Showsight Presents The Akita

JUDGING THE AKITA

By Nancy Amburgery

FIRST IMPRESSIONS A

His HEAD is massive but in balance with the body. It looks like a blunt tri- angle. It will be free of wrinkle when he is at ease. Th e skull is fl at between the ears. I will fault a snipey or narrow head. Th e EARS are carried slightly forward. Th ey are triangular, strong, thick and well furred, with slightly rounded tips. Our fi rst DQ is here (#1); Drop or broken ears are to be disquali fi ed. Th e EYES are tri- angular in shape, small tight, black rims and dark brown in color. Th e MUZZLE is broad and strong. Th e distance from his nose to his stop as to the distance from stop to occiput is 2 to 3. His NOSE is broad and black although we do allow a lighter nose with or without shading of black or gray on a white Akita. A dog with a partial or total lack of pigmentation is another of our Disquali fi cations. (DQ #2) At our JEC seminars, we like to say the head is a symphony of triangles. Bite: I generally ask the handler to show me the bite. An Akita should have a scis- sors bite although a level bite is acceptable. We do have a disquali fi cation for either over shot or undershot. (DQ #3) Since we don’t have a disquali fi cation for missing teeth and complete dentition is not men- tioned in the standard I don’t ask for more than a bite check. I move on to the body. Th e shoulders are strong and powerful, with a moderate layback. Th e front legs are heavy boned and straight. Th e depth of the chest is 1/2 the height of the dog. I run my hand across his top line. It is level. Leaving my hand on the dog, i step on around to his rear, lift- ing his tail if it impedes my checking his

fter walking the ring and deciding my pat- tern for the day, I bring in the fi rst class. I like to bring them in and have a look

at them all before moving. While most exhibitors are aware, keep in mind a little space between dogs is the norm. Looking down the line, its my opportunity to get an idea of proportion, size and balance. I review some key words from the standard; alert, digni fi ed, large and powerful. Th en, I send them around together. As they go, I compare the side gaits of the group. Here I’m looking for powerful, brisk and a moderate stride. As they come around to the designated stopping point I am ready to go over my fi rst dog. INDIVIDUAL EXAMS Th e dog has been set up and I stand back so I can look at his general propor- tions. Th e tail is curled over the back and will balance the head. Th e top line is level. Akitas are longer than tall. In dogs, as 10 is to 9. In bitches, as 11 is to 9. I walk in front of the dog, stopping short of being straight in front. Here I’m within their vision and they know I’m approaching. As I approach I usually give a good morning with a smile to the han- dler but I’m actually addressing the dog. A con fi dent glance of the head taking note of head shape, ears, eyes, nose and length of muzzle, not staring into his eyes, starts my examination. Th en we go into the actual hands on.

“HIS HEAD IS MASSIVE BUT IN BALANCE WITH THE BODY. It looks like a blunt triangle.”

“AN AKITA SHOULD HAVE A SCISSORS BITE although a level bite is acceptable.”

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