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About UKC Elite Shed Dogs

In January of 2017, United Kennel Club proudly announced the development of a new series of events that will test and recognize the efforts of dogs who excel in the retrieval of shed deer antlers: the UKC Elite Shed Dog Series.

The structure of the UKC Elite Shed Dog Series rules is specifically devised to aid in the identification, selection and classification of dogs that hunt in an appropriate style effective for the recovery of shed deer antlers.

The goal of the UKC Elite Shed Dog Series is two-fold:

  • the improvement of dogs used for recovering shed antlers by the recognition of individual dogs of outstanding merit
  • to provide shed dog owners with a family friendly environment in which to enjoy participating in an activity that promotes an active, outdoor lifestyle for all individuals and their dogs

Searching for shed deer antlers is a growing pastime for whitetail deer hunters who are learning that the use of the family canine greatly increases the odds of recovering shed antlers. A wide variety of dog breeds are successfully used for this purpose. The space required to train and test the skills of a shed dog are minimal when compared to other types of hunting which makes this sport very accessible to a wide range of individuals and their dogs.

The first Elite Shed Dog Series events are expected to be held in the spring of 2017.

Elite Shed Dog Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is required to host an event?
UKC-licensed Elite Shed Dog events may be hosted by an individual or a club. Clubs will range in primary interest from shed hunting dog clubs to all-breed event dog clubs to general hunting interest sportsmens clubs.

A club or individual wishing to hold licensed events must first be approved to hold UKC licensed events. Clubs that are not currently approved may begin the process by completing a simple application to become a UKC-approved Elite Shed Dog club.

Clubs already approved to hold UKC events may schedule a licensed Elite Shed Dog event once they become familiar with the requirements for hosting such an event. An Elite Shed Dog Series Advisory Committee has been established to assist with questions in this regard and must approve all event courses prior to a clubs first event (which may be done by discussing course specifics with a club official).

Individuals who would like to host a licensed Elite Shed Dog event will be approved on a case-by-case basis dependent upon their knowledge and experience with hosting an event of this nature. Individuals wishing to host an event are encouraged to fill out the new club application excluding those sections that apply to clubs only.

What is required to judge an Elite Shed Dog event?
Judges who have been licensed to judge in other formats of shed dog competition may apply for their UKC Elite Shed Dog license by simply completing an Elite Shed Dog Judge Application and Test.

No apprentice requirements will apply.

Applicants who have not previously held a judge license with other programs are encouraged to apply by submitting an application, test and application fee. Once approved, new judges must apprentice one full day with a licensed Judge.

The host or host club is required to have an appropriate number of licensed judges on hand to officiate each event. This may range from two or more judges dependent upon how many courses are being run, the terrain of course being run, weather conditions, etc.

Is this program affiliated with NASHDA and do passes in NASHDA count towards Elite Shed Dog titles?
This program is not affiliated with North American Shed Hunting Dog Association (NASHDA) and passes earned at NASHDA events do not count towards the requirements to earn UKC Elite Shed Dog titles.

Where can I find clubs, event hosts site and a listing of events nearest me?
Be sure to check club information and the Shed Dog events calendar frequently to monitor the growth of this program. Talk to people in your local dog clubs and sportsmens clubs to determine if there is enough interest to holding events in your area!

Are there any training classes for shed hunting?
There is quite a good bit of information pertaining to the training of shed dogs available by searching the web. As the Elite Shed Dog program becomes established, it is likely that shed dog clubs will offer training days to help new members.

The Elite Shed Dog Series Advisory Committee is also currently working on some training articles aimed at helping those interested in shed hunting with dogs get started in the right direction. Check the Elite Shed Dog news page for more information.