Cuchulainn (Hakuzan no Sekirou go Hakuzan Ryousou) and I represented the breed at 2 AKC Open shows for the FSS breeds in December and January. Cuchulainn is not a superb example of the NIPPO standard Kishu Ken, but he is a very friendly dog who moves well, and everyone loves to meet. Furthermore, he LOVES the conformation ring.
I've had people tell me that I should only be bringing our best dogs in the ring - the dogs that fit the standard the best. I don't disagree, necessarily, but right now with the state of the Kishu breed, and how few people are showing conformation, I would like to start small, and at least show the AKC that there is interest in the breed - and the only way to do that is participating. I would love to see us in a place where I can offer only the best-of-the-best for conformation.
I selected Cuchulainn as my conformation dog because he genuinely seems to love (and even live for!) the sport. He's very excited to be at shows, and very happy to be in the ring with the judge. He's a dynamic dog that people like to meet.
We took BOB for both shows, but did not place in group. We need a little more work on our standing still during judging - he wants to greet the judge too much, and wiggles a bit too much for their liking during exam. He is still slightly reactive to other strange dogs (especially strange dogs wearing strange things), but was very well behaved, overall.
4 dogs, 2 humans, and 1 beat-up old Jeep went on a 2200 mile adventure from Portland to San Diego and back. We also stopped at a dog show along the way, where Fionna won BOB in the first show and our littlest sir won BOB in the second show! Unprecedented, but Nami was freshly dumping all of her coat and had a bit of a scar under her eye from a scrap with Cuchulainn earlier in the month. But it was time for the young Kishu to shine!
They (and us humans) couldn't wait to get out of LA by the end of it, though, to get where Kishu belong: the mountains! We had a nice time camping and headed back up to Portland. There were a few shenanigans along the way... but nothing worth really blogging about.
The Nihon Ken Invitational is an annual UKC show hosted by the Japanese Akita Club of America in Gardena, CA, just outside of Los Angeles.
This year was the first year that I have attended with the Kishu girls and I hope to make it a trend that will continue next year! It was a long drive from Portland, Oregon, but it wasn't a bad drive and while I was happy to be home after the long trip, I'll never forget my experiences on the road and at the show. It was great to meet up with friends I've known through the internet, involved in other Japanese breeds and it was great to get the Kishu out there.
Nami was the first Kishu to officially earn points in the UKC. She's earned 25/100 points toward her CH in the UKC. I received a call from the UKC the day after this show to inform me that the temporary listing numbers I purchased hadn't processed fully for the first show we attended, so they won't be counted toward any titles, but that doesn't take away the value of the experience.
We met many awesome dogs and saw so many Japanese Akitas (of course)! I highly recommend this event to anyone interested in the Japanese breeds next year!
Here are some shots from the show... I didn't get ANY of Japanese Akitas that turned out any good. Many hands and faces in the way. :( I'm kind of disappointed.