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.
I've been looking up public access spaces/places on Google Maps, rather than going for trailheads, to find some nice "hikes" closer to home. I found an old logging road near the Sandy River that is a decent walk, but wasn't exactly what I was looking for. Took Cuchulainn with me, solo, to burn some energy.
He's a great little dog - he feels very intensely and loudly, and certainly doesn't shirk away from expressing himself, which has become a bit of a double-edged sword. I do like how expressive he is (it reminds me a bit of my late Malamute), but he's sometimes inappropriate.
He's been getting better these last months, and always behaves himself when we're out together in the woods. I think it's where we're all the happiest and most relaxed.