The GSDCA is pleased to honor outstanding members of our club and their dogs whose accomplishments support the Mission and Purposes of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America.

Click here for other titles and awards that recognize the achievements of both GSDCA members and non-members.


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.

Read more: Award of Excellence (AOE)

Connie Beckhardt Award

First presented in 1991, recipients of the Award should exhibit the qualities of a goodwill ambassador for the German Shepherd Dog. They must display exceptional qualities in mentoring and sharing their time and knowledge with others, and lead by example, demonstrating the best of sportsmanship and care of their German Shepherd Dogs. To learn more about this award and it's past winners, click Read More.

Recipients of the Award must have integrity toward the Breed and the public, and be devoted to the welfare of all German Shepherd Dogs. Included in the definition of integrity are breeders who strive toward producing dogs with sound temperament, working ability, , OVC or SV "a" stamp certified hips and elbows, and good health.

Read more: Connie Beckhardt Award

Don Cliff Memorial Good Sportsmanship Award

This award recognizes the member who demonstrate's good sportsmanship as an exhibitor, whether winning or losing, gives of time, energy and/or means to the sport of dogsand the German Shepherd Dog, demonstrates ...

Read more: Don Cliff Memorial Good Sportsmanship Award

Dual Awards

Dual Awards are presented every year at the National Specialty Show Board Meeting for GSDCA-member dogs who have completed a performance title in addition to a champion title. Members must apply to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. providing copies of information from the AKC (such as the awards & titles page or copies of the certificate).

Read more: Dual Awards

Dual Excellent Award

The following are the requirements to acquire a Dual Award Excellent:

  1.  Be an AKC Champion
  2.  Have OFA, OVC, or SV “a” stamp certified hips and elbows
  3.  Have earned a regular AKC performance degree in obedience, tracking, rally, herding, agility, or protection.
  4.  Have passed the GSDCA temperament Test

The Dual Award Excellent award represents diligence of both dogs and owners as any award with the title of excellent should do.  It furthers encourages our breeders and owners to strive for sound dogs, mentally and physically.  The public is exposed to what our breed represents, the truly total dog, an excellent member of our lives.

Read more: Dual Excellent Award

GSDCA Annual Training Achievement Awards (ATAA) Program

This is an annual award and point tabulation for the German Shepherd Dog sires and dams whose purebred progeny earn titles (and points) through performance events including, but not limited to,  herding, obedience, tracking, agility and Schutzhund.  View the current ATAA Title Holders.

This award showcases the breeder who strives to produce working progeny capable of doing the many tasks a working German Shepherd Dog can do and who helps maintain the versatility of our breed and its heritage.

Read more: GSDCA Annual Training Achievement Awards (ATAA) Program

Health Award of Merit

This Award is presented to current club members who's GSD has passed the GSDCA's comprehensive set of required health tests and evaluations. 

Read more: Health and Genetics Committee

LaMar Kuhns Award

This award recognizes outstanding presentation and grooming of dogs and creating of good will for German Shepherd Dogs. The award is open to both the non-professional or professional. Nominations can come from members or regional clubs to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read more: LaMar Kuhns Award

Leslie Dancosse Legacy Award

This award was established in 2018 and is handled by the Awards Committee. Leslie Dancosse devoted her life to the German Shepherd Dog. One of our top handlers, she exemplified what it means to be a tough but fair and humble competitor. Most importantly, Leslie gave of herself in time, knowledge and experience to the future of our breed and mentored many junior handlers over the years.

In honor of Leslie Dancosse, the GSDCA will recognize those individuals who take the time on a daily basis to continue and further the ideals held and the efforts made by Leslie. To be awarded the Leslie Dancosse Legacy Award, a person must meet the following criteria:

Read more: Leslie Dancosse Legacy Award

Lloyd Brackett Award

Definition: Persons whose breeding program exhibits a vision of improvement to the breed, tempered with the wisdom to exhibit strict attention to the Standard of the German Shepherd Dog. The Recipient of the Award should be someone whose dogs display a consistency of breed type and have created a line of German Shepherd Dogs easily recognizable within the breed.


*Past and future recipients cannot be published in the Red Book without qualifiers being verified.

Nominations can come from members or regional clubs to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read more: Lloyd Brackett Award

Multi Championship Award

Multi Championship Award in Memory of Phyllis Kraft

Multi Championship Award for Dogs achieving a Championship in any two Venues: Agility, Herding, Obedience, Rally or Tracking (and IPO to be added when they have such an award via AKC or GSDCA). In 2018, a Conformation Championship was added.

A plaque like the dual awards plaque to be issued. The first award that a dog is given will be a plaque and all subsequent awards (for additional championships in a new venue) will be a bar that can be attached to and hung from the previously awarded plaque. One Championship bar per performance venue.

