CCA Frequently Asked Questions
What is the original intent of the CCA?
Twofold: (a) to provide a NON-COMPETITIVE area of participation in conformation where dogs are assessed against the Breed Standard rather than merely against other dogs present and (b) to give owners written reports as to the evaluators’ assessments which will provide information not available in the show ring.
How does the CCA compare to other basic non-competitive, entry level tests offered to Golden Retrievers?
Both the Hunt Test and WC programs require an average passing score of 7 points in all categories and the number of attempts is not limited.
The CCA program is also on a point scale requiring the dog to score a minimum of 75 or higher out of 100 possible points, broken down into ten categories. A non-competitive CCA event tests the individual dog on the physical conformation and temperament qualities as set forth in the Breed Standard. There is a limit on the number of attempts that can be made. It also has a mandatory pass for temperament and sets a minimum age of 18 months. While the conformation quality of a retriever MAY improve with maturity and conditioning, the basic structure changes very little.
The CCA, WC, and Hunting Test programs are similar in that they all reward very good to excellent representatives of the breed by comparison to an impartial criteria without bias or dog-to-dog competition, and they all test the desired physical and/or mental attributes of a sound hunting companion.
Why have a seemingly high percentage of dogs passed so far?
In most cases people are not likely to enter their dogs if they don’t have a reasonable expectation of qualifying, so poorer dogs will not often be entered. If the quality of the dogs entered is high enough it is conceivable that all could pass. The success of the program cannot be based on how many pass or fail.
Is there any difference between a CCA from three Category 1 evaluators versus a dog that obtains the title from a panel that was not all from Category 1?
No. All evaluators are chosen because of their experience and background and a willingness to give a written opinion and scores. At least two of the qualifying scores must come from Category 1 evaluators in order to obtain the title.
Why wouldn’t GRCA require all CCA evaluators to have bred, exhibited and had success with Golden Retrievers only?
There are certainly knowledgeable and capable people judging Golden Retrievers for the AKC whose primary breed is not ours, and many who come from other Groups as well. They add their wider experience to the pool of evaluators, and there is a place for varying emphasis within the program, just as there is in the show ring. There are also performance people who have a strong dual knowledge of what is required to produce physically good retrievers.
How many evaluators are there?
Approximately 4 dozen presently. We initially invited all breeder-judges of Goldens to apply and more than half of them did. Some people applied through the form posted on the website. A number of versatile breeder-exhibitors are being contacted to expand the Category 2 listing…not all experienced people necessarily want to become AKC judges. In order to make the program viable for hosting clubs a broad geographical listing is desirable.
How does the CCA Title add point value to the VC/VCX Program?
Listed below are reasons the CCA adds value and how it could compare to other titles:
- Limited tries, a dog can’t campaign indefinitely for this title.
- Qualified Evaluators with breed experience.
- In-depth evaluation of the Goldens conformation not biased towards styles or trends and focused on breed purpose.
- Open to all registered or ILP Goldens over 18 months of age including those which have been spayed or neutered.
- No limit to how many dogs can earn this title in a calendar year. Which means if our breeders are breeding more dogs to the standard there is no penalty because of sheer numbers.
- Other entry level titles have unlimited tries and can be trained with limited experience and inherited basic instinct.
- Many titles that are awarded a high point value in the Versatility titles have no relation to the standard. They require a trained and talented Golden.
- Many Goldens with good to excellent conformation will not be campaigned in the show circuit due to time, money or interest.
- If we only scored the field titles based on competitive dog comparisons then none of the WC programs or Hunt Test Programs could count towards a Versatility title because there is no comparative judgment in those events.
- Although this is not an official temperament test it is a component of the CCA title.
- Experienced breeders and competitors who are not approved AKC judges may qualify and make a difference by becoming CCA Evaluators.
We have put faith in our evaluators, that they award very-good to excellent representatives of the AKC Golden Retriever Standard with a CCA title.
Why does the CCA limit attempts to only six evaluations and why can you see such a difference in scores between some of these evaluations?
The primary objective of the CCA Program is to be very rewarding as an educational experience. The goal of the program is to have everyone walk away with respect, admiration for their Golden and a good understanding of the breed standard. Secondly, we put faith in our qualified Evaluators to be objective, educational and reward (with qualifying scores and honorable mentions) good to excellent representatives of the breed in relation to the standard regardless of styles or trends etc. The scores will always differ to varying degrees since the standard leaves room to be subjective. However, the key to managing these differences is to award a dog that is ABLE to obtain three qualifying scores or honorable mentions from the 3 different Evaluators in a limited amount of tries regardless of individual preference or style. The limit was never meant to weaken chances at a title; it was put in place as part of the requirement to earn a CCA Certificate. The requirement being, the dog must receive a qualifying score or honorable mention at a MINIMUM of 50% of its evaluations without the owner/entrant being able to select the Evaluators individually.
Can you enter under the same Evaluator twice?
As a participant you will always have the right to choose the CCA Events you wish to enter but the dog must be entered under all the Evaluators on the premium list. A dog may be entered under the same Evaluator twice but only one qualifying score may count towards a CCA certificate. Entering under the same Evaluator could lessen your chances of earning the CCA title if you already have a qualifying score from that individual. However, if a previous score wasn’t qualifying there is always a possibility the dog may receive a better score the second time under the same Evaluator. Dogs can look different on a different day.
What do I bring to a second event if my dog has qualifying scores from a previous event?
It is a good idea to bring the paperwork showing previous qualifying scores with you. Make sure the CCA Event Secretary is aware of your prior passes when you arrive at the second event or send a note along with your entry form. Also, we would hope and expect people to honor an entrant’s word and everything is verified with the CCA Committee before the actual certificates are mailed out.
May the host club limit how many dogs an individual owner can enter?
The CCA Committee does not place any restrictions on host clubs regarding limits except that only 1 entry per dog may be accepted. An example of a host club limitation might be: “No owner may have a second dog chosen unless the first dog of all applicants have been accepted.” The host club may also choose NO limits or to limit owners to two or three or four dogs in an effort to be fair to all applicants. It is our hope that many future events will meet demand and host clubs will not have to favor limits.