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Junior Showmanship

Junior Handling is an AKC event included in Conformation shows, but specifically for children and youths ages 9 through 17. In this activity, the handler’s skill is judged rather than the breed conformation of the dog. This provides another way for young people to enjoy the sportsmanship of showing dogs and develop their skills. Many amateur and professional handlers started as Junior Handlers.

ABTC Junior Showmanship Program

The Belgian Tervuren is still a fairly uncommon breed, but in encouraging and promoting Junior Showmanship, the ABTC was a pioneer. For many years the Club has been giving a trophy to the outstanding Junior Handler of the Year in both conformation and performance. The junior winning the trophy must be a junior member of the American Belgian Tervuren Club, Inc. See the “Download files” tab under Resources to access the junior membership application form.

The ABTC point scale allows for accomplishments in Junior Handling as well as in Conformation, Obedience, Tracking, Agility, Herding, Rally, and any other sport that the junior and Terv choose to compete in! Juniors earn points from the ABTC only for exhibiting a Belgian Tervuren. Junior Showmanship wins and placements are reported to the club by the AKC, but each junior handler is responsible for reporting their own performance results and any participation that does not yield a win or placement. Results must be submitted to the Junior Committee Chair by January 15th of the following year.

In performance events, the number of points awarded is determined by whether or not the team qualified, with variation between the sports (for example, a qualifying run in herding earns more points than a qualifying run in agility because there are far more agility trials than herding trials). There is also a bonus awarded if the dog finishes a title and the junior handler exhibited the Terv for all of the necessary legs.

Junior Showmanship Point Schedule:

• 1 point for each junior handler defeated
• 1 point for participation, even if no placement is earned
• 1st place wins= 4 points
• 2nd place wins= 3 points
• 3rd place wins=2 points
• 4th place wins= 1 point
• BJH= 8 points
• RBJH=5 points

Conformation Point Schedule:

  • 1 point for each dog shown per day (so if a junior handler shows three Tervs on a given day, he or she earns 3 points)
  • 25 points for completion on a AKC Conformation Championship completed exclusively by a Jr Handler.

Points earned in Conformation will be added to the Junior Showmanship points.

In the event of a tie, Conformation points will be removed from consideration. The reason is so that juniors with show-quality dogs don’t have a huge advantage over juniors without show-quality dogs (any dog can compete in Junior Showmanship), but it still rewards Jr’s for completing titles such as CHs in the event of no ties.

Performance Point Schedule:

  • Participation in any event= 1 point
  • Qualifying performance in any event= 5 points

Title Bonuses

  • 10 points= CD, TD, RN, RI, NA, NAJ, SWN, HS
  • 20 points= CDX, UD, TDX, TDU, RA, RE, OA, OAJ, AX, AXJ, SWA, SWE, HI
  • 30 points= UDX, VST, RM, RAE, MX, MXJ, SWM, SWME, SWD, HX
  • 50 points for a performance championship – HC, MACH, OTCH, CT, etc

The junior must have handled the dog for all qualifying legs that contributed toward a title to earn the bonus, and this must have been documented by sending results to the Junior Showmanship Committee.

There are three options for submitting points toward a year-end award:

  1. Fill out the ABTC Junior Handler Show Record form and email it to the Junior Committee Chair at  (You can also just provide all the information in an email). You can download the form as a word document or pdf file.
  2. Fill out the form and mail a hard copy to the Junior Committee Chair
  3. Email the Junior Committee Chair with a link to the show results for that day, the name of the junior handler, and the registered name of the dog(s) being shown. In this case, filling out the entire form will not be necessary.

All methods of reporting are perfectly acceptable.

– Rebecca Grinsell, ABTC Junior Showmanship Committee Chair

Last updated June 2022

Image courtesy ABTC archives and Libby Miller