Bench Show Rules

Bench Show Rules

Official Bench Show Rules of the American Coon Hunters & Big Game Association (ACH&BGA)

Click on the sections below to view rules for the section. For a printable version, see the bottom of the page.

All ACH&BGA Coonhound Bench Shows must be judged by an approved ACH&BGA Bench Show Judge.

The host club shall follow the ACH&BGA rules for holding a bench show. The club shall select an individual who is an ACH&BGA licensed Bench Show Judge to judge the show. It is recommended not to use the same judge at every show; dogs cannot earn titles if they have all wins under the same judge.

Application for an ACH&BGA judge license may be obtained from:
American Coon Hunters & Big Game Association, P.O. Box 126 Ellerslie, GA 31807.
All show judges are required to know the breed standards as published by ACH&BGA and pass the ACH&BGA judge test as of January 1, 2016. All persons holding an ACH&BGA Bench Show Judge License issued prior to this date shall be recognized as ACH&BGA Judges.

All coonhounds shall be registered with ACH&BGA to show in any licensed ACH&BGA World Show, Little World Show, State Show, Youth State Show, and at the local Club Level Show. To show in a licensed ACH&BGA World Show, Little World , or State Show an owner/handler shall have an ACH&BGA paid membership.

No entry shall be made at any ACH&BGA Bench Show under a judge where the dog is owned or handled by a person in that judge's immediate family or household. The members of the immediate family are defined as husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, father in-law, mother in-law, son in-law, daughter in-law, brother in-law, or sister in-law.

Champion, Grand Champion, Superior Grand Champion.

  • Little World Show Champion of Breed - Male/Female
  • Little World Show Grand Champion - Male/Female
  • Little World Show Superior Grand Champion - Male/Female
  • Little World Overall Show Champion - Male/Female
  • World Show Champion of Breed - Male/Female
  • World Show Grand Champion - Male/Female
  • World Show Superior Grand Champion - Male/Female
  • World Overall Show Champion - Male/Female

Male and female classes shall be shown separately.
Puppy Class: Shall be for hounds five months to one year of age. The Best in Class winner receives (5) five points.
Junior Class: Shall be hounds one year of age and under two years of age. The Best in Class winner receives (5) five points.
Senior Class: Shall be hounds two years of age and over. The Best in Class winner receives (5) five points.
Best of Breed Class: This class is to be selected from the Best in Class winners of the Puppy Class, Junior Class, and Senior Class. The winner of this class shall be known as the Best of Breed Male/Female and awarded (10) ten points.
Best Male and Female of Show: This class is to be selected from the Best of Breed winners. The winners shall be Best Male of Show and Best Female of Show, awarded (15) fifteen points.
Qualifications for Show Champion Title:

  • Hound must have earned a minimum of 100 ACH&BGA recorded points in the open classes and (2) two wins for Best Male/Female of Show.
  • Hounds must have competition at the Class or Breed and Show Level at the event they win Best of Show.
  • Hounds having no competition will receive championship points but win does not count towards the Show Champion Title.
  • The only way to not have competition is to be the only dog entered in the show.
  • Dogs of all levels may compete for an "overall" win if necessary. This will give every dog entered the opportunity to win.
  • Wins must be earned by showing under (2) two different ACH&BGA Judges.

Qualification for Grand Show Champion Title:

  • Hound must have (3) three Best of Show Champion Class wins with competition to earn a Grand Show Champion Title, must be under (2) two different ACH&BGA Judges.

Qualification for Superior Grand Show Champion Title:

  • Hound must have (3) three Best of Show Grand Champion class wins with competition to earn Superior Show Champion Title, must be under (2) two different ACH&BGA Judges.

A. Males Breed Class: Puppy, Junior, Senior
B. Females Breed Class: Puppy, Junior, Senior
C. Male Best of Breed
D. Female Best of Breed
E. Best of Show
F. Show Champion Males/Females
G. Grand Champion Males/Females
H. Superior Show Champion Males/Females
I. The following Breeds are recognized by ACH&BGA and shall be shown in the following order:

Black & Tan, Bluetick, English, Leopard, Plott, Redbone, Treeing Cur, Treeing Walker

Every Bench Show at ACH&BGA could have eight Best of Breed winners Male/Female. Show Champion Male/Female winners, Grand Champion winners Male/Female, Superior Grand Champion winners Male/Female.

Clubs may choose to bring back all winners for Overall Best of Show Male/Female. This is not required at Club level. There are no ACH&BGA wins for this class.

All Clubs are encouraged to have Youth Hunts and Youth Bench Shows.

To qualify to show in the ACH&BGA Coon Hound Hunting Dog Show the hound must be:

  1. Any hound registered to hunt in the ACH&BGA World or Little World Hunt may show in the Hunting Dog Bench Show.
  2. Or successfully passed a 3-part CAT hunt test and earned the CAT degree.
  3. Or be at least an ACH&BGA NitCh. Degree.

The Hunting Dog Bench Show shall be held at the Little World and World Hunt and Shows (UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED ON THE PROGRAM.)

Titles for Hunting Dog Bench Show:

  • Little World Hunting Dog Show Champion of Breed - Male/Female
  • Little World Hunting Dog Show Grand Champion - Male/Female
  • Little World Hunting Dog Show Superior Grand Champion - Male/Female
  • Little World Overall Hunting Dog Show Champion - Male/Female
  • World Hunting Dog Show Champion of Breed - Male/Female
  • World Hunting Dog Show Grand Champion - Male/Female
  • World Hunting Dog Show Superior Grand Champion - Male/Female
  • World Overall Hunting Dog Show Champion - Male/Female

Open, Show Champion, Grand Show Champion, Superior Grand Champion will show in separate classes regardless of number of entries in the State, Little World, and World Show. There will be a State, Little World, and World Title for each breed chosen at the end of each breed's classes.

The Little World Bench Show and World Bench Show shall conduct a Youth Bench Show, ages 5 to 12 years old and 13 to 17 years old. Both follow the above rules and format, unless otherwise stated in the itinerary.

The youth ages 5 to 12 and ages 13 to 17 years, Little World Overall Show Champion Male and the Female World Overall Show Champion shall be chosen from the Male/Female Breed Champion, Male/Female Show Champions, Male/Female Grand Show Champions, and Male/Female Superior Grand Show Champions.

All Section of rules and format shall apply to all State, Little World, and World Youth Bench Shows, unless otherwise stated in the itinerary.

The handler should be able to gait the dog so that the judge may evaluate dog movement. The handler should be able to show the dog's bite to the judge.

Owners, handlers, and spectators may not interfere with the judges in any way during the judging of the show or after the show.

Any person intimidating, threatening, or injuring a bench show participant, judge, club officer, or representative may be barred for no less than one year up to life from ACH&BGA licensed events.

  • The judge is in charge of the show and their decision is final. The judge has the right to split or divide a class when considered necessary.
  • The judge will evaluate the dogs while being gaited and shown on the bench.
  • The judge may excuse any dog for fighting or attempting to bite a dog or person while showing.
  • Female dogs in season or altered/spayed dogs will not be permitted to show.
  • If it is determined the show female is in season or a dog that has been altered/spayed, the dog will be excused from the show.

There will be a three judge panel at the Little World and World Bench Shows.

The club is responsible for having an area to hold the bench show, with enough room for gaiting dogs and adequate benches for dogs to be shown on.

The club is also responsible for a ring steward familiar with rules to facilitate the correct presentation of hounds shown to the judge.

The club shall record all winners on the Bench Show Report and mail to ACH&BGA within five days.

~ revised 1/10/21. Posted by GSM. Click title for printable copy- Bench Show Rules