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Titles are often reduced to a bunch of letters. This is a guide to help you understand those letters before and after the dog's name. There are many different registries and organizations that offer titles. This is a guide to AKC titles, followed by ASSA Awards.

AKC titles in front of a name are competitive titles. This means the dog needed to defeat other dogs to achieve this title. Dogs are awarded "points" based on how many dogs they beat.

AKC titles behind the name are non-competitive. Dogs perform a prescribed set of exercises and are evaluated against a score. A dog earns "legs" toward the title and after achieving the required number of "legs" is awarded the title. Each "leg" must be awarded by a different judge.

The following are all AKC titles:

Ch. -Champion - The only title available in conformation. Dogs are evaluated against a written standard of perfection. To achieve this title, a dog must win 15 points by defeating other dogs.

DC- Duel Champion. This title can only be used for a dog that is both a breed Champion (Ch.) and a Champion in the event for which the breed was originally bred. In the case of shelties, a Herding Champion (HC) is the other requirement. This title preceeds the dogs name.

Obedience Titles (in ascending order):
CD.- Companion Dog
CDX.- Companion Dog Excellent
UD.- Utility Dog
UDX- Utility Dog Excellent
OTCH.- Obedience Trial Champion.

Agility Titles (in ascending order):
NA.- Novice Agility
NAJ- Novice Jumpers with Weaves
OA- Open Agility
OAJ- Open Jumpers with Weaves
AX- Agility Excellent
AXJ- Excellent Jumpers with Weaves
MX- Master Agility
MXJ- Master Jumpers with Weaves
MACH- Master Agility Champion

Herding Titles (in ascending order):
HT.- Herding Tested
PT.- Pre-trial Tested
HS.- Herding Started
HI.- Herding Intermediate
HX.- Herding Excellent
HC.- Herding Champion

Tracking Titles (in ascending order):
TD- Tracking Dog
TDX- Tracking Dog Excellent
VST- Variable Surface Tracking Dog

The American Shetland Sheepdog Association recognizes life accomplishments that are represented by the following groups of letters. These accomplishments always follow the name of the dog and any AKC titles earned.

ROM- Register of Merit. Awarded to males who sire 10 or more AKC champions and to females who produce 5 or more AKC champions.

CC- Century Club Member. Awarded to dogs who win 100 Best of Breeds or more

VC- Versatility Certificate. Awarded to those with achievements in conformation, herding, and at least one of the following performance events; obedience, agility or tracking.

VCX- Versatility Certificate Excellent. Same as VC, but awarded to dogs with a higher level of achievement.

HC- Herding Certificate. A herding instinct test offered by the ASSA.

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