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Dog Sport Titles & AbbreviationsDog Sport Titles & Abbreviations


Scanning competitive show catalogs or pedigrees of well-bred puppies, you can’t help notice dogs often formally named with strings of mysterious abbreviations trailing their official registered names. The letters sometimes get pronounced as just one extended jumble. But what do these distinct credentials actually mean honoring dogs with particular title designations? Let’s decode common acknowledgment initials specifying elevated accolades.


Championship Obedience and Show Titles

CH – Champion
The prefix earned by dogs recording a Championship in conformation shows based on points. Shows meeting overall breed standards.

OTCH – Obedience Trial Champion
Suffix demonstrating mastery of competitive utility-level obedience trial qualifications as defined by difficulty of various directed maneuvers. Trained to advanced handling signals off leash.

CT – Champion Tracker
Acknowledges proficiency in competitive tracking level difficulty standards involving scent discrimination, obstacles, durations, ages of trails and distances trailed within strict time allowances. Follows ground scent articles and paths laid.

FC – Field Champion
Field trials test hunting breeds against authentic hunting scenarios measuring inherited skills and traits. Titled competitors must win required assessment events to earn FC labels. Equivalent to show CH designations.


Breeder Distinctions

ROM – Register Of Merit
Breeder distinction indicating a stud successfully sired at least 10 titled get or a dam birthed at least 4 titled get.

OFA – Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Indicates health testing clearance certifying dog free of hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia via accepted diagnostic methods. Precedes registered names.


Miscellaneous Title Abbreviations

JH – Junior Hunter
Entry-level field qualification involving air scenting ability, obedience retrievals and water skills promising competence developing into competitive Master Hunter level.

CGC – Canine Good Citizen
Passing behavioral benchmarks assessed by AKC S.T.A.R. puppy/CGC programs demonstrate appropriate training for public access expectations.

TKN – Trick Dog Novice
Denotes ability performing at least 10 tricks to specified standards earning novice trick titling legs toward eventual TKI and TKA titles at intermediate and advanced competitive trick levels.

ITT – Instinct Tested in Tracking Indicates breed/motivation appropriate tracking fundamentals tested for purpose-bred performance. Assesses trainable tracking aptitude.

Be it show rings, field courses or trick stages, those abbreviations reveal well-rounded dogs extending far beyond just beloved pets into extensively proven canine abilities and contributions!


Frequently Asked Questions

What basic title should my dog earn first?

Start with Canine Good Citizen certification emphasizing real-world manners and obedience. Build from this foundation adding sport or show pursuits.

Is ITT tracking necessary for actual tracking titles?

No, but it helps assess innate scent drive before pursuing sanctioned tracking titles requiring substantial skill, conditioning and knowledge. ITT removes some guesswork on whether your dog fits tracking interests.

Why do some pedigrees list dog’s full formal names?

Conveying full registered “handles” documents lineage credentials. Abbreviations help recognize significant achievements at a glance that required special time, training and competency.

While shorthand leaves many initials mysterious to newer dog lovers, recognize the shorthand as honor badges celebrating each dog’s unique strengths and successes benefiting breeding pools and community opportunities alike. Salute the merit behind shorthand as significant!

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