Interview with Cory Crayton, Breeder of Titan Akitas
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Cory Crayton: I live just outside of Athens, Georgia, in Lexington, Georgia. I have had dogs all my life and been in Akitas for 18 years.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Cory Crayton: My kennel name is Titan Akitas. I currently have eight show dogs, one of which is retired.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Cory Crayton: Noteworthy winners include Int’l BIS CH/AKC BOSS GCHS Kuroi Kao’s Titan GreatGatsby and CH Titan’s Man on Fire.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Cory Crayton: Influential sires and dams include Torazo’s You Know You Want Me ROM, CH Countryside’s Hey There Troublemaker, and CH Torazo’s Majestic Ruler at Titan.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Cory Crayton: I have covered, heavy-duty kennels and runs for the adults. Puppies are whelped in a barn that’s on the property. They stay 100 percent of the time with mom until they are weaned at 4-5 weeks old. Still, they stay mostly with her until they leave for homes at 8 weeks of age. As soon as they are walking, I start training them to potty outside. I handle them and manipulate their feet, head, and legs from the beginning to make sure they are used to being handled.
What is my “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do I make my decisions?
Cory Crayton: I watch them move naturally and with their natural expressions. The best way for me to do this is by watching them play with their littermates and mom. I don’t start seriously evaluating show worthiness until 6 weeks of age, at minimum.
How do I prepare my pups for the show ring? Does my breed require any special preparation?
Cory Crayton: In some ways, I start to prepare them for the show ring from birth. That work is great preparation for regular life as well as for a show dog’s life. Once I know the potential show candidates, I start teaching them to stack and remain still for a physical examination.
Can I share my thoughts on how my breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Cory Crayton: I don’t have any thoughts on how others present. I focus on what I want to bring and add to the competition and the breed in general.
Are there any health-related concerns within my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Cory Crayton: As with a lot of large breed dogs, hip dysplasia can happen. I’ve been fortunate to not have this issue early in life. Eye issues and bloat can show up on occasion.
In my opinion, is my breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Cory Crayton: The breed is in decent condition overall. I do see a trend toward prettiness over soundness. These are Working Dogs, so structure, athleticism, confidence, etc. should be far more important than creating particular colors/markings and pretty heads. What I would consider mediocre-to-bad rears are more prevalent than I’ve seen in the past.
Is my breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Cory Crayton: Yes, but with the right leadership. These are not cuddly lap dogs, though that’s what people want them to be because they look like teddy bears (particularly as puppies). They need and thrive with firm but fair leadership, a confident leader, and someone who is not trying to make them something they are not; lap dogs, dog park dogs, etc.
Do I feel that my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Cory Crayton: Yes, there are some good preservation breeders out there. Fortunately, the breed remains fairly rare but that’s becoming less and less the case. There’s a growing popularity of this breed because of their beauty, but this is not the breed for a lot of people who are interested in them.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with my breed?
Cory Crayton: This breed is notorious for being independent, and there are many examples I’ve had of this. Recently, one of my girls was competing in a speed competition. Just as she was 10 feet from the finish line, she decided the other dogs outside the ring were more interesting and fun than running through the finish line. Needless to say, she didn’t win the competition that day.
Are you looking for an Akita puppy?
The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder? Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.
Want to help rescue and re-home an Akita dog?
Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.
Akita Dog Breed Magazine
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Read and learn more about the courageous Akita dog breed with articles and information in our Akita Dog Breed Magazine.
Akita Breed Magazine - Showsight