The DCA Top 30 event is an opportunity to showcase excellence in Dachshunds. This event is a part of the DCA National Specialty Show week and is intended to educate and entertain judges, exhibitors, breeders, and fanciers. It provides special recognition to those Dachshunds with the most outstanding breed record in the show ring during the previous calendar year, together with their breeders, agents, and owners. The event provides a continuing incentive to strive for Dachshunds to excel in structure, movement and temperament according to our written Breed Standard.


The event offers all who attend a chance to view the Top 30 Dachshunds in the United States based upon their competitive standings for the previous year. Using a scale of points, each dog is evaluated according to how closely it conforms to the Breed Standard. This event is not available at any AKC show and allows the spectators an opportunity to evaluate the dogs, scoring them at the same time as the three selected judges to see how individual views can produce a consensus decision, which can then be compared to their own impressions.

Eligibility & Statistics

There are no eligibility requirements other than being named among the final Top 10 Dachshunds in each Variety in breed conformation competition from the previous calendar year based on breed point standings in each Variety as published by the Canine Chronicle. These top 10 Dachshunds in each Variety comprise the Top 30 eligible to be invited to participate in the event.


  • Previous Top 30 winners may not compete but will be invited to attend for exhibition only. These dogs as well as deceased dogs will be eliminated from the eligibility list in each Variety, and the list extended to make a full complement of Top 10 Dachshunds invitees in each Variety from the Chronicle breed ranking system.

To compete in this event, all owners and co-owners of qualifiers must be in good standing with the AKC and DCA, if a member, at the time the invitations are extended and at the time of the event. At the time of the event, all dogs must be eligible to compete at AKC events, with the exception of spayed bitches or neutered dogs who have been named among the final Top 30 Dachshunds and who may compete in this event. All participants agree to abide by any and all Rules and Regulations as may become effective through authorization of the Top 30 Committee and/or the DCA Board of Directors. A Top 30 qualifier will only be allowed to compete in the event if the owner or agent attends the briefing held prior to the event for the purposes of assigning arm band numbers and reviewing the staging of the event.


  • A person judging any Conformation class, including Sweepstakes, Host Shows or the National Specialty may not personally exhibit or have a dog exhibited in the Top 30 that is owned or co-owned by that judge.

  • A dog that is owned, co-owned, bred, co-bred, or shown by the Top 30 Committee Chair, or a member of their family as defined by AKC rules cannot compete at the Top 30 The dog, if qualified, can be listed in the event catalog and shown for exhibition only.


Each owner of a Top 30 qualifier will be sent an invitation to participate in this event. Invitations to appear For Exhibition Only will be sent to previous winners of the event. An entry form and fee are returned along with a photo, bio, and three-generation pedigree of the qualifying dog. Entry fee for each event is set by the Top 30 Event Chair in consultation with the DCA Board of Directors.


A catalog is prepared exclusively for the Top 30 event each year. The catalogs are available through the National Specialty All In One form and for purchase at the Top 30 event. The catalog contains a double page of advertising for each qualifier, with a photograph, a pedigree and text supplied by the dog’s owner or agent. The catalog also contains score sheets, People’s Choice Ballot,  judging procedures, a profile of each judge, and a page listing all of the previous winners, the judges, and the year in which they won. Qualifiers responding “No” to the invitation and not in attendance at the event will be noted in the catalog.

Rosettes & Prizes

The owner of the winner of the event will receive a DCA 3” three head medallion.

Qualifiers (including deceased qualifiers) will receive a formal rosette. Co-owners and breeders of qualifiers can purchase additional rosettes by ordering on the order form at the time the entry is made. The total number of additional rosettes ordered may not exceed the number of listed breeders and co-owners of the qualifier. Previous winners may purchase a rosette by ordering on the order form at the time the entry is made.

All Top 30 qualifiers will receive a Certificate of Eligibility for their accomplishment. These Certificates will be made out with the dogs’ name and year eligible and will either be mailed or given  to the dogs’ owner at the Top 30 Event.

