Editor's Page: International Food for Thought
10th Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship has international flavor. From Dogs in Review, December 2010
This column is being written mere days after the 10th Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. The weekend was a resounding success with 2,466 dogs making up a total entry of 2,600. Although we’ll have detailed coverage in the next issue, we’re happy to include final results here.
Judge Jean Fournier’s selection for Best in Show was the red merle Australian Shepherd Ch. Propwash Reckon, owned by breeder Leslie Frank and Judy Harrington. Leslie was also the AKC’s Herding Group Breeder of the Year. Reckon triumphed over an impressive lineup of Group winners: the German Wirehaired Pointer Ch. Ripsnorter’s Mt. View Lookout; Whippet Ch. Starline’s Chanel; Portuguese Water Dog Ch. Aviator’s Luck Be A Lady; Smooth Fox Terrier Ch. Slyfox Sneaks A Peek; Pekingese Ch. Palacegarden Malachy; and Bichon Frisé Ch. Saks Hamelot Little Drummer Boy.
Best Bred by Exhibitor in Show under Polly Smith was the Miniature Pinscher Ch. Kimro’s Soldier Boy, handled by Kim Calvacca.
Debbie Butt, Sporting Fields Whippets and Border Collies, was chosen AKC Breeder of the Year.
Carla Molinari found her World Challenge Winner in the Doberman Pinscher from Argentina, Ch. Alex De Akido San.
The international flavor of the show was felt far beyond the World Challenge competition. An Akita from Chile placed fourth in the Working Group as well as Best Bred by Exhibitor in Group. Best of Breed in Great Danes went to a dog bred and owned in Denmark.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to interview a number of international judges from Brazil, Wales, Sweden, Japan and Canada, as well as a few Americans who regularly judge overseas. I asked each of them what one aspect of our sport they would change if they had the power to do so. All of them touched on the need for global breed standards; a single standard by which dogs of a given breed would be evaluated in every country where shows are held.
The late all-breed judge and respected journalist Nigel Aubrey-Jones wrote about global breed standards in the dog press three and four decades ago, so the idea is not new. But could it ever work?
Breeders of the American and Japanese Akitas were so hopelessly deadlocked that the breed had to be split into two. Refined, athletic American Afghan Hounds look nothing like their more substantial, heavier-coated English counterparts. English and American Shelties and Siberian Huskies might as well be two different breeds. Prized Tibetan Mastiffs in China display the giant size, traditional loose eye and dewlap that some TM fanciers in the US have chosen to reject in this ancient breed. Americans will cling tenaciously to the belief that their dogs and their breed standards are correct, just as the British and the Scandinavians will. And that means our judges will be expected to continue upholding the mantra of “when in Rome do as the Romans do.” But how practical is that position in the long term, when top dogs from overseas are brought here to campaign, or their semen is flown in to sire domestic litters? Should the look of our present-day winners and future generations of puppies change without our AKC breed standards changing first?
Season’s greetings to you all from our team at Dogs in Review.
Allan Reznik, Editor-in-Chief
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