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Both new and experienced dog owners come across a range of acronyms daily — at dog shows, food packages, the vet. Some use them without understanding what those letters stand for.
That will change today because here’s a comprehensive dog acronyms list that you should know.
Dog organizations help control breed standards and regulate dog breeding. They’re often referred to by their acronyms. Some important ones to remember are:
- AAC – Agility Association of Canada
- AKC – American Kennel Club
- CKC – Canadian Kennel Club
- NADAC – North American Dog Agility Council
- UKC – United Kennel Club
- USDAA – United States Dog Agility Association
Flyball is a popular dog sport open to all breeds. Dogs typically compete in teams of four and have to complete a specific course, where judges rank them according to speed and proficiency.
A variety of different acronyms are used in the competition and the judging process, such as the following:
- FD – Flyball Dog
- FDX – Flyball Dog Excellent
- FDCh – Flyball Dog Champion
- FM – Flyball Master
- FMX – Flyball Master Excellent
- FMCh – Flyball Master Champion
- ONYX – Award based on points (named after the first recipient)
- FGDCh – Flyball Grand Champion
Agility Titles for dogs
Agility titles are awarded to dogs at a variety of different associations and kennel club sanctioned events.
These awards are often shortened to acronyms, with the abbreviation added behind a dog’s name to showcase their champion status.
Here are some of the agility titles a dog can win from the AKC:
- AX – Agility Excellent
- MX – Master Agility Excellent
- NA – Novice Agility
- OA – Open Agility
- NAJ – Novice Jumper With Weaves
- OAJ – Open Jumper With Weaves
- AXJ – Excellent Jumper With Weaves
- MXJ – Master Jumper With Weaves
Similarly, the UKC has its own set of agility acronyms:
- U-AGI – Agility I
- U-AGII – Agility II
- U-ACH – Agility Champion
- U-ACHX – Agility Champion Excellent
The USDAA also has several different awards for agility:
- AD – Agility Dog
- VAD – Veteran Agility Dog
- VAAD – Veteran Advanced Agility Dog
- VMAD – Veteran Master Agility Dog
- AAD – Advanced Agility Dog
- MAD – Master Agility Dog
- SM – Snooker Master
- GM – Gambler Master
- PM – Pairs Master
- JM – Jumpers Master
- ADCH – Agility Dog Champion
The AAC’s agility titles are as follows:
- ADC – Agility Dog of Canada
- AADC – Advanced Agility Dog of Canada
- MADC – Master Agility Dog of Canada
The NADC lists their agility titles below with O-, S- for Outstanding, Superior Performance, prefixed to any NADAC title.
- NAC, NAC-V, NAC-JH Novice Standard, Veterans, Junior Handler
- OAC, OAC-V, OAC-JH Open Standard, Veterans, Junior Handler
- EAC, EAC-V, EAC-JHElite Standard, Veterans, Junior Handler
- NGC, NGC-V, NCG-JH Novice Gamblers, Veterans, Junior Handler
- OGC, OGC-V, OCG-JH Open Gamblers, Veterans, Junior Handler
- EGC, EGC-V, ECG-JH Elite Gamblers, Veterans, Junior Handler
- NJC, NJC-V, NJC-JH Novice Jumpers, Veterans, Junior Handler
- OJC, OJC-V, OJC-JH Open Jumpers, Veterans, Junior Handler
- EJC, EJC-V, EJC-JH Elite Jumpers, Veterans, Junior Handler
- NATCh – Agility Trial Champion
Here are some other agility titles given to veteran dogs:
- VS – Veterans Snooker
- VJ – Veterans Jumper
- VG – Veterans Gambler
- VPD – Veteran Performance Dog
Check out this video of Ember, a nine-year-old veteran Collie enjoying veteran agility classes:
Obedience Titles for dogs
Much like agility acronyms, dogs can also be awarded obedience titles at various competitions and shows.
There are precise judging criteria for these obedience titles with specific eligibility requirements determined by the kennel clubs.
