Futurity Rules and Standards

Standards for the NGSPA National Futurity

The National Futurity, sponsored by the NGSPA, will be held for the purpose of promoting the development of National Caliber Class All-Age of Shooting Dogs and to give breeders, exhibitors, and spectators an opportunity to compare and evaluate the results of their breeding to the results obtained by other breeders.

The type of dog to be honored in this stake is one that shows the potential to go on and win the important Championship stakes in the country.

The “single” futurity concept creates an environment of all-age and shooting dog potential candidates competing over the same course together. This places an extra burden on the judges. They must recognize the potential that the dog is displaying and judge it accordingly. The best dog, be it an all age or shooting dog, should emerge based on its potential and performance. In the event that an all-age and shooting dog are being considered for the winner and the dogs cannot be separated by performance, the all-age dog will break the tie.

Because of the nomination cycles for breeders, the age range of the dogs competing will be from sixteen (16) months of age to twenty-eight (28) months of age. The judging criteria of “Minimum Derby Requirements” should accommodate all the entrants with respect to the variance of ages but should never be lowered so as to lose sight of the above-mentioned standard.

The winning dog must:

  • Demonstrate intense desire to find game.
  • Show determination, which is demonstrated by its application under adverse conditions, such as unusually heavy cover, unpleasant weather, bad footing, and terrain.
  • Voluntarily run an aggressive forward course performing to its potential.
  • Show a consistent pattern, intelligently hunting and adjusting to the terrain and cover.
  • Hunt independently of its brace-mate and not show a tendency to seek easy footing.
  • Demonstrate Class. The term “Class” in this instance has reference to the manner of the going of the dog as to speed, loftiness, gait, and general appearance, such as you would expect to find in a superlative bird dog.
  • Handle game with intelligence, although not necessarily with complete manners. If game is encountered, he should point staunchly and with style, but not necessarily steady to wing and shot.

General Running Rules for the Futurity

  • Dogs may be handled from foot or horseback. If a handler desires to walk the course, the remaining handler, if mounted, should proceed at a corresponding gait and in no event precede the foot handler. On the other hand, if the foot handler unduly holds up the mounted hander, the mounted handler may, with permission of the judges, proceed.
  • If a dog continually disturbs his brace-mate, it should be the duty of the judge to order the offending dog to be taken up. Interference is the only reason to order a dog up in the Futurity.
  • The judges have the prerogative of setting the pace for the stake. If a handler speeds the course, he should be requested by the judge or the marshal to refrain. If he continues, the entry should be penalized accordingly.
  • It should be to the credit of the dog if he voluntarily backs or honors another pointing dog.
  • Potential should outweigh polish in a Derby. Our standard says a dog “should point staunchly and with style, but not necessarily steady to wing and shot.” In many of the Pointer/Setter Futurities there may be a difference in the way steadiness standards are applied between Spring and Fall Derbies. We have one Futurity and no such distinctions are made.
  • In general, being a breeder’s stake, the inherent qualities of the dog that demonstrates its potential as an outstanding all-age or shooting dog should be used as criteria by the judges in their final decision.

NGSPA National Futurity Archives

View the NGSPA National Futurity winners from 1958 to the present date.
From 1974 to 1980 there were two Futurities held each year, All-Age and Shooting Dog. In 1981 there was no Futurity held.

View Past Futurity Winners