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2017 UKC Elite Shed Dog Series, A Year In Review

What a great year it has been!

January 5, 2018

Source: Todd Kellem, UKC
Job Title: Vice President

It's hard to believe a year has come and gone already since the introduction of the UKC Elite Shed Dog Series. I have to say I have learned a lot about the sport in this last year. One of the nice things about not starting with hundreds of printed rulebooks is being able to make slight changes as problems or grey areas surface. Im pleased to report that it was not necessary to do so often, but we did make a few changes during our first year. Hopefully we have things pretty much dialed in for our coming year, but we are always interested in any questions or concerns that you may have. The rules do have a revision date on them so make sure you have the most current version before attending or hosting an Elite Shed Dog Series event. Rulebooks can be downloaded free of charge from the UKC website.

UKC Elite Shed Dog Series, photo by Mitchell Pigue

Photo submitted by Mitchell Pigue.

During this first year I had the pleasure of either meeting in person or talking on the phone to some great dog people. People that I would have likely never met through the other dog sports that United Kennel Club offers. The shed dog community as a whole is very helpful, respectful and sportsmanlike. That is why this program is such a great fit for United Kennel Club. I look forward to meeting more of you in person in the coming years.

The end of 2017 brought about much discussion as to whether or not UKC would host a national event in 2018. I assure you that decision was not taken lightly. We are very excited about hosting a major event and getting everyone together to crown a National Champion and award some great prizes. That being said, we want to make sure we are ready to offer the level of event that will set the type of standard we expect from a national event. We have some of the details worked out at this time but not all of them. For that reason, the decision has been made to host our first National Championship in the spring of 2019. Date and location are in the process of being finalized and will be announced as soon as possible.

A topic of much consideration regarding the National Championship was determining whether the event would be an open invitation to both class levels or would require qualification of some sort. I can only tell you at this time that we are leaning towards a qualification requirement to run the Champion Shed Dog class for sure and are still considering whether this requirement is the best fit for the Working Shed Dog Class. Qualification requirements are also in the process of being finalized and will be announced as soon as possible. My advice would be to get out and support the events nearest you in 2018 and get those dogs qualified for this showcase event.

The final day to compete for Dog Of The Year and Youth Handler Of The Year points for season one will be April 29, 2018. That is one year to the day from our first licensed event in 2017. Going forward, our year-end points deadline will likely proceed the National Championship which will allow us to make awards presentations at the national event. An official summary of the points standings will be posted following this review and updated as event results are submitted through the end of the points year.

Many thanks to Michigan Shed Dogs, Wisconsin Shed Dogs and Fox Valley Retriever Club for hosting events thus far in season one. Mid-South Shed Dogs along with the United Miniature American Shepherd Club of Indiana are already on the schedule for an upcoming event, and I can think of four other clubs that will likely host an event before the end of season one. Word of new clubs forming around the country is both encouraging and exciting. Season two is shaping up to be a great year for the UKC Elite Shed Dog Series. Find a club in your area.

In closing, I would like to congratulate all those who earned titles, points and passes in season one. We are proud of the fact that your time and effort training dogs, and your expense to put them on the road to showcase their talent, is rewarded with a title that will appear on official pedigrees for generations to come. Your continued participation in this program is how we will accomplish goal number one of the Elite Shed Dog Series which is, "The improvement of dogs used for the purpose of recovering shed antlers by the recognition of individual dogs of outstanding merit."

Thanking you all for your support and wishing you continued success in the coming year.

A Kalamazoo, Michigan-based company founded in 1898, United Kennel Club is the largest all-breed performance-dog registry in the world, registering dogs from all 50 states and 25 foreign countries. Celebrating the unique Total Dog philosophy, UKC events highlight the instincts and heritage of dogs that look and perform equally well, as more than 60 percent of its annually licensed events are tests of hunting ability, training, and instinct. United Kennel Club prides itself on its family-oriented, friendly, educational events, welcoming both purebred dogs and dogs of unknown ancestry.

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