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.  

  • Junior Class:  Born 7-1 thru 9-30
  • Teenage Class:  Born 4-1 thru 6-30
  • Amateur Junior/Teen Class: Born 4-1 thru 9-30
  • Intermediate Class: Born 1-1  thru 3-31
  • Senior Class:  Born 10-01 thru 12-31
  • Amateur Intermediate/Senior Class: Born 10-1 thru 3-31

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 thru 9-30
  • Amateur Junior Class:  Born 4-1 thru 9-30
  • 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. 

Futurity/Maturity Prize Money

The AKC stipulates that a club holding a futurity or sweepstakes may retain 35% of the entry fee for expenses.  The balance of the entry fee is to be used as prize money, and it is up to the club to decide how the prize money is distributed. 

For the 2017 show season, the total cost to show in a Futurity/Maturity was $30.  Of this $30 participation fee, $20 was a registration fee, and $10 was the entry fee.  65% or $6.50 of each $10 entry fee was used as prize money.   Per the GSDCA Futurity/Maturity rules, a regional Best In Futurity won 60% of the prize money from that region’s Futurity entries and Best Opposite Sex won 40%.  The Maturity prize money was divided in the same manner. 

The prize money checks are made out to the first owner on the entry form and mailed to the address listed on the entry form.  The responsibility of the division of prize money is up to the co-owners in accordance with their co-ownership agreement.  The responsibility of providing the correct address on the entry form is that of the person making the entry.

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 email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

~ Cyndi Flautt

National Futurity Committee