A Guide to the GSDCA Futurity/Maturity System

Are you new to the GSDCA, or a member/breeder with a new litter?  Consider participating in the GSDCA Futurity/Maturity System!  Established more than fifty years ago, the Futurity/Maturity System was designed to provide  a "look into the future";  a method for breeders to showcase their litters and a way for others to compare, contrast, and learn from their efforts.  Today, despite all the changes in the world of dogs, the purpose remains the same.  Breeders and members are provided a way to showcase, share and learn.  The Futurity/Maturity System is comprised of several parts; litter nominations, regional shows, National Specialty finals, and Red Book tabulations.   

Litter Nominations:

The country is divided into nine Futurity/Maturity regions, and litter nominations are grouped into these regions. The breeder or co-breeder must be a parent club member, and the litter must be nominated in the region in which the breeder resides.  Basic info is needed  for the nomination form such as name and AKC numbers of the sire and dam, name of breeder(s), and date of birth.  A four generation pedigree must also be submitted with the nomination form.  The fee is minimal if you nominate before the litter is born and up to 30 days after birth, and increases with time until the published cut off date.

Regional Futurity/Maturity Shows:

Puppies from a nominated litter are eligible to be shown in the regional shows held each spring and summer if one of the owners is a GSDCA member. The competition is similar to a conformation event and the class to enter is dependent on the date of birth.  For example, the 2017 Futurity classes are as follows:

Junior Class:  Born 7-1-16 thru 9-30-16

Teenage Class:  Born 4-1-16 thru 6-30-16

Amateur Junior/Teen Class: Born 4-1-16 thru 9-30-16

Intermediate Class: Born 1-1-16  thru 3-31-16

Senior Class:  Born 10-01-15 thru 12-31-15

Amateur Intermediate/Senior Class: Born 10-1-15 thru 3-31-16

The year following its Futurity, a dog is eligible for Maturity classes at the regional shows if one of its current owners is a GSDCA member.  If the litter was nominated, but the dog was not entered in a Futurity, an additional fee is required above and beyond the fee to show in the Maturity classes. The time frame and class to be entered is dependent on the date of birth.  The 2017 Maturity classes are as follows:

Junior Class:  Born  4-1-15 thru 9-30-15

Amateur Junior Class:  Born 4-1-15 thru 9-30-15

Senior Class:  Born 10-1-14 thru 03-31-15

Amateur Senior Class:  Born 10-1-14 thru 03-31-15

The winners of all Futurity male classes compete for Best Futurity Dog.  After he is chosen the second place winner in his class competes with the remaining first place winners for Reserve Futurity Dog.  The same process is done with females, after which a Best In Futurity and Best Opposite Sex to Best In Futurity is chosen from the male and female winners.  The same process is followed for the Maturity classes, resulting in a Best in Maturity, Best Opposite Sex to Best In Maturity, and Reserve winners for both sexes.  After this competition, the winners of the Amateur classes compete for Best Amateur in Futurity and Best Amateur in Maturity. 

National Specialty Finals

Winners and Reserve winners from each region are automatically entered in the GSDCA National Futurity/Maturity Finals held at the National Specialty.  The winner of the male classes is awarded the title of Futurity Victor or Maturity Victor.  The winner of the female classes is awarded the title of Futurity Victrix or Maturity Victrix.  Finally a run off is held between the male and female winners, for  Best In Futurity and Best Opposite Sex to Best in Futurity, and also Best in Maturity and Best Opposite Sex to Best in Maturity.  The Amateur Futurity and Maturity regional winners are also automatically entered in the National Specialty Finals, where Best In and Best Opposite Sex in the Amateur Futurity and Maturity are chosen.

 Red Book Tabulations

The sires and dams of the dogs shown in the regional shows are given points for the number of dogs defeated by their progeny.  The points for all regions are combined and the top twenty sires and dams for each year are calculated.  The top ten in each list are eligible for the Stud Dog/Brood Bitch presentation class at the National Specialty.  This is a presentation of the sires and dams with their winning progeny rather than a competitive class.

The Futurity System is an important program offered by the GSDCA, and is part of the glue that holds this national club together.  Just as members look forward to the National Specialty in the fall, they look forward to Futurity weekends in the spring and summer.  Organized by club members for club members, they are a wonderful time to share, learn, connect with old friends and make new ones.  We hope you will join us! 

For more information about the Futurity System see the links on the left, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

~ Cyndi Flautt

National Futurity Committee

Last Updated on Saturday, 15 April 2017 19:42
Objectives of the Futurity System

The objectives of the Futurity System, created by the Futurity Re-Evaluation Committee, headed by Connie Beckhardt in 1984, are the same today as they were then:

  • To bring together each year as many young animals as possible from different bloodline combinations so that the fancy can share and learn by the accomplishments of each other.
  • To provide all club members, large breeders or single puppy owners alike, the opportunity to compete year after year under conditions equally favorable to all.
  • To provide an incentive to improve Shepherd bloodlines and add to the excellence of the breed as a whole. The Futurities provide the breeder with the opportunity to nominate his/her litter as a statement of faith in his/her breeding program.
  • To provide a means of early identification to breeders of the strength and weaknesses of current stud dogs.
  • To provide a Judging environment that will promote the highest level of sportsmanship, thereby eliminating direct perceptions of unfairness.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 14:17
Loose Leash Temperament Evaluation Procedure for Futurities
  1. The loose leash examination must be the first physical contact made with each dog.
  2. Double handling must be discouraged during the temperament exam.
  3. There should be a predetermined place in the ring where the handler takes the dog and stops. The dog should not be posed, stacked or given any command. The dog may walk around or stand naturally by the handler. Although the leash is loose, the handler is to remain in control of the dog.
  4. Without staring, the judge should approach the dog from six to ten feet, and speak in a friendly manner.
  5. It is the judge's responsibility to decide if a dog may be safely approached. If in the opinion of the judge, the dog is menacing or threatening upon approach, he should stop and excuse the dog.
  6. After the loose leash evaluation is completed, the judge may have the handler present or pose the dog.
  7. The judge must be consistent, treating all dogs equally. He should continue to evaluate the temperament of each entry the entire time it is in the ring.
  8. Dogs can be aloof but never fearful. Unsound, shy dogs must be penalized. Awards must only go to dogs that are completely sound.

EXCUSE: dog is menacing or threatening
DISQUALIFY:: dog attempts to bite the judge

EXCUSE:: dog attacks another dog in the ring
DISQUALIFY: dog attacks the judge or another person in the ring

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 November 2016 13:06
Futurity/Maturity States per Region

REGION #1 NORTHEASTERN: Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut

REGION #2 MID-ATLANTIC: New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia

REGION #3 SOUTHEASTERN: North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Puerto Rico

REGION #4 GREAT LAKES: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky

REGION #5 MIDWESTERN: Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota

REGION #6 SOUTHWESTERN: Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico

REGION #7 SOUTHERN PACIFIC: Arizona, Las Vegas, Nevada, Southern California (all counties south of San Luis Obispo, Kern and San Bernardino)

REGION #8 MID-PACIFIC: Nevada (except Las Vegas), Utah, Northern California (all counties north of San Luis Obispo, Kern and San Bernardino), Hawaii

REGION #9 NORTHWESTERN - Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, Alaska, ALL OF CANADA


Last Updated on Thursday, 07 February 2013 14:04