I took Nami and Fionna to their first ever UKC dog show. I've got their temporary listing numbers and plans to convert them to permenant listing numbers. This is in preparation for the JACA's "Nihon Ken Invitational" this year - this will be the first time the Kishu Ken is represented at their annual show, and I hope I can attend far into the future.
But first, I needed practice and the girls needed to see the show ring to get acclimated. Nami was a natural and took home 2 Best of Breed, 2 Best of Sex, 2 "First Place" (for her class - adult), and 2 3rd in group (the Kishu Ken is in the Northern Breed group - so she was third, in both shows, in the whole group.
Fionna essentially got ribbons for her participation. 2 reserve best and 2 first place for her class (junior - she had no competition for her class, naturally, without any other Kishu there except the ones I brought).
I also had amazing help handling Nami, since Nami and Fionna had to go up against one another for their breed to see who went to the group match, in a very nice man named Chris (whose business cards I have tragically lost to the depths of my Jeep - and will have to be found in a concerted effort later today). He was local and involved in the UKC and AKC and handled Nami very nicely.
Nami was probably a favorite, probably because she was much more willing to be handled and observed by the judge. She also tends to have very nice movement and has an excellent head/expression, so though she was out of coat, she beat Fionna. Fionna was not as happy about being handled by the judge, but did much better in her second show than in her first.
Overall, it was an educational and fun day - and a nice way to spend my birthday. Even better, though, for both the dogs and myself, was the hike at Rainbow Falls on the way back down to Portland from the Tacoma area.
We also had a spectacular view of three of our five mountains. Rainier, St. Helens, and Hood all came out to play yesterday and were absolutely beautiful. I'll never get tired of them.
...but onto the dogs!
I've updated the "Yushoku Kishu" page to reflect information I received earlier today on the NIPPO standard and coat colors. Sounds like every coat color is acceptable in the Kishu Ken, except spotted/pinto coats. Good to know!
I just ordered a My Dog DNA test kit for Fionna. She'll be the second Kishu in the My Dog DNA database. Akiyama no Roushya will also be listed on the MDDNA breeder page. It is a complimentary service for breeders who have dogs tested with their services.
Lindsay of the HANA project had Genko, the black & tan Hokkaido Ken tested through the same service, so I thought I'd go into Nami's profile again and check on how it changed the genetic relatedness map the MDDNA service provides.
To my surprise... the Hokkaido is (or, at least, Genko is) the most related breed to the Kishu Ken (or, at least, Nami), according to the service. While it doesn't seem that unusual based on the temperaments the two dogs show, the Hokkaido comes from an isolated, northern island and the Kishu comes from a peninsula in the south of Honshu, near Shikoku. How is it, then, that the two dogs tested in the public database appear so closely related? Why is the Kishu not closely related to the Shikoku? Wouldn't that make sense, geographically? Surprising and interesting! I wonder, if Kishu will bridge the genetic gap between the Shikoku and the other breeds in the same way the American Akita bridges the gap between the Japanese Akita and the other breeds.
I look forward to more of dogs being entered in this system.