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Breed Priorities – Shiba Inu

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266 – October, 2014

By Nikki Riggsbee

This discussion is not intended to promote fault or part judging. One should always evaluate a whole dog as a package. One develops and improves his picture of excellence by deciding what to emphasize for each breed. They say that evaluating dogs is a matter of what you will forgive. Having priorities can help with that process.

The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the native Japanese breeds. It shares many features with the Akita, also from Japan: triangular eyes, erect triangular ears that tilt forward following the arch of the neck, the high-set tail carried over the back, and clear and rich color. (Note: The Shiba is not and should not look like a little Akita.) The Shiba has distinct breed type characteristics. I was interested to see how strongly these were valued compared to more general features that make a good dog.

Twenty-five Shiba Inu experts were invited to complete a survey on their breed’s priorities: breeder-judges, the parent club judges education committee, and the parent club breed mentors. Twenty agreed to participate. In the end, fifteen completed surveys were returned, a credible number that can produce valid results.

The experts averaged over twenty years in the breed, with about half involved since or before it was recognized by AKC in 1992. Those who judge have been doing so for nine years on average, and most have judged their national specialty.

Click here to read the complete article

266 – October, 2014

About Nikki Riggsbee is approved to judge all Sporting, Hound, and Working breeds and eleven breeds in other groups. She has been active in both all-breed and specialty clubs. She is an award-winning author of four books and multiple articles, including the Breed Priorities series.

She began showing dogs in 1980 with Norwegian Elkhounds and Great Danes. Under the affix McEmn, she has owned and bred over thirty champions, with many more produced from her dogs. In addition to conformation, Nikki has also exhibited and titled Great Danes in obedience.

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