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 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.. 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 cutoff date. The litter nomination year runs from September 1st through August 31st.  Puppies born during that time frame are eligible to be shown in the Futurity shows the following year.

Regional Futurity/Maturity Shows:

The AKC requires that puppies must be at least 6 months of age to compete in Futurities.  Thus, with a litter nomination year that ends on August 31st, the Futurity show season begins on March 1st and runs through Labor Day of the following year.

Puppies from a nominated litter are eligible to be shown in the regional Futurity shows following their litter nomination year. The owner does not need to be a GSDCA member for the puppy to compete in a regional Futurity. Competition is similar to a conformation event and the class to enter is dependent on the date of birth.  Dates for the year’s futurity classes are found in the premium list.  Class dates for present and future years may also be found on the GSDCA website.

The year following its Futurity, a dog is eligible for Maturity classes at the regional shows.  The owner does not need to be a GSDCA member for the dog to compete in a regional Maturity. If the litter was nominated, but the dog was not entered in a Futurity the prior year, an additional fee is required above and beyond the fee to show in a Maturity class. The time frame and class to enter is dependent on the date of birth.

Dates for the year’s Maturity classes are found in the premium list.  Dates for present and future years may be found on the GSDCA website.

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.

National Specialty Finals

Best, Best Opposite and Reserve winners from each region are automatically entered in the GSDCA National Futurity/Maturity Finals held at the National Specialty if at least one of the owners is a GSDCA member.  If a Best, Best Opposite or Reserve winner in a region is owned by a non-member, an owner must apply for GSDCA membership by September 15th in order for that dog to be eligible for the National finals.  At the National finals, 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.

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 questions about the Futurity System, please email futurityinfo@gsdca.org

~ Cyndi Flautt

National Futurity Chairman