Here are some commonly used obedience titles from both the AKC and CKC:
- CD – Companion Dog
- CDX – Companion Dog Excellent
- TD – Tracking Dog
- TDX – Tracking Dog Excellent
- UD – Utility Dog
- OTCh – Obedience Trial Champion
It is important to note that the OTCh title issued by the AKC is much more challenging to achieve than the Canadian OTCh. Essentially the OTCh from the CKC is equivalent to a UD.
Also, the AKC uses the following acronyms:
- CT – Champion Tracker (This title is not one earned through competition, it refers to a dog with a TD, TDX, and VST)
- UDT – Utility Dog title with a Tracking Dog title
- UDTX – Utility Dog title with a Tracking Dog Excellent title
- UDVST – Utility Dog title with a Variable Surface Tracking title
- VST – Variable Surface Tracking
- UDX – Utility Dog Excellent
There are no combined titles for dogs with UDX and other tracking titles.
Some obedience titles issued by the UKC include:
- U-CDCompanion Dog
- U-CDX – Companion Dog Excellent
- U-UD – Utility Dog
Schutzhund Dog acronyms
This native German sport is used to test a German Shepherd’s breeding potential. Dogs are subsequently awarded the following titles:
- AD – 12 1/2 mile endurance run
- B – The equivalent of a CD and CGC test
- SchH I, SchH II, SchH III – A dog needs to pass all three phases – tracking, obedience, and protection – to earn this title.
- FH – advanced tracking title, which is comparable to a TDX
- WH – watchdog title
- KKLKoer’d – this means the dog is certified as eligible for breeding
Like obedience and agility titles, herding acronyms acknowledge a dog’s specific skills.
AKC Herding Titles
The American Kennel Club has two types of herding tests. One is a pass/fail test of a dog’s herding abilities, while the other matches different dogs up in competition format.
They’re tested for their skill at rounding up livestock and their ability to follow commands.
The acronym HCH is often attached to dogs’ names or titles. This is a prefix that simply means Herding Champion. Here are some of the herding titles given by AKC judges:
- HI – Herding Intermediate
- HS – Herding Started
- HT – Herding Tested
- HX – Herding Excellent
- PT – Pre-trial Tested
AHBA herding titles
The American Herding Breeds Associations also issues titles. However, these are specific according to the type of livestock.
Four suffixes are used together with the below acronyms, including d for ducks, s for sheep, g for goats, and c for cattle.
- HCT- Herding Capable Tested
- HTD1- Herding Trial Dog, first level
- HTD2- Herding Trial Dog, second level
- HTD3- Herding Trial Dog, third level
- JHD- Junior Herd Dog
ASCA Herding Titles
The Australian Shepherd Club of America also holds competitions for herding titles. They have the same suffixes applied by the AHBA, and titles can be earned separately depending on the type of livestock.
- ATD – Advanced Trial Dog
- OTD – Open Trial Dog
- STD – Started Trial Dog
WTCH refers to a Working Trial Champion, a dog that has earned ATD on sheep, ducks, and cattle. On the other hand, an RD is a Ranch Dog that has been evaluated to perform routine working dog tasks.
AKC & CKC Field Trials titles
Most kennel clubs hold sanctioned field trial events. Dogs are pitted against each other in competitions designed to test their senses and training. Here are some of the common acronyms they use:
- AFC – Amateur Field Champion (prefix) – must be owner handled
- CFC – Canadian Field Champion (prefix)
- CAFC – Canadian Amateur Field Champion (prefix)
- FC – Field champion (prefix) – can be handled by a professional
- FD – Field Dog (pointing, CKC)
- FDJ – Field Dog Junior (pointing, CKC)
- FDX – Field Dog Excellent (pointing, CKC)
- NFC – National Field Champion, (prefix)
Ground or Terrier Trials
Breeds like Terriers are known for their skilled ability to hunt underground. The AKC’s Earthdog contest showcases their skills, in which they can win the following titles:
- JE – Junior Earthdog
- ME – Master Earthdog
- SE – Senior Earthdog (AKC)
The American Working Terrier Association (AWTA) also issues WC (Working Certificates) and HC (Hunting Certificates).
