In 2011, the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, Inc. offered its first Top-20 Competition to be held in conjunction with the annual National Specialty. The Top-20 is held one or more days prior to Best of Breed judging so as not to allow the BOB selection to influence the outcome of the Top-20. Entry is by invitation only and is sent to the Top 20 PWDs in breed and all-breed points as determined by the AKC for the previous calendar year.
This event is intended to educate and entertain exhibitors, breeders, fanciers and judges. It provides special recognition to those PWDs with the most outstanding records in the show ring during the previous year, together with their breeders, handlers, and owners. This occasion provides a continuing incentive to strive for PWDs that excel in structure, movement, temperament and conformation to our written standard. Using a point system, each dog is evaluated by three judges according to how closely it conforms to the breed standard.
The Top-20 Competition offers all who attend a chance to view the very best PWDs in the country based on their competitive standings in both breed points and all-breed points. Breed points are calculated by the number of Portuguese Water Dogs that a dog/bitch defeats by winning Best of Breed. All-breed points are calculated by Working Group and Best in Show competition, and are based on the total number of points from the Portuguese Water Dog breed judging plus all the breed points from every dog that was defeated in the Working Group and Best in Show by the PWD.
In addition, the audience is encouraged to vote for their “People’s Choice” award; this prizewinner is announced following the Top Twenty. The winner of the Top Twenty is revealed at the Awards Dinner at the end of the Specialty.
The Top-20 evening is considered a formal event and “black tie attire” is encouraged.