Nippo National Show

Nihon Ken Hozonkai (Nippo) holds one national show each year in the fall. This is a very big show for the Shiba, Kishu, and Shikoku native breeds. The Shiba is presented in a number of up to 600-700 or more. The quality of the Shiba on this show is very high. To enter this show, your dog has to be qualified on regional shows or local Nippo shows.

The Nippo judges, which the dogs are judged of, are all well educated and with a large knowledge and expertise about the breed. A Nippo judges education takes about 12 years. Nippo classes begin at six months and are divided by age group and sex. Nippo judges are limited to an entry of fifty per class. When each class is filled, a new class is opened and once again subdivided by age into A, B and C groups. Sometimes you even see a "D" group in show results. All fifty dogs enter the ring at the same time. In addition, all classes are judge simultaneously with a judge for every ring. The judgment of the Shibas is divided in two parts: first the individual evaluation, where the ring judge has one or two assistant judges to help with checking bites and testicles, counting teeth and measuring for height. Each dog is also checked for any cosmetic alteration. All the information is recordet on a separate score sheet for every dog.

I the meantime the ring judge orders one Shiba at a time to the center of the ring where it is required to stand facing the judge for an average of one to three minutes. The dog must be trained to self stock and should not move a muscle, including ears or eyes, during the examination. The judges evaluate expression, then asks it to move. A dog not trained to present himself has zero chance of winning.

After this and a short break, the final judging begins. All of the dogs is called back to the rings. The judges then checks their notes, take a few last looks and is placing the dogs.

Since the classes are so large that they must be broken into divisions, all the judges in the classes is choosing the overall winner, just as multiple judges is choosing the bitch and dog winners, the bred winners (Shiba, Kishu and Shikoku), and finally the Best in Show (Prime Ministers Award) Winner. The choosing is very democratic done by voting among the judges for the top winners.

Here you have a link to some pictures and critiques of some of the winning Shibas of the Nippo National Shows in the period 1991-1995.