A Certificate Class Advanced Awards (CCA) title is awarded to a dog who accumulates five passing scores in the Certificate Class.
Once a dog has earned ten WCs (in which an HC can count as one WC), they can also earn a Veteran Earthdog title.
AVeteran Earthdog II title is awarded to dogs who have earned a Veteran Earthdog Award and ten additional Working Certificates.
Members can also earn themselves a Veteran Earthworker title by accumulating 10 WC on ten different Earthdogs.
A coursing title recognizes a dog’s ability to complete a course without becoming distracted.
ASFA coursing titles
The American Sighthound Field Association coursing titles are as follows:
- F.Ch. – Field Champion
- LCM – Lure Courser of Merit
A dog that has met the requirements for LCM twice over is then awarded an LCM2. LCM3, LCM4, etc., are also available.
AKC Coursing Titles for dogs
During an AKC coursing event, dogs chase a mechanically operated lure through the course under the observation of judges.
- JC – Junior Courser (suffix)
- SC – Senior Courser (suffix)
- F.Ch. – Field Champion (prefix)
NAOFA Coursing Titles
The North American Open Field Association holds open coursing events in which dogs follow jackrabbits through the terrain. Once a dog captures the jackrabbit, they are eligible for the title.
- CC – Coursing Champion
- CM – Courser of Merit
NACA Coursing Title
The North American Coursing Association also runs open-field coursing events where dogs demonstrate their ability to capture live game.
They’re then awarded the NACCNACA for Coursing Champion or the NACMNACA for Courser of Merit.
Hunt Test Titles
Hunting tests judge a dog’s ability to retrieve. The following titles are awarded based on the dog’s skill:
- GMHR – Grand Master Hunting Retriever (NAHRA)
- GHRCH – Grand Hunting Retriever Champion (UKC/HRC)
- HR – Hunting Retriever (UKC/HRC)
- JH – Junior Hunter (AKC, CKC)
- SH – Senior Hunter (AKC, CKC)
- SHR – Started Hunting Retriever (UKC/HRC)
- SR – Started Retriever (NAHRA)
- MH – Master Hunter (AKC, CKC)
- MNH – Master National Hunter (AKC)
- MHR – Master Hunting Retriever (NAHRA)
- WR – Working Retriever (NAHRA)
- UH – Upland Hunter (UKC/HRC)
Working Certificates (Breed Clubs)
Working dogs that serve public roles such as lifeguarding and search-and-rescue are given working certificates by their national breed club, like the American Chesapeake Club (ACC) or Newfoundland Club of America (NCA).
- WAC – Working Aptitude Certificate (Doberman Pinscher Club of America)
- WC – Working Certificate (various breed clubs)
- WCI – Working Certificate Intermediate (various breed clubs)
- WCX – Working Certificate Excellent (various breed clubs)
- WD – Working dog (ACC)
- WDX – Working dog excellent (ACC)
- WDQ – Working dog qualified (ACC)
- WD – Water dog (NCA)
- WRD – Water rescue dog (NCA)
- DD – Draft dog (NCA)
- TDD – Team draft dog (NCA)
- VN – Versatile Newfoundland (NCA)
American Water Spaniels
The American Water Spaniels Club (AWSC) and the American Water Spaniel Field Association (AWSFA) run several sanctioned tests to judge water spaniels’ abilities. These dogs are subsequently awarded the following titles:
- SD – Started Dog
- WD – Working Dog
- WDX – Working Dog Excellent
- WDS – Working Dog Superior
- JWD – Junior Working Dog
- SWD – Senior Working Dog
- MWD – Master Working Dog (AWSFA)
German Titles and Ratings
German titles are used for pedigree dogs before their names and denote if they’ve been approved for breeding. These titles include:
- A – indicates the dog’s hips have been evaluated
- A – Ausreichend (sufficient show or performance rating)
- AD – Ausdauerpruefung (endurance title for a 12-mile run and obedience test)
- BH – German Companion Dog (must precede SchH I)
- BlH – Blindenhund (blind guide dog)
- DH – Diensthund (service dog)
- FH – Fahrtenhund (most advanced tracking title)
- G – Gut (good show or performance rating)
