Awards and Notes.

- by Polly King (Foxpath Flatcoated Retriever)

In the UK breeders of flatcoated retrievers like to put show and working titles and indicators on a pedigree and this can be very confusing if you do not know what letters such as JW or SHCM mean. Below is a brief explanation of many of the commonly abbreviated titles which I hope will help you find the right puppy for you.
SDC - Shooting Dog Certificate. This is a working dog qualification which is awarded to a dog or bitch which has proved itself in the shooting field. This is a Flatcoated Retriever Society award, but not a UK Kennel Club award. Until 2010 this award was divided into two levels, SDC A and SDC B grade for dogs requiring extra training.

FT.CH. - Field Trial Champion. An official title given to a dog or bitch which has competed in and won a number of field trails, this is again is a shooting award and therefore a working award. This is a recognised Kennel Club Working Dog Title. This is the top working award that can be competed for in the UK.

FTW - Field Trial Winner. This is a field trial winner which has not yet won enough first prizes to qualify for the title FT.CH. This is used for winners of an open stake only. Some novice breeders will mistakenly put it on a pedigree when their dog wins a novice field trial. This is used by breeders to indicate the dogs working prowess, but it is not an official award.

FTA (on some pedigrees may appear as FTAW) - Field Trial Award Winner. This is another indicator for breeders and potential buyers about a dogs working ability, and means the dog or bitch has been placed in a field trial or won a trial which was not an open stake trial.  It is not an official award.

WT - Working Test winner.This is an indicator which I have seen on some pedigrees again it is not an official award, but shows that the dog or bitch has won a working test, which uses canvas dummies as retrieve items. Based on field trials but should never be mistaken for a Field Trial. Sometimes ‘cold game’ (previously shot game) is used if the test is a ‘cold game’ working test.

KC WGDC - Kennel Club Working Gun Dog Certificate. This is an award introduced by the Kennel Club and is based on the SDC awards introduced by the Flatcoated Retriever Society. It is an official award, given to a dog which may work on shoots. It is sometimes shortened to WGDC or KCWG this qualifies a gun dog entry into Crufts for life.

– KC WGDC on „Dummies“. It will be awarded after an official test will be passed. The respective criteria, which are the same for all breeds, have to be met. At least one KC Panel judge is required to assess the dogs. The Certificate, issued by the KC, comes in a green colour.

– KC WGDC on „live Game“. The dog will be tested during a Shooting Day. It will pass, if the criteria are met.At least one judge must be a KC Panel judge. The Certificate, issued by the KC, comes in a different pink/purple colour. There is a broschure about the Certificates with all the details and requirements on the KC website.

CH - Champion. This is an official award given to a dog or bitch which has won 3 challenge certificates in the show ring and has successfully completed a show dog qualifier field trial or a field trial.

SH.CH. - Show Champion. This is an award for dogs which have won 3 challenge certificates in the show ring but have not completed a field trial or show dog qualifier to become a full champion. This is a UK Kennel Club recognised award.

Sh.CM. - Show Certificate of Merit. This award is an official award given by the Kennel Club, for dogs gaining 25 points at open and championship shows.

JW. - Junior Warrant. This award is an official award given by the Kennel Club for young dogs between the ages of 6 months and 18 months who win 25 points at open and championship shows.

CC - Challenge Certificate. This is sometimes written on pedigrees to indicate the dog has won a Challenge Certificate. To win one of these the dog has to win his class, then compete against all other dogs of the same sex who have won their classes, if he does he can go forward to compete for "Best of Breed". When a dog wins three CCs under three different judges it becomes a Show Champion or if it has the qualifier a full Champion. This can only be gained at a championship show.

Res. CC - Reserve Challange Certificate. This award is for the dog which is chosen from the remaining class winners and a dog who won second in the class the CC winner came from, after the CC been awarded, assuming the dog who came second was not beaten by another dog in an earlier class.. A reserve CC does not count towards champion status. An example of this is a bitch many years ago who won two CCs and 12 res CCs so was never made up to champion. Like the CC this can only be won at a championship shows

BOB - Best of Breed. This is not an official title like champion or field trial champion it indicates that the dog has won Best of Breed at a show, this could be any level of show from championship show down through to an open or limit show.

Group Awards – A flatcoated retriever is a member of the Gundog Group. All BOB gundog winners will compete for a placing in the gundog group. There are four awards in each group. The winner of the group (group 1) will go forward to compete for Best In Show (BIS) against the other group winners from the other six groups.

BIS or RBIS - This means that the dog has won Best in Show or Reserve Best in Show it is not an official title like Champion or Field Trial Champion, again it is used to indicate the dog has won best in show or reserve best in show by winning best dog or bitch in it's class, group and breed level. BIS can also be awarded at a charity companion show which is run in aid of a charity and is usually held in association with a village fete or other similar event, so unless it specifies which show assume it could be any level of show.

A few breeders might include BPIS, RBPIS these are Best Puppy in Show and Reserve Best Puppy in Show other puppy awards you might see are BP or BPIB or RBP or RBPIB which simply mean Best Puppy in Breed or Reserve Best Puppy in breed, although this is thankfully quite rare. 

Some Flatcoated Retrievers will have awards gained in other competitive canine sports, such as competitive obedience, agility, working trials, rally and heel work to music. These are not listed currently.

       © Alex Faarkrog 2017