Winners and Reserve Winners

Exhibitors who place second in their classes need to remain at ringside for Reserve judging.


Q. I recently entered my first dog show. My puppy was 7 months old at the time so was entered in the 6 to 9 months puppy dog class. We placed second out of six dogs so we were happy with how he did. When we left the ring to head for our car, the steward stopped us and said we had to stay in case “we were needed for Reserve.” What does this mean?

A. When all the classes of each sex have been judged, all those that have placed first return to the ring to compete for Winners Dog (male) and Winners Bitch (female). These are the best male and the best female in the opinion of the judge that day, and each can earn from one to a maximum of five points toward their championship.

After Winners is selected, the dog that went second to that dog in its class comes back to the ring and competes with the remaining first-place class winners for Reserve Winners Dog and Bitch. No points are awarded for Reserve but you do get a ribbon and are considered the runner up.

Also, if for any reason the American Kennel Club determines that the Winners Dog or Winners Bitch was not eligible, the championship points would go to the Reserve winner. Therefore, exhibitors who place second in their classes need to remain at ringside in case the dog that beat them goes Winners and they are needed back in the ring for Reserve.


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Denise   Downingtown, Pennsylvania

5/23/2016 9:29:53 AM

I wish they would get rid of the Reserve winners or give them .5 point or a full point. Basically, Reserve winner is the best of the losers. It irritates me when my dog gets reserve winner. I'd rather him lose outright as I find that more respectable. Don't get me wrong I'm not a sore loser, I congratulate the winner and I'm genuinely happy for the winner. But don't patronize my dog by giving him reserve when he LOST and shouldn't get a ribbon! I can take losing to the best dog and that's fair.

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Sondra   Wyoming, Michigan

2/15/2016 11:37:30 AM

I just want to know when Westminster starting having a reserve. I had saw that he English shows had a reserve and not us. Now we do, when did it start?

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Jerry   Laguna Beach, California

7/2/2015 12:46:17 PM

I know little or nothing about show dogs as it relates to points, ribbons
That is all handled by my friend, dog handler, and breeder or wonderful
I do know that my little girl has acquired sufficient points to qualify as a finished show
As I fabricate the rack to display all the ribbons and awards she has brought home the
place stuff was pretty self
The Reserve Winner ribbons alluded
Seems like there should be more than a ribbon involved, points being the major
should fit somewhere into the equation considering the time,effort and expense not to

mention energy that go into this

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Jennifer   Lexington, Kentucky

9/1/2014 7:08:22 AM

I agree. A reserve dog should get a point or a half point; something to make all of the $ you spend worthwhile. Ribbons are no big deal; it is the points that count. As a result, reserve dog is basically worthless!

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