- GRH – Grenzenhund (border patrol dog)
- HGH – Herdengebrauchshund (herding dog)
- IPO I, II, III – International Prufungorden (international working tests)
- Sch III – according to the international rules
- KKL I – Koerklasse I (especially recommended for breeding)
- KKL II – Koerklasse II (suitable for breeding)
- KrH – Kriegshund (war dog)
- Lbz – Lebenszeit (breed surveyed for lifetime)
- M – Mangelhaft (faulty show or performance rating)
- PDH – Polizei Dienst Hund (working Police dog)
- PSP – Polizeischutzhundprufung (Police protection dog)
- SchH I, II, III – Schutzhund (obedience, tracking, and protection titles)
- SG – Sehr Gut (Very good show or performance rating. This is the maximum a dog can have without a Schutzhund title and the highest rating obtainable by dogs under two years old)
- VP – a puppy title meaning Very Promising
- P – A puppy title meaning Promising
- LP – A puppy title meaning Less Promising
- U – Ungenugend (unsatisfactory show or performance rating)
- V – Vorzuglich (excellent show or performance rating – the dog must have an SchH I)
- VA – Vorzuglich-Auslese (excellent select show rating at Sieger show. This is the highest award obtainable award and can only be achieved by an outstanding conformation dog with at least an SchH II.)
- VH – Vorhanden (sufficient show or performance rating)
- ZB – Zuchtbewertung (conformation show rating
- ZH I, II – Zollhund I, II (customs dog)
- ZPr – Zuchtpruefung (passed a breed survey, recommended for breeding)
- CACIB – European International Champion
Just so you don’t miss out on any other dog acronyms, here are some miscellaneous terms:
- CG – Certificate of Gameness (American Working Terrier Association)
- CGC – Canine Good Citizen Certificate
- CH – Champion (prefix)
- HIC – Herding Instinct Certified
- TD – Therapy Dog
- TDI – Therapy Dog International
- TT – Temperament Tested by ATTS (or other official organizations)
These simple acronyms refer to specific breeds of dog:
- BC – Border Collie
- CBR – Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- CCR – Curly-coated Retriever
- FCR – Flat-coated Retriever
- GD – Great Dane
- GR – Golden Retriever
- GSD – German Shepherd Dog
- GSP – German Shorthaired Pointer
- GWP – German Wirehaired Pointer
- LR – Labrador Retriever
- OES – Old English Sheepdog
- PBGV – Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
- PWC – Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Other dog-related acronyms
Just to ensure you know all those dog acronyms and won’t be caught out at the vet, here are a few more:
- ACVO – American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists
- BJ – Broad Jump or Bar Jump (context)
- CERF – Canine Eye Registry Foundation
- DJ – Directed Jumping
- DOR – Drop on Recall
- F8 – Figure Eight
- HD – Hip Dysplasia (sometimes CHD)
- ILPAKC – Indefinite Listing Privilege for unpapered purebreds
- LPUKC’s – Listing Privilege for unpapered purebreds/mixed breeds
- OFA – Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
- ROF – Retrieve on the Flat
- ROH – Retrieve over the High Jump
- ROM – Register of Merit
Feel the need to drop in an acronym when talking about your dog or perhaps to them. Give these a spin:
- BTW – By The Way
- FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
- IMHO – In My Honest Opinion
- LOL – Laughing out Loud
- OTOH – On The Other Hand
- ROTF – Rolling on the Floor (amusement)
It’s best to be prepared with a dog acronym list
As dog owners, we want to be aware of everything that is related to them, even acronyms!
It may not seem important right now, but you may encounter a time that it will be.
A list of acronyms that are used in conformation events, puppy schools, training, or as service dogs will surely be handy, especially if you want your fido to be a part of any of these.
Did you recently encounter an abbreviation that’s also on our dog acronym list? Let us know what it is by commenting below.