Then we never see him again because he never made height! If there is a question on height, I measure, and I’m asking you to do so. Our standard is very specific about size, with under the minimum being a disqualification. The Akita is considered a large breed, let’s keep it in the range specified; that range being 26"–28" for dogs and 24"-26" for bitches. While under 23" or 25" is a DQ, we want 24"-26" and 26"-28"!! The Akita’s personality is what attracts many people to my breed. They can be fun-loving and a jokester with their people one minute, alert and protective in the next. They are smart as a whip, but because they are so independent, they don’t like repeti- tive training. They walk down the street or through a show site like they own everything. It is awe-inspiring. But take note, they can be intolerant of other dogs, especially of the same sex. Please don’t pack several Akitas in a corner while you’re sorting out another group—neither the handlers nor the dogs will appreciate it. For large classes, I excuse a group so that I can see movement, and everyone stays safe. I don’t do this because I’ve had a problem, I do it because it’s the safest thing to do and it helps me to judge large classes in ANY breed. Okay, I’m done with the class. It’s time to place them. I hope that as you’ve read this you’ve been able to derive the key points, the essence of an Akita. They are large with heavy bone and sub- stance, balanced, with triangular heads and triangular, forward-set ears, curled tail, and they give the overall impression of power and stature with a reserved temperament. A very wise man once told me, “When you go to dog shows, if you stay all day and watch other breeds, the Groups, and Best in Show, while you may not know all the disqualifications or nuanc- es, you should be able to pick out a good dog.” That’s what I’m challenging you all to do. To learn more about the Akita or, for that matter, any breed, go to shows. Watch all day and then go one step further. Talk to the exhibitors. Talk to other judges. Go to seminars. Finally, remember that the standard is what breeders are striv- ing for. As judges, we all need to choose our winners, with that standard always forefront in our minds. Whether you are an exhib- itor or a judge, I hope that you were able to picture my day and get a new “nugget” from it about the Akita. Enjoy your next show… I know I will.
BIO In 1988, after looking at many breeds, Nancy Amburgey decided on the Akita. Her first Akita was a companion, but she quickly became interested in Conformation and Obedience. Nancy enjoyed dog sports and the dogs so much that she had to have more, so she set up multiple kennel runs, bought an Astro van, and bred a few litters. She has bred and handled many Champions, Top Twenty competitors, and National Specialty BOS and AOMs. Nancy was on the initial committee for Breeder’s Education. She has served on the board of her local Akita Club, the Akita Club of America, and several all-breed kennel clubs. Nancy was Show Chair for two different breed’s National Specialties for multiple years, and she has been on the committee for the two standard revisions. She currently serves on the Judges Education Committee alongside some wonderful and knowledgeable ladies in her breed. Nancy has been honored to judge the Akita Club of America’s National Specialty twice and several other countries’ American Akita National Specialties, including France, Finland, and Russia. She is approved to judge the Working Group, most of the Toy Group, Juniors, and Best in Show. After moving around the country during the last 10 years, chasing her husband, they are back in Ohio and eagerly awaiting his retirement.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, APRIL 2022 | 187
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