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Reserve Best in Show, a BFD

On July 3, 2012, AKC will institute a Reserve Best in Show award. I applaud this. It appeals to my sense of order. In fact, I would like to see all the finalists ranked one through seven. One would think that after 14 seasons of “Dancing With the Stars” and 11 sets of “American Idol” contestants that this would be a natural evolution of the dog game.

However, this is seriously a big deal. To go to a show and do better than any other dog save one is an important distinction. My question is how do we note the accomplishment. My understanding is that there will be no additional points awarded to the reserve dog beyond those earned by the Group One award.  Now this seems counter-intuitive. I don’t think the Reserve BIS should get one less point than the BIS, but I do think the runner-up should get more points than the five dogs he beat.

Our system already is skewed to favor the Sporting, Working & Toy Groups. The winners of those groups take home, on the average, anywhere from 50 to 200 percent more points than do the winners of the Hound, Terrier, Non-Sporting & Herding Groups. It is true that the Golden Retriever or the Doberman Pinscher may have to fight its way out of a breed with 50-plus entries, but the Clumber Spaniel and the Giant Schnauzer may make it into the group ring uncontested. Why should the Terrier that goes Reserve BIS get fewer points than the Sporting Group Three?

This disparity could be even more pronounced should additional group placements be instituted for larger shows. I have long been an advocate of finding creative ways to recognize achievement in the dog game to encourage participation. However, the recognition has to mean something. As I said, this Reserve BIS thing is a really big deal (maybe even bigger than a Joe Biden BFD), but it will soon loose its appeal if dogs consistently finishing lower at the shows end up higher in the rankings. And that’s today’s Back Story.

Written by

Billy Wheeler has been attending dog shows as a spectator and exhibitor for over 40 years. Billy is the man behind the popular Dog Show Poop. He is a retired management consultant who has advised multiple organizations affiliated with the AKC and the Cat Fanciers Association on business management, long range planning, customer service, and legislative matters. After 25 years of living in the big cities of New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, he now resides in his hometown of Memphis TN with his wife, Brenda, her Toy Poodle and his Cairn, Scottie, & IG. When he is not blogging, Billy can be found in the kitchen cooking, and listening to opera.
  • inuaknls
    Sheila April 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    I’ve thought, for decades, that there should be a Reserve Best in Show- in AKC. Nearly every other purebred registry has this. In AKC there are redundancies in every other level (reserve winners dog, reserve winners bitch, BOS) but not at the BIS level. I also agree that RBIS should carry some point-weight, other than a ribbon. We’ll see how this shakes out……………….

    Sheila :)

    • Esther May 15, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      he must be registered with AKC. Yes, that’s one venue. The other venue that is very popular for beagles is the UKC (United Kennel Club). They have very good program. You should speak with your breeder, she will know best if he should step foot in the breed ring or not.References :

  • Russell McFadden April 15, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Perhaps the RBIS could be rewarded a percentage – say 25% or 33% – of the total entry at the show. That would still give the BIS winner greater recognition but reward RBIS something beyond just what it wins getting to the BIS ring.

    My own soap box: I think BOS should be turned into RBOB. Often the next best exhibit in the ring to BOB isn’t the animal of the opposite sex.


    • Colllin April 19, 2012 at 7:19 AM

      Russell, now that we have Select Dog and Select Bitch, though, isn’t that the same thing as “Reserve BOB”? If the BOB dog is a male, then the Select Dog is, effectively, Reserve Best Male, right?
      And I’m not sure why the Reserve BIS dog shouldn’t receive points for every dog defeated on the day — that is, all available points minus one. After all, that dog will have indeed defeated all but one other at that show…

  • A April 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    Yes I am very excited for this, have been since it was first being talked about a few years ago.

  • Naomi May 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Yes. Speaking to your breeder is the best bet.They usually let you know when you purchase the pup if it is show quality. Also going to shows is an option. You can speak to the judges, other breeders and check out your competition.Good Luck.References :

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