NEW YORK, NY (February 7, 2018) – The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) is pleased to announce the judging panel for the 2018 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin to be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16, 2018.

The 2018 event will showcase the top national and international canine athletes and will also include popular attractions such as the Best Bred-by-Exhibitor competition, the AKC National Owner-Handled Series Finals, AKC Meet the Breeds® and the NADD/AKC Dock Diving National Championship.  Returning this year is the AKC Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes, which had a very successful inaugural competition in 2017. The show will once again take place alongside the AKC Agility Invitational and AKC Obedience Classic, with junior events in each sport.

Heading the panel as Best in Show judge for the 2018 National Championship is Mr. Elliott B. Weiss of Novelty, Ohio and Mr. Edd E. Bivin of Fort Worth, Texas will judge Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Show.

“This year’s panel of judges is exceptional, and with Elliott and Edd at the helm it is sure to be an exciting competition,” said Show Chairman Dennis B. Sprung.

Judges for the seven variety groups and the Miscellaneous Classes at the AKC National Championship are:


SPORTING – Mr. Thomas H. Bradley III – Watertown, New York

HOUND – Mr. William P. Shelton – Pomona, California

WORKING – Dr. Anthony D. DiNardo – West Hartford, Connecticut

TERRIER – Dr. Jerry Klein – Chicago, Illinois

TOY – Ms. Elizabeth Sweigart – Bowmansville, Pennsylvania

NON-SPORTING – Mrs. Barbara Dempsey Alderman – Moon Township, Pennsylvania

HERDING – Ms. Dorothy N. Collