Award of Excellence (AOE)

This title is the most prestigious “conformation” award given by the GSDCA in recognition of the quintessential German Shepherds. They excel in conformation, are sound in body, have keen minds which make them capable of and suitable for the many different “jobs” in which society has placed them…i.e…THE TOTAL DOG.

This year marks the 27th year of the Award of Excellence and my first year as Chair.  Many thanks to Helen Franklin for her years of dedication to the Award of Excellence; she is the founder and forever champion of the German Shepherd Dog.  This year we add two dogs to our elite listing bringing our Award of Excellence total of 114 German Shepherd Dogs.

The title of AOE is placed before the dog’s name, ahead of Select, Champion or Grand Victor/Victrix.  AOE becomes an immediate indication that this dog is one of the best, demonstrating all the attributes of the total German Shepherd Dog.

Qualifications for the Award of Excellence:

  • Owner must be a member of the GSDCA
  • Dog must be an AKC Champion and have been awarded a Select rating at the GSDCA National Specialty Show
  • Must have OFA or OVC certification of being free of hip or elbow dysplasia
  • Must have a Temperament Certification (TC) from the GSDCA
  • Must have a recognized performance title (Obedience, Agility, Rally Tracking, Herding or IPO/Sch)

Award of Excellence dogs and their owners are filmed each year with the presentation of the Crystal Trophy at our National Specialty each year.

Laura Gilbert, Chair

Download a copy of the AOE Application Form.

IMPORTANT – The deadline for AOE submission each year is August 15

Current requirements are that the animal must have achieved:

  • An AKC Champion of record
  • A "Select" rating at the GSDCA National Specialty Show
  • Certified free of elbow and hip dysplasia by the OFA (US) or OVC (Canadian) or SV (German a-stamp)
  • Must pass the GSDCA Temperament Test
  • An AKC performance degree: Rally, Obedience, Agility, Herding or Schutzhund

Owner MUST BE a member of the GSDCA

Placement of Title: The title AOE is to be placed before the dog’s name, ahead of Select and Champion due to the importance of this award.

List of animals who have achieved the title of Award of Excellence

GSDCA Members: When your animal has achieved all the requirements for AOE:

  1. Complete the AOE Submission form above and send with all the necessary documents to:  Laura Gilbert, AOE Chair, 557 Dunning Lane, Chesapeake, VA 23322
  2. For more information:  Phone: 757-312-0208  or Email:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.