One owner must be a member of the GSDCA. There will be a charge for co-owners to purchase a Multi Championship Award plaque provided that they are members of the GSDCA.  The same owner need not own the dog when both titles are earned. As with all GSDCA awards, the dog must be AKC or SV registered (no PAL).The dog will not have to be living to be eligible.

Read more: Multi Championship Award

National Elite Obedience Awards

The Elite Obedience Award was introduced in 1992. It was the idea of Alan Sandell, and is awarded yearly in his Memory, to recognize dog and handler teams scoring over 195/200 in Novice, Open and Utility Classes at the National.

  • Medallion of appropriate size with Logo on front and “Elite Obedience Award” on back.
  • Awarding of Medallions limited to one per Team per National. Teams earning over 195 in multiple classes will be listed on website.
  • All dogs earning any Obedience Elite Score must have no disqualifying faults per the AKC Standard, at the discretion of the Obedience Chairperson.
  • Spayed and Neutered Dogs are acceptable.

Read more: National Elite Obedience Awards

Peggy Douglas Award

Peggy Douglas was a devoted member of several clubs, including the GSDC of Houston.  She mentored newcomers to our Breed and was always encouraging people to join and get involved in the local dog clubs and the GSDCA.

Bart Bartley introduced the Peggy Douglas Award to the GSDCA Board and it was quickly approved.  When Gloria Birch became Chair of the Awards Committee, she suggested to Bart, who agreed, that they make a change from a single person recipient to an award given annually to one of the GSDCA Regional Clubs.  The Board approved this change and in 2016 the first to receive the Peggy Douglas Award was the GSDC of Houston, which was Peggy’s club.

Read more: Peggy Douglas Award

Performance Award of Merit (PAM)

The Performance Award of Merit is given to dogs and handlers that are competing and earning titles in multiple events, showing the incredible Versatility and Intelligence of the German Shepherd Dog in their ability to excel at high levels in all events.

To be eligible for this award a dog must have completed titles in three (3) different performance areas including:

  • Obedience or Rally
  • Herding
  • Agility
  • Tracking or Scent Work
  • GSDCA-WDA Working Dog Titles (Sch, IPO, or IGP)

Click here to save, print, or download the submission form.  (Note: if you have trouble viewing this document, please click here to install the latest version of Adobe Reader.)

One of the titles must be from the highest level of training: UD, AX or AXJ, HX, SWE (all 4 titles) or TDX or VST, SchIII (IPO3 or IGP3).

Read more: Performance Award of Merit (PAM)

Phyllis Dobbs Versatility Award

GSDCA Phyllis Dobbs Versatility Competition

(Most Versatile German Shepherd Competition at the GSDCA National)

Overview: In memory of Phyllis Dobbs, who bred, owned, and trained the first Triple Champion in the German Shepherd breed, the Most Versatile German Shepherd Competition at the GSDCA National recognizes those dogs that exemplify true versatility by successfully competing in a variety of events at the GSDCA National. 

The Versatility Competition is open to all AKC registered or listed German Shepherd Dogs. The dogs in the Versatility Competition must be currently owned by at least one member of the GSDCA in good standing. Dogs must compete at the

Read more: Phyllis Dobbs Versatility Award

Presidential Citation Award

The Presidential Citation Award should only be awarded those persons who have achieved an outstanding accomplishment or dedicated an exceptional amount of effort on Behalf of the Parent Club or Breed. Not more than one award for each category will be given each year except when a special award is given for heroism.

1) Meritorious Service
2) Meritorious Achievement
3) Special Award (Heroism) - Person or German Shepherd Dog.

Read more: Presidential Citation Award

Register of Merit (ROM)

The Register of Merit (ROM) title is awarded to sires and dams of progeny competing in the conformation and performance rings.  The qualifications are different for the sire than for the dam as the sire will probably have more progeny in his life time than the dam.

Many, many thanks to the committee chairs who have spent so much time compiling and reporting on these statistics to highlight these top producing GSDs.

In order for a sire to become eligible for the ROM designation, the following requirements must be met:

a) His point total must be 100 or more.
b) The points must be earned by ten or more progeny.
c) Five of these progeny must achieve the AKC title of Champion or the Parent Club designation of ROM.

In order for a bitch to become eligible for the ROM designation, the following requirements must be met:

a) Her point total must be forty or more.
b) The points must be earned by four or more progeny.
c) Two of the progeny must achieve the AKC title of Champion or the Parent Club designation of ROM.

Read more: Register of Merit (ROM)

Title Awards

Breeders Pin

Awarded to a breeder-member, once only, for their first home-bred Champion of Record.

Pins (AKC Title)

Each month the AKC issues a listing of titles earned by German Shepherd Dogs.  Pins and Certificates are awarded to the owner-member authomatically. No requests are necessary to receive these awards. Additionally, Pins, Certificates and Medals are available for purchase by the owner for co-owners. Lost pins, certificates and medals are also available for purchase. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any further questions.

Click here for a copy of the recognized titles that receive awards.