The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) is pleased to announce the judging panel for the 2021 AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin to be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, December 18 and Sunday, December 19, 2021.
The 2021 event will showcase the top canine athletes and will also include popular attractions such as the Best Bred-by-Exhibitor competition, the AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals, and the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes. The show will once again take place alongside the AKC Agility Invitational and the Obedience Classic, with junior events in Conformation, Agility, Obedience and Rally.
Leading the charge as Best in Show judge for the 2021 National Championship is Mr. Dana P. Cline of Albany, GA and Mr. Elliott B. Weiss of Novelty, OH will judge Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Show. The judges for the National Owner-Handled Series Finals and the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes will be announced at a later date.
“The AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin continues to be a world-class event, and with Dana and Elliott heading the panel, this year will be no different,” said Show Chairman Dennis B. Sprung. “The 2021 event promises to be an exciting competition for breeders, exhibitors and judges.”
Judges for the seven variety groups and the Miscellaneous Classes at the AKC National Championship are:
SPORTING – Elizabeth “Beth” Sweigart – Bowmansville, PA
HOUND – Mr. Luc Boileau – Lake Geneva, WI
WORKING – Mr. Norman B. Kenney – Crossroads, TX
TERRIER – Mr. Edd E. Bivin – Ft. Worth, TX
TOY – Mr. James A. Moses – Roswell, GA
NON-SPORTING – Mrs. Susan St. John Brown – Divide, CO
HERDING – Mr. Charles L. Olvis – Lake Wales, FL
MISCELLANEOUS CLASSES – Pamela S. Lambie – Phoenix, AZ
BEST JUNIOR HANDLER – Mrs. Debbie L. Melgreen – Yates City, IL
JUNIOR PRELIMS – Miss Kimberly A. Langlands and Jeffrey M. Hanlin, Jr.
Judges for the seven Bred-by-Exhibitor variety groups are:
SPORTING – Mrs. Debbie L. Melgreen – Yates City, IL
HOUND – Pamela S. Lambie – Phoenix, AZ
WORKING – Mr. Terry Stacy – Chapel Hill, NC
TERRIER – Mr. Lawrence Cornelius – Palm Springs, CA
TOY – Dr. Gareth Morgan-Jones – Auburn, AL
NON-SPORTING – Mr. Timothy Catterson – New Castle, IN
HERDING – Mrs. Cathy H. Daugherty – Hot Springs, AR
BREED JUDGING FOR THE AKC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP:
|Sporting Group||Breed Assignments|
|Ms. Pluis Davern||Barbets, Brittanys, Lagotti Romagnoli, Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes, Spaniels (American Water), Spaniels (Boykin), Spaniels (Clumber), Spaniels (Cocker – all varieties), Spaniels (English Cocker), Spinoni Italiani, Wirehaired Vizslas|
|Dr. Donald Sturz Jr.||Pointers, Pointers (German Wirehaired), Retrievers (Curly Coated), Setters (English), Vizslas, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons|
|Pamela S. Lambie||Pointers (German Shorthaired), Spaniels (English Springer), Weimaraners|
|Mr. Elliott B. Weiss||Retrievers (Chesapeake Bay), Setters (Gordon, Irish & Irish Red and White), Spaniels (Field), Spaniels (Irish Water), Spaniels (Sussex), Spaniels (Welsh Springer)|
|Mr. Carl Gene Liepmann||Retrievers (Flat Coated), Retrievers (Labrador), Retrievers (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling)|
|Mr. Jamie Hubbard||Retrievers (Golden)|
|hound group||breed assignments|
|Mr. Eugene Blake||Afghan Hounds, Black and Tan Coonhounds, Bluetick Coonhounds, Borzois, Cirnechi dell’Etna, Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens, Harriers, Ibizan Hounds, Otterhounds|
|Mr. Terry Stacy||American English Coonhounds, Foxhound (American), Basset Hounds, Plott Hounds, Redbone Coonhounds, Treeing Walker Coonhounds|
|Mr. Harold “Red” Tatro III||Azawakhs, Dachshunds (all varieties), Foxhound (English), Sloughis|
|Mr. Timothy Catterson||Basenjis, Pharaoh Hounds, Portuguese Podengo Pequenos, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds|
|Mr. Thomas S. Powers||Beagles (both varieties), Irish Wolfhounds, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens|
|Mr. Clay Coady||Bloodhounds, Greyhounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Whippets|
|Mr. Norman B. Kenney||Rhodesian Ridgebacks|
|working group||breed assignments|
|Mr. Edd E. Bivin||Akitas, Black Russian Terriers, Boerboels, Boxers, Chinooks, Newfoundlands|
|Mrs. Abigail (Abby) S. Patrizio||Alaskan Malamutes, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Danes, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs|
|Mr. William (Bill) P. Shelton||Bullmastiffs, Cane Corsos, Great Pyrenees, Neopolitan Mastiffs, Portuguese Water Dogs, Siberian Huskies|
|Mr. James A. Moses||Doberman Pinschers|
|Mr. Gary K. Newton||Dogos Argentinos, Dogues de Bordeaux, German Pinschers, Giant Schnauzers, Komondorok, Kuvaszok, Leonbergers, Standard Schnauzers|
|Pamela S. Lambie||Mastiffs|
|Mr. Darryl Vice||Rottweilers, Saint Bernards, Samoyeds, Tibetan Mastiffs|
|terrier group||breed assignments|
|Mr. Clay Coady||Airedale Terriers|
|Elizabeth “Beth” Sweigart||American Hairless Terriers, Australian Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Border Terriers, Manchester Terriers (Standard), Rat Terriers, Sealyham Terriers|
|Jamie Hubbard||American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers (colored & white), Irish Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Russell Terriers, Skye Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers|
|Mrs. Rosalind Kramer||Cairn Terriers|
|Mr. Elliott B. Weiss||Cesky Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Fox Terriers (Wire), Miniature Bull Terriers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Parson Russell Terriers, Welsh Terriers, West Highland White Terriers|
|Mrs. Bergit Coady-Kabel||Fox Terriers (Smooth), Miniature Schnauzers, Scottish Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers|
|Mr. Thomas S. Powers||Glen of Imaal Terriers|
|Mr. Harold “Red” Tatro III||Lakeland Terriers|
|TOY GROUP||Breed Assignments|
|Mr. Timothy Catterson||Affenpinschers, Biewer Terriers,|
|Mr. Edd E. Bivin||Brussels Griffons, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pomeranians|
|Ms. Lauren A. Payne||Chihuahuas (both varieties), Pugs|
|Mrs. Rosalind Kramer||Chinese Cresteds, English Toy Spaniels (both varieties), Japanese Chins, Toy Manchester Terriers, Miniature Pinschers, Pekingese|
|Ms. Wendy L. Paquette||Havanese, Maltese, Shih Tzus, Silky Terriers|
|Mr. Darryl Vice||Italian Greyhounds, Papillons, Toy Fox Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers|
|Mr. Clay Coady||Poodles (Toy)|
|NON-SPORTING GROUP||Breed Assignments|
|Mr. Robin L. Stansell||American Eskimo Dogs, Boston Terriers, Coton de Tulear, Keeshonden, Norwegian Lundehunds, Shiba Inus|
|Ms. Wendy L. Paquette||Bichon Frises|
|Mr. Philip Capozzolo||Bulldogs, Chow Chows, French Bulldogs|
|Stacey La Forge||Chinese Shar-Pei, Finnish Spitz, Lhasa Apsos, Löwchens, Tibetan Terriers|
|Mr. Norman B. Kenney||Dalmatians, Schipperkes, Tibetan Spaniels, Xoloitzcuintli|
|Mr. Clay Coady||Poodles (Miniature & Standard)|
|HERDING GROUP||Breed Assignments|
|Mr. James A. Moses||Australian Cattle Dogs, Bergamasco Sheepdogs, Briards, Canaan Dogs, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Pyrenean Shepherds|
|Mrs. Nioma Stoner Coen||Australian Shepherds|
|Ms. Minna-Liisa Koltes||Bearded Collies, Berger Picards, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Old English Sheepdogs, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Swedish Vallhunds|
|Mr. Robert Stein||Beaucerons, Finnish Lapphunds, Norwegian Buhunds, Pulik, Pumik, Shetland Sheepdogs, Spanish Water Dogs|
|Mrs. Debbie L. Melgreen||Belgian Lakenois, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervurens, Bouviers des Flandres, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs|
|Mr. Thomas Coen||Border Collies, Collies (both varieties), Miniature American Shepherds|
|Mr. Edd E. Bivin||German Shepherd Dogs|
*Panel subject to final approval.
About Best in Show judge Mr. Dana P. Cline:
Dana P. Cline, of Albany, GA, received his first Great Dane from his parents in the late 1960’s, and from that moment he knew that he would have a lifetime of involvement with this breed and with dogs.
As a young child he exhibited in 4H, training in both obedience and conformation. He found the dog show world in his teenage years, spending nearly every weekend traveling to shows and helping professional handlers. While his main interest was always in Great Danes, he worked hard to learn about other breeds and to become more active in all breeds. All of his weekends spent at dogs shows eventually led him to a career as a professional handler, where he specialized in Danes and sight hounds, but also handling various other breeds along the way.
Breeding has always been a favorite aspect of this sport for Mr. Cline and he currently breeds and exhibits Tibetan Mastiffs and Italian Greyhounds. He has bred nearly 100 champions in a variety of breeds, primarily Great Danes, but also Borzoi, German Wirehaired Pointers, Miniature Bull Terriers, Beagles, Italian Greyhounds, and Tibetan Mastiffs and is also a Breeder of Merit. He was a long-time member of the Great Dane Club of America and is currently a member of The American Tibetan Mastiff Association.
Mr Cline is an All-Breed Judge. He has judged in a number of foreign countries, multiple National Specialties, as well as many of the country’s top shows. He was also the Recipient of the 2017 AKC Judge of the Year.
About Best Bred-By-Exhibitor judge Mr. Elliott B. Weiss:
Elliott B. Weiss, of Novelty, Ohio, was born in New York City and grew up in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. The very first show he attended was the 1956 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. It was love at first sight.
He began exhibiting dogs in 1963, and from 1965 through 1968 he was an apprentice handler to the late Ted Young Jr. Mr. Weiss became a licensed professional handler in 1969. In a 1985 Kennel Review poll, the fancy voted Mr. Weiss among the top 10 handlers of the time. He has owned and bred Cocker Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, Giant Schnauzers, Pointers, and English Setters. He was a charter member and founding president of the Monticello New York Kennel Club.
Mr. Weiss retired from handling in 1993 and began his judging career the following year. He is approved to judge Best in Show; Sporting, Hound, Terrier, Toy and Non-Sporting groups; and several additional breeds from the Working and Herding groups. He judged Best in Show in 2018 and the Terrier group in 2020 at the AKC National Championship. Mr. Weiss owns, exhibits, and occasionally breeds English Setters under the Wyndswept banner.