We drove up to attend the 28th Annual Beikoku Shiba Inu Aikokai Specialty Show in Gardena, CA this past Sunday. Hoku won first in his class here back in 2012 with his previous owners so I’ve been really interested in attending the event for some time. This year’s expert from the Nihonken Hozonkai (the Japanese equivalent of the AKC) was Yoshikuni Tanozaki who flew in from Japan to judge the Shibas based on Japanese breed standards.
We found a nice spot on the grass and watched as Shibas from each gender+category stepped inside the ring to be judged. First, the Shiba would stand nice and upright with their leash held straight in the air while the judge walked around them. He would then measure the Shiba’s height with a ruler and examine the inside of their mouth. And finally the handler and dog would sprightly walk in a circle before returning to the judge, who would bow and thank them for participating.
My favorite part of the show was the competition for Best Puppy. Though all the pups were all 100% certifiably adorable (especially the black and tan puppy who had a smile that could melt the coldest of hearts), the title went to the red Shiba puppy with the red leash.