ACDCA Champion of Health Award Guidelines

Sponsored by OFA

Download Champion of Health Award Application in PDF.

In conjunction with AKC parent clubs like the Australian Cattle Dog Club of America, Inc. (ACDCA), the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) sponsors an annual "Champion of Health" award.  The OFA asks that all nominees have appropriate health clearances and significant achievements in the show ring, in performance events like herding, companion events or as producers. The award type is selected by OFA.  Currently the award is an engraved crystal item along with a $100 donation to the AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKCCHF) in the name of the honored dog.

ACD owners must apply for the award through the ACDCA using criteria and process developed by the ACDCA which are consistent with the OFA’s focus. The ACDCA will typically make one to three nominations of qualified dogs each year and the OFA makes the final selection of the annual winner. It is intended that the award be announced and given at the ACDCA's annual awards banquet. In addition, a photograph of the award-winning dogs will be displayed on the ACDCA website and in the ACD Quarterly ( ACDCA magazine). A photo may also appear on the OFA website.

  1. Minimum Eligibility Requirements:
    • All ACD applicants must have a Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) number (see information on CHIC below or go to:
    • At least one owner of the ACD must be a member in good standing with the ACDCA at the time of application and at the time of award.
    • ACD applicant must have earned an AKC conformation championship or an advanced title in an AKC performance or companion event.
  1. Other Selection Criteria
    • Extraordinary conformation, performance, companion, community service, canine heroism or other accomplishments. Examples include (but are not limited to) BOB or other high level placement at a National specialty; HIT in a National Specialty performance or companion event; an all-breed HIT in a performance or companion event; all breed BIS, BISOH, group wins or placements; achieving high level titles—OTCH, MACH, GCHG/P
    • Completion of CHIC optional clearances.
    • Offspring with health clearances and conformation, performance, companion or community service accomplishments.
    • Other accomplishments that may be widely viewed as significant but are not contemplated above.
  2. Selection Process - Completed applications and selection process for submission to OFA.
    • A completed application on the required form must be completed by June 1st (or other date established by the ACDCA).
    • The application shall include proof of meeting minimum criteria, a brief write-up (no more than one typed page) of the ACD’s accomplishments, a record of its health certifications, the dog's CHIC number, any other relevant information the owner wishes the committee to consider and a suitable photograph.
    • Applications must be completed and submitted to the club secretary by June 1st in order to allow sufficient time for OFA consideration before the National Specialty. The Secretary will forward the applications to the Champion of Health Award (CHA) review committee appointed by the Board.
    • Annually, the CHA committee of 3-5 club members appointed by the Board of Directors shall nominate from one to three dogs (who meet the minimum qualifications) from the applications filed. These nominations will be forwarded to the OFA for final selection. To avoid possible conflicts of interest, CHA committee members must not be the breeder or owner (or immediate family member of breeder or owner) of the nominated dog(s), of the sire/dam of the nominated dog(s), or of the offspring of the nominated dog(s).
    • An ACD may only win one "Champion of Health" award, but is eligible to be nominated multiple times prior to winning.
  3. Awards from the OFA
    • Awards made by the OFA such as the engraved crystal and donation to the AKC-CHF are at the discretion of the OFA and may be changed without notice.
    • The OFA reserves the right to eliminate the program at their discretion.
  4. Information regarding the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals CHIC program (also go to
    • The CHIC database is a centralized pool of health information on individual animals from multiple sources. CHIC is maintained to assist breeders in making more informed breeding choices, and for scientists in conducting research. The requirements for a CHIC number have been tailored to meet the needs for ACD based on inherited diseases that are of the greatest concern and for which some screening test is available. Information on the requirements is available from the OFA. These unique requirements have been established through input from the ACDCA prior to the breed's entry into the CHIC program.
    • Each dog must be permanently identified in order to have test results included in CHIC. Permanent identification may be in the form of microchip or tattoo.
    • A CHIC number is issued when test results are entered into the OFA database satisfying each breed specific requirement, and when the owner of the dog has opted to release the results into the public domain. The CHIC number itself does not imply normal test results, only that all the required breed specific tests were performed, and the results made publicly available.
    • As health priorities within ACDs change, or as new screening tests become available, the specific requirements for ACD can be modified to reflect the current environment. If the breed specific requirements are modified, existing CHIC numbers are not revoked since the CHIC number is issued to a dog that completed all required tests at a given point in time.
    • See current CHIC requirements for the Australian Cattle Dog at

Download Champion of Health Award Application in PDF.