Event Scheduling

The Top 30 event will be held the evening prior to the start of conformation judging at the first host show. The draw for armband numbers and the order of competition will be held the morning of the event and announced by the Top 30 Chair.


The Top 30 Committee will select three judges, one from each of the following categories:

Breeder Judge: An established Dachshund breeder and member of DCA, either active or retired, who has bred Dachshunds for at least ten years, having produced or shown at least four Champions of Record as published by the American Kennel Club; or is approved by the American Kennel Club to judge Dachshunds. The Breeder Judge must not own or co-own either a dog in the Top 30 competition or its sire or its dam. The Breeder Judge may not exhibit Dachshunds in any class of the host shows or the DCA National Specialty Show.

Multi-Breed Judge: A person approved by the American Kennel Club, either active or retired, to judge Dachshunds and, at least, one complete Group. If the Multi-Breed judge is a Dachshund breeder, this judge must not own or co-own either a dog in the Top 30 competition or its sire or its dam. The Multi-Breed Judge may not exhibit Dachshunds in any class of the host shows or the DCA National Specialty Show.

Handler Judge: A professional handler, either active or retired, meeting the requirements for membership in a Professional Handlers’ Association (though not necessarily a member). The Handler Judge must have at least five years’ experience. The Handler Judge must not have shown a Dachshund for an owner of a dog in the Top 30 competition for two years preceding the event. In addition, the Handler Judge may not handle any dog at a host show or the DCA National Specialty Show that is owned or co-owned by an owner of a Top 30 entrant.

Each participating Committee member nominates one or two (1-2) judges in each category and forwards the names to the Top 30 Chair. The Top 30 Chair, after reviewing the nominated judges for eligibility, will forward the names of the eligible nominees to the Top 30 Committee members. The participating members will respond to the ballot, marked in priority order, to the Top 30 Committee Chair who will tally the votes.

The Top 30 Chair will secure the acceptance of the winning nominees, based upon availability. The names of the winners in each category will be revealed only to Committee members. It will be the Top 30 Chair’s responsibility to ensure that the judges understand that their election must remain confidential.


  • Any person actively serving on the Top 30 Committee

  • Any person that has previously judged a DCA Top 30 event in any of the three judging categories within the previous 5 years.

Judging Procedure

Handlers and/or owners will draw for exhibition order prior to the event.

All dogs will be scored by each judge using the scale of points which aligns with the American Kennel Club’s approved Breed Standard for the Dachshund.

Conformation (“hands on”) judging will be held the afternoon preceding the evening event, in a location away from spectators. The three judges will judge each dog. Each judge will first record his First Impression Score, to be used only in the event of a tie. After examination, each judge will record the scores for each dog on the dog’s individual score sheet.

After all the dogs complete the  afternoon Conformation (“hands on”) portion of judging, they will be presented to the audience in the main ring during the evening event. The judges will evaluate each dog’s movement in a circle and a down and back pattern. The judges will record the Gait score for each dog on the dog’s individual score sheet.

Immediately following the completion of judging, the judges’ marked sheets (but not tallied for total scores) will be submitted to an impartial team to be tabulated. The scores for each dog, from each of the three judges, are added together, then divided by three to determine each dog’s average score. The winner will be determined on the basis of the average score of each dog. The score sheets and the identity of the winning dog will be given to the Top 30 Chair.

In the event of a tie, the winner is determined by the First Impression score. The dog with the highest First Impression score is declared the winner. The First Impression score is used ONLY to break a tie and is not included in the tabulation of the average score. If there is still a tied score, there will be two winners who shall share the title of Top 30 Winner.

Peoples Choice Award

During the course of evening judging, the audience has the opportunity to select one dog for its ‘People’s Choice Award,’ which will be awarded the same evening of the event. Attendees complete a ballot which is included in the catalog or purchased separately at the event. Ballots are collected by an impartial team who tabulates the results. The People’s Choice Award is presented immediately before announcing the Top 30 winner.