the Rare Breed Group and Best in Show unless they advise NCA otherwise.

Application Review

Consideration for review and approval of an individual’s qualification to judge initially, or for advancement, will be made by individuals with a minimum of twenty (20) years judging experience.

Judges Approval Process

Application for Initial Breeds

If an individual meets the basic requirements as outlined above and on the application for Initial Breeds, he or she may apply to judge at NCA events. The applicant applies on NCA Form #9 Judging Application – Initial Breeds. (See Attachment C). The NCA will make a determination and advise the applicant.

Application for Additional Breeds

Once an individual has been approved as an NCA judge, he/she may apply for additional breeds after gaining some experience in their latest breeds. The individual applies on NCA Form #10 Judging Application – Additional Breeds. (See Attachment C). The NCA will make a determination and advise the applicant.

Exceptions

Realizing it is difficult to list all the various points that are to be considered as well as the vast differences each individual has regarding all aspects of experience in the Sport, exceptions may be made in granting approvals to judge both initial and additional breeds.

Eligibility to Exhibit  

Individuals

Ineligible to Exhibit by Status – Any individual who has been suspended by the NCA or by the event-sponsoring organization is ineligible to show at that event. If suspended by the NCA, the individual is ineligible for any NCA event or NCA affiliated association event. If suspended by the affiliated association, the individual is ineligible to show at only the affiliated association events.

Ineligible to Exhibit by Position – The show secretary or superintendent is ineligible to exhibit. The sponsoring association may wish to consider whether to allow their officers, show photographers, show veterinarians or other event officials to exhibit.

Eligible to Exhibit – Any individual who is not barred by one of the above rules.

Dogs

Only NCA registered dogs or dogs subject to NCA registration over six (6) months of age properly entered may be exhibited. Any dog who has been cosmetically altered may not be shown (except as specified in its respective breed standard). While the NCA values the role of the breeder, we believe the Sport of Dogs should be open to more than just breeding stock. Therefore, properly registered purebred dogs which, have been neutered or spayed, are eligible to be shown and compete in the regular classes of their respective breed through Best of Breed, Group and Best in Show (PROVIDED THE RESPECTIVE BREED STANDARD DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY DISQUALIFY SPAYED OR NEUTERED DOGS).

Registered purebred dogs which cannot be exhibited in the regular breed classes due to breed disqualifications may be shown in the Purebred Companion Dog class. Any registered purebred dog which the owner feels is not of show quality may also be shown in the purebred companion dog classes.


Any dog which has been disqualified by a judge for attacking a judge, exhibitor, spectator or official is ineligible to be shown unless it is reinstated. NCA will determine the method to reinstate the dog on a case by case basis. The judge is responsible for submitting NCA Form #11 Disqualification Form at the time of the disqualification.

Any dog which has been disqualified three (3) times under the standard for its breed may not be shown again unless it is reinstated. NCA will determine the method to reinstate the dog on a case by case basis.

Conditions Affecting the Exhibit of a Dog

Excusing a Dog

Temporary conditions preventing a dog from being exhibited on a particular day shall be handled by the judge excusing the dog from the ring. Any dogs excused shall not be counted towards points awarded that day.

A dog may be excused for lameness; excessive shyness such that it cannot be examined, overly aggressive behavior not sufficient to warrant disqualification or use of any substance which alters coat color or texture. A dog may also be excused by a judge for any appropriate reason. The judge will indicate the reason in his judge’s book and advise the exhibitor in the presence of the ring steward.

Excusing an Exhibitor

A judge may excuse any exhibitor for any appropriate reason. The reason must be stated in the judge’s book. The exhibitor will be advised of the reason for being excused in the presence of the ring steward, and the judge will make an appropriate notation in his judge’s book.

Disqualifications

  1. As covered in the respective breed standards. (The respective breed standards take precedence over Chapter 8 Section 2 of these rules, which allow spayed and neutered dogs to be exhibited at NCA events.) A dog disqualified three (3) times for the same breed disqualification may not be shown again until reinstated by the NCA.
  2. General disqualifications: Blindness; Deafness; Any dogs whose appearance has been changed by artificial means, except as provided for in their respective breed standard.
  3. A dog, who in the opinion of the judge, threatens either the judge or others, attacks or otherwise is overly aggressive in the ring. This dog may not be shown again until reinstated by the NCA.

In these instances, the owner or handler of the dog will be provided a completed and signed copy by the judge of NCA Form #11 Disqualification Form (details are included on the form). (See Attachment C.)


Disqualifications Under the Breed Standards


If a breed standard has a disqualification, then the determination of whether a dog should be disqualified is determined solely by the judge adjudicating the dog. In the event a dog is disqualified, a notation of the reason will be made in the judge’s book. A judge must be sure that the exhibitor is told of the reason for the disqualification. If weighing or measuring is required, standard procedures shall be used. It is the responsibility of the event-sponsoring association to have appropriate measuring and weighing equipment at the site.


Show Administrators

An NCA affiliated association may use any person or company to manage the event for them. The contractual relationship will be between the affiliated association and the corporation. The NCA will not be responsible for establishing or enforcing any provisions. The affiliated association, in selecting an administrator, should consider experience, financial resources, and capability.


Show Veterinarians

The NCA does not require that the club have a show veterinarian on the premises; however, the affiliated association should consider an appropriate arrangement to assure the welfare of the dogs at an event, i.e. an on-call veterinarian with phone numbers and directions to the veterinarian’s office.


Event Announcement and Schedule

An event announcement and schedule shall contain the following: notice of approval by NCA for conducting the event; a list of officers and committee members of the event-giving association including the name and address of the event chairman; the name and address of the individual or association to whom the entries should be sent; the date and time by which the entries must be received; the exact location of the event, including whether it is indoors or outdoors; a listing of the entry fee(s); and the names and addresses of the judges and their assignments. It should be forwarded to the NCA for approval prior to publication.


Event Catalog

An event catalog shall be prepared and available prior to the start of the event. NCA requires that the catalog include a schedule of activities and a listing of affiliated association officials, judges and other show officials. For each entry:

  1. The dog’s name
  2. The dog’s registration number
  3. The dog’s armband number
  4. The owner’s name and address
  5. The dog’s sire and dam

The affiliated organization may include other information such as breeders, handler, etc.

 
Benched Events


Any affiliated association may, if it wishes, hold ‘benched’ events. The benching requirements shall be set by the affiliated association and should be clearly spelled out in the event announcement, schedules, and catalogs. No un-entered dogs on the show grounds of a ‘benched’ show.

 
Protests Against Dogs


Any exhibitor in competition in the ring may file a protest against a dog in the breed for which they are entered on the day which they believe is ineligible for exhibition because it should be disqualified under the breed standard, is improperly entered, or has been cosmetically altered. The protestor notifies the ring steward of the armband number of the dog being protested and the basis for the protest. The protest must be lodged prior to all the dogs in the classes being individually examined and gaited. The judge determines whether the protest should be sustained. NO OUT OF RING PROTESTS.


Providing Event Records to the NCA

The event-sponsoring association shall provide a marked catalog and judges book or such other form as mutually agreed between the NCA and the affiliated association to the NCA within seven (7) days of the event.