You snooze, you lose: The new Japanese Akitainu club wasted no time in sending educational materials to judges.
Fri, 08/12/2022 - 11:45pm

Today and Yesterday

Johnny Shoemaker on judges education, AKC gripes and the health of the sport

A few days ago,I received some very detailed educational material on the Japanese Akitainuin the mail. You may ask, “What is a Japanese Akitainu”? I had no idea myself until I started reading the contents of the educational material sent by the Japanese Akitainu Club of America.

The Japanese Akitainu is the largest of the native dog breeds of Japan and was originally used for hunting game in the mountainous terrain of the Tohoku region where Akita Prefecture is located. This breed will be entering the Miscellaneous Class on January 1, 2023, and as they stated they are hopeful the breed will be entering the Non-Sporting Group soon after. I have included some pictures and material information sent in the mailing. I think the Japanese Akitainu Club of America did a great job in providing such information as:

• General Quick Guide

• Color Quick Guide

• Photo Samples

• Breed Standard



I do not remember any new breed club providing this to judges in the past. I thank the Japanese Akitainu Club of America for sending it to me and other judges so we will know more about the breed when it is shown in the Miscellaneous Class in 2023.

On another note, I would like to address also the editorial in the July 22, 2022, issue of this magazine by Gene Zaphiris, titled “Is There a Delegate in The House?” Gene had some good thoughts on what is happening with AKC and what is not being addressed by the delegate body. One thing I completely agree with is “How do we promote the ownership of purebred dogs to the public and distinguish ourselves from popular crossbred dogs like cockapoos and labradoodles?” I do believe that the AKC is very lacking in getting the word out to the public regarding the advantage of owning a purebred dog. After all, the purpose of the AKC is to promote the advantage of such dogs as stated in itsmission statement:

“The American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to upholding the integrity of its Registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.”

I actually saw a car today with license plates that said “Doodle Mom”! We have enough money in the AKC treasury to go“full force” in getting the word out to the public via TV and local ads about the advantages of having a purebred dog. Why don’t we do that? The filming and showing of dog shows does not fulfill that requirement, as it just shows the dog show. Why do we not have more ads when these shows are broadcast, just as the Westminster Dog Show has ads and more ads and talks about the purebred dog? I do not understand what the PR department is doing.

As far as the AKC allowing so many clubs to have their shows outside their areas, I believe this expired in June 2022, according to the minutes of the February 2022 board meeting. This policy to allow shows to be held outside their territory was put into action due to lack of show venues or shows losing their show sites.

As far as the question that Margaret Poindexter addressed regarding the profit of the AKC and the executive pay and bonuses in relation to the organization’s earnings, that is outside the powers of the delegates. I suppose that someone in the delegate body could get up and ask that question about salaries, but that would not be answered by the board or the financial executive as that is personal and confidential … other than the total of all salaries, which is already out there to the public. I may ask that at the next delegate meeting, and I’ll become the “Delegate in the House.”

I was going through some of my old AKC Gazettes from the 1940s and found some very interesting things. I know I had written some of these in another issue of Dog News. I find it very interesting that we had such a difference in the total breeds in each group in 1985 compared to total breeds in 2022. For instance, here is the difference in the 33 years in the groups:

SPORTING: 1985, 19, compared to 35 in 2022

HOUNDS: 1985, 17, compared to 35 in 2022

WORKING: 1985, 15, compared to 31 in 2022

TERRIERS: 1985, 18, compared to 32 in 2022

TOYS: 1985, 14, compared to 25 in 2022

NON-SPORTING: 1985, 11, compared to 21 in 2022

HERDING: 1985, 13, compared to 33 in 2022

In my breed, Poodles, back in 1985 the entries needed for a three-point major for a Standard Poodle was 11 dogs and 14 bitches. Now in 2022 it is six for dogs and nine for bitches. That is certainly a good difference in the entries required. Great Danes had 21 dogs and 23 for bitches. Now it is nine in dogs and 14 in bitches. This is for Division 9 in California.

Is our sport in trouble? I believe we have some breeds that you hardly ever see in the ring. One example is in the Non-Sporting Group: the Norwegian Lundehund. I do not think I have had more than two or three entries in my 21 years of judging the group. Are we allowing more breeds to come from the Miscellaneous Class to enter a regular group? I think so. What are those breeds in the Miscellaneous Class doing to put entries out there at dog shows? I know most of these are low-entry breeds, but maybe some kind of promotion in areas where there is a breeder of some of these low-entry breeds: AKC can contact that person or persons to come to the show and exhibit their dogs. It would be good for the public, judges and exhibitors.

I was also looking at a catalog from the Washington Poodle Club in 1967. Look at this entry: Toys, 54; Miniatures, 104; Standards, 35! And this is what was entered in the Sweepstakes: 20 Toys, 40 Miniatures and nine Standards!

“In some quarters, people are saying that entries are harder to get. That is both true and untrue. Mostly, we would say that pure-bred show-dog owners are merely showing greater discrimination in making entries — a condition made possible by the fact that there are more dog shows from which to choose. It is definitely not true that all dog shows evince a uniform drop in entries. Some are going up and by big margins. Also, in many cases the shows that have had drops can give logical reasons for those drops. In some cases, the show committees did not aim for those super-duper entries, balancing up the effort needed to set up attractive specialty shows against the somewhat hypothetical advantage of cracking the precious record. Entries never did ‘just happen’ — they always represented plenty of stress and strain on someone’s part. Frankly, we think it a much saner policy to just arrange a clean, nicely run show with a good judging slate and then let nature take its course.”

Do you think this is from an article years ago or from this author? It could be from a long time ago or a time we are experiencing today.

In 1952 we had 17 licensed superintendents. Some are still active today, such as Jack Bradshaw Dog Shows. In 1952 it was listed as:

“Bradshaw, Mrs. Jack, 1412 West 12th Street, Los Angeles 15, Calif.”

(This is most likely Claire Bradshaw, wife of Jack Bradshaw, Sr., and mother of Jack Bradshaw, Jr.)

Also listed were Bow Dog Show Organization, Foley Dog Shows, and Moss and Mulvey. I am sure these are now the MB-F dog-show superintendents.

“Putting it plainly, it is becoming increasingly apparent that certain judges, officiating at licensed dog shows, are not placing the Best of Winners candidates strictly on merit and merit alone. Instead, they are yielding to pressure by owners or handlers or both, and consistently putting up the dog or bitch that has received the lower number of points in the Winners Class, regardless of the comparative excellence of the two contenders for Best of Winners. That this practice is not only recognized and both encouraged by a certain section of the fancy is evidenced by the fact that, in many cases, exhibitors or handlers openly criticize a judge who does his duty as he sees it, puts up what he honestly believes to be the better of the two dogs and lets the championship points fall where they may.”

Written in the past or the present?

I also notice in the January 1944 issue of The AKC Gazette that a person by the name of Leo Seigel was recommended by Wm. H. Pym, Dan Shuttleworth and Mrs. Zingler for three groups: all Terriers, all Toys and all Non-Sporting! Oh, how times have changed! Can someone still get a whole group today? Yes, they can, but I do not know about three groups at one time.

I see that some things are the same from the past to the present. We are all enjoying our dogs and dog shows, no matter the entry size, and we are, in some ways, keeping this sport alive. The passion and love for our sport will continue for a long time into the future — or am I wrong? I hope not!

Over and out!



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