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Get Ready for the 2023 UKC Total Dog Invitational

December 14-16, in Lexington, Kentucky

December 1, 2023

Department: All-Breed Sports

United Kennel Club (UKC) is thrilled to welcome exhibitors and dog fanciers to the third-annual UKC Total Dog Invitational, this year coming to you from a new location!

This year we are excited to be holding the event at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, in Lexington, Kentucky, on December 14-16, 2023!

The Total Dog Invitational was created in 2021 to showcase the UKC Total Dog program, and "Dogs That Do More™" by showcasing the versatility of purebred dogs. The concept of the Total Dog has been ingrained in the DNA of United Kennel Club since its founding in 1898. A Total Dog displays equal parts function, temperament, and structure, and demonstrates equal skill in the show ring as well as engaging in those skills for which it was bred, whether those are expressed in performance sports or exceptional skill on the hunt.

Dogs are qualified for this prestigious event by earning a Total Dog Award at one of roughly 12 Regional Qualifying Events (RQEs) held throughout the country in a set period. In the case of this year's event, RQEs were held between August 1, 2022 and September 1, 2023. All UKC regional classics (Western Classic, Southern Classic, Eastern Classic, and Midwest Classic) as well as UKC Premier Nationals enjoy RQE status, and the All-Breed Sports Department at UKC names a handful of other events held at clubs across the country as RQEs. Clubs interested in hosting a RQE for the Total Dog Invitational are invited to fill out and submit a form which can be found here. A Total Dog Award is given at any UKC-licensed event which features both Conformation as well as eligible performance sports. If a dog earns a qualifying result in both Conformation and an eligible performance sport in the same day, they earn a Total Dog Award. If they do so at one of our RQEs, then they are qualified for the Total Dog Invitational. This year, we had an impressive 467 qualifiers. Our list of qualifiers is truly national, as we have dogs representing more than 40 states, and it's also truly broad, as it represents over 100 breeds!

The Total Dog Invitational is noteworthy not only for the prestige of celebrating these total dogs, but also for the prize purse, which features a $10,000 grand prize to the overall winner. How is that calculated? Over the course of three days, we will offer performance and conformation. We will feature Obedience and Rally Obedience on Thursday, with Weight Pull, Agility, and Nosework on Friday. Dogs earn performance points based on their qualifying scores, as outlined in the Premium List. The event concludes on Saturday with Conformation, and a formal awards dinner caps off the weekend in style. Dogs that have qualified in at least one performance event will compete in a randomly selected conformation group where they will earn conformation points. Performance and conformation points will be calculated, and the top ten dogs are announced at Saturday evening's awards dinner, with prizes increasing from $200 for 10th place, to $10,000 for the overall winner. Prize payouts are listed in the event rules.

UKC is thankful for the hospitality we received over the past two years from the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau, as well as the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, and we enjoyed two great years with the Total Dog Invitational at the Shreveport Convention Center, in Louisiana, but we are incredibly excited to move forward with this new chapter in Lexington!

We encourage everyone to join us December 14-16, for the third annual UKC Total Dog Invitational! But if you can't make it, follow our social media channels (Facebook | Instagram), as we will be posting updates in Instagram and Facebook Stories throughout the weekend, and we will be livestreaming the awards on Saturday evening!

Guided by the belief that dogs make a difference by being the best partner a human can have in the field, on the job, or in a competition event, UKC is a community for people and dogs to pursue excellence together. Founded in 1898, UKC has been dedicated to enhancing the lives of Dogs That Do More, and their owners, by providing essential resources to help owners and breeders make informed decisions. The dog-human bond is celebrated through family-friendly programs highlighting the instincts and heritage of purebred and mixed-breed dogs alike at over 18,000 licensed events annually.

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