Diavolino Italian Greyhounds

                                                                                      ...world reknowned show dogs and world class companions


After The Championship 

If you're willing to try long enough, or spend enough money, any halfway decent dog without a disqualifying fault will eventually get a Championship. Some dogs get their Championships defeating only other dogs owned by their owner. It is not unheard of for exhibitors to boost, or stack, the entries with their own dogs so as to create Championships on dogs that might have a much more difficult time against quality competition. Some exhibitors pay to have a well known professional handler show their dog, hoping that politics plays a part in judge's decisions. Some people just drag the same dog around over and over and over until it finally gets enough points. Even worse, some people substitute dogs - enter one dog, but illegally show a different, better, dog, pretending it is the one that is entered. Substituting dogs is a serious offense that will get you banned, so I do not suggest you try it!

So, knowing that, you may ask, what is the value of a Championship? The truth is, most dogs obtain their titles honestly. The wins are usually posted on the CKC or AKC websites, so anyone who wants to take the time can figure out who's blowing smoke and who is really successfully showing dogs.  Other exhibitors know who is doing what, as well, so it's pretty hard to deceive experienced people. The only ones that get fooled are the novices, or the inexperienced. Those are the people that I am hoping to help, if even just a little bit.

Even though all dogs that get their required points are deemed a Champion, not every dog is 'special'. The title is only as good as the knowledge of the person who owns or bred the dog. As I said, pretty much any dog could get it's Championship, so without the deep research and understanding of the Breed Standard, the title is empty. Decisions about whether or not to continue showing the dog, whether or not to breed the dog, should be based on how well the dog fits the Standard.

You may think I'm contradicting myself from earlier topics where I said a dog should be a Champion before being bred. No, that's not a contradiction, as it should at least  be a Champion (some exceptions of course). The title is just the first thing on the checklist prior to deciding if the dog has a breeding future or not.

I can honestly tell you that I have produced many dogs who get their Championships easily, in difficult competition, and still deemed them not of a quality I want to use in my breeding plans. Those dogs are spayed or neutered and placed in companion homes to retire. I have very high expectations of my breeding dogs. Being merely good is not enough, I want them to be outstanding. Anything less does not have a place in my breeding programme.


So, going on the assumption that a dog has completed it's Championship, and it is decided by serious, open minded, non-emotional consideration that the dog is of a quality to continue on with, what options does one have? Is that it, get the title and you're done?

It doesn't have to be that way. You can continue in Conformation or start exploring other purebred dog pursuits, if you haven't already. Now, I am far from an expert in the Performance sports of purebred dogs, in fact I am a mere novice myself, so I won't get into the details. Hopefully as I learn more, I can tell you more. I have just started a few dogs in Rally Obedience, so maybe I'll be a bit more experienced in the years to come!

I will tell you that you can explore Obedience, Agility, Lure Coursing (in the US only, we are not allowed to course in Canada), tracking, flyball, scent hurdling... the list goes on and on!

But let's discuss what I do know - Conformation.

Post-Championship you can either enter shows lightly for fun, or you can get serious about a campaign.

There are two kinds of points a Champion can strive for, and both can be sought at the same time. One is a National Ranking, the other is a Grand Championship.

I never start out trying for a National Ranking, I start a new Special (term for Champion who is continuing to show) for fun. Once the dog manages to get into the top 5, I then do try to keep it there. Points (called Breed Points) towards a National Ranking are easy to count - you get one point for every dog defeated at Best of Breed level or higher. For example, if there are 5 IGs entered and you win Best of Breed, you get 4 Breed points. If you then get a Group Placing, you count the number of dogs competing in all the breeds that placed lower, plus your 4 Breed Points. So let's say you got a Group 3rd. We'll pretend the following is the total entry:

  1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 6 entered Group 1st  
  2. Chihuahua (Short Coat) 4 entered  
  3. Chinese Crested 1 entered   Group 2nd  
  4. Havanese 7 entered  
  5. Italian Greyhound 5 entered Group 3rd  
  6. Miniature Pinscher 4 entered  
  7. Pomeranian 8 entered Group 4th  
  8. Poodle (Toy) 3 entered  
  9. Yorkshire Terrier 2 entered  

The Group 1st dog, the Cavalier, gets 39 Breed points (the total of all dogs entered minus itself). The Group 2nd dog, the Chinese Crested, gets 33 Breed points (the total of all the breeds below it). The Group 3rd dog, the IG, gets 32 Breed points - the total of all breeds below it, plus the 4 points obtained in it's own breed). The Pomeranian gets 27 Breed points - the total of all breeds that did not place, plus the 7 points at Pomeranian level).

The kennel clubs keep track of all dogs who win Best of Breed and better, and the dog of each breed that gets the most by the end of the year is the #1 dog. By the way, if you win Best in Show, you count all dogs competing in the show minus 1 (your dog). Best Puppy in Breed, Group or Show do not count towards National Rankings.

Rankings are recorded in the calendar year, Jan 1 to Dec 31. Positions are awarded in Canada to the Top 5 of each breed as well as the Top 10 in each Group and the Top 10 All-Breeds.


The Grand Championship is a fairly new title in the Canadian Kennel Club, and not available in the AKC.  I personally like it, as it takes the pressure off of trying to make #1.  Wins can be sought over as much time as you want, so you don't need to worry about what anyone else is doing.  I still remember the years of reading the Official Results voraciously, hoping no-one else had won enough to surpass my dog.  Those days are over, so   now I don't care how well others do.  I'm only concerned about getting enough Grand Championship points.  This actually makes me a better competitor, as I can genuinely be pleased for others' successes.

So how do you get a Grand Championship? 

The title of Grand Champion may only be earned after the completion of the CKC Conformation Championship.   Points for this title can only be counted  after the completion of the Conformation Championship and do not include the points earned in completing  the Conformation Championship.

A dog must get a minimum of 100 points which must include one Best in Show or a Best of Breed at a Breed National Specialty (where a minimum of ten dogs have competed) or a Best in Multiple Breed Specialty with at least five breeds represented; plus 3 group firsts or 3 Breed Specialty wins must be earned at Conformation shows.


     Group 1 or Best in Specialty Show   5 Points
     Group 2 or Best of Opposite Single Breed
Specialty Show 4 Points
     Group 3   3 Points
     Group 4   2 Points

     Best of Breed with 5 or more competing  1 Point
 Best in Show or Best in National Specialty Show or Best in Multi Breed Specialty Show 10 Points

You can count only the highest points earned at a single show.   For example, a dog that wins Group 1 and then wins Best in Show, earns 10 points, not 15.

The dog must have been awarded a title from any CKC event, other than Conformation, or awarded a Canine Good Neighbour Certificate.

At this point in time, there is only one Grand Champion Italian Greyhound in Canada.  It is our own MBIS/MBPIS GCh/Am Ch Diavolino's Come Closer RN CGN TT.


If you decide to 'campaign' your dog, be prepared for some gossip and jealousy.  People who previously said they liked your dog will sometimes start telling people how horrible it is.  People will start telling others that your dog has or produces some horrible disease.  People who were so supportive in the beginning may turn around and start telling people you paid off the judges, or were sleeping with them, or whatever other story they can come up with to explain why your dog is winning.  A lot of dog show people have fragile egos and seeing someone else win can be difficult for them.  If you can't handle that, then don't campaign a Special.


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