Interview with Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone, Breeder of Chelsea’s Akitas
Where do we live? How many years in dogs? How many years as breeders?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone: We live in Deerfield, Michigan. We have been in dogs since 1998. Our first dog is the kennel namesake, “Chelsea.”
We have been breeding now for 12 years; our first litter in 2010. We breed for ourselves to show and we only breed if an improvement can be made. Our motto is “Temperament and Soundness Above All Else.”
What is our kennel name? How many dogs do we currently keep?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone: Our kennel name is Chelsea’s Akitas. We currently have eight Akitas (two males and six females), though we recently had two that just passed. We don’t rehome them after they have had their litters; they are with us for life and no female has been bred more than twice.
Which show dogs from the past have been our noteworthy winners?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone: Our GCHB Chelsea’s Keeper of the Family Jewels, “Julius,” is a multi-Group placing, two-time Top Twenty Qualifier, and 2017 Westminster Select Dog.
Which have been our most influential sires and dams?
Our most influential sires and dams include:
- GCH Buckridge’s Showtime Celebri-Te ROMX CGC TDI AOM, “Major”
- CH Celebri-Te’s Prime Time Closer, “Emmy”
Can we talk a bit about our facilities? Where are our puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone:We are hands-on from the time they are whelped. I am right there to assist the mother. We handle and talk with them from the time they are born and we help momma raise the pups. The pups are whelped in our home. We sleep right in the room with them 24/7 until they are old enough to care for and protect themselves from potential harm.
They remain inside and with mom until they are weaned at five weeks of age when we begin their introduction to the bigger world. Pups are acclimated to noises and sounds like a vacuum cleaner and such, so they are prepared for the new world that awaits them. We have indoor kennels for our older dogs, with full heat and air-conditioning, where they sleep and stay when they are not outside in the exercise yard. We have a few exercise pens that span more than a half-acre.
What is our “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do we make our decisions?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone:We grade and evaluate puppies to the AKC standard at 8 weeks of age.
How do we prepare our pups for the show ring? Does our breed require any special preparation?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone:To prepare our pups for the show ring, there is tons of socialization and conformation classes. We take them to dog shows and give them lots of practice so that they have a good understanding of what they will experience and to be confident in themselves. There is nothing special required.
Can we share our thoughts on how our breed is currently presented in the show ring?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone:We are fairly satisfied. I think movement should be weighted more heavily by the judges.
Are there any health-related concerns within our breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone:Concerns are hip dysplasia, eyes, skin, and thyroid. We give supplements for coat and skin.
In our opinion, is our breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone:Yes, we are doing very well. We, however, remain vigilant.
Is our breed well-suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own our breed?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone: They are not for everyone. The breed is very loyal and protective. Akitas love affection, but on their own terms “like a cat.” They are very intelligent, so much so that they will tend to train you rather than the opposite. Owners need to have a strong and steady temperament, and must be the leader of the pack.
Do we feel that our breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone: Currently, yes. We are very concerned about the increased number of backyard breeders. Buyer must beware!
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing we’ve ever experienced with our breed?
Shawn & DeeLynn Piccone: Thinking you’ve lost a dog, only to find out that they have burrowed/tunneled under the barn.
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
Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.
Read and learn more about the courageous Akita dog breed with articles and information in our Akita Dog Breed Magazine.
Akita Breed Magazine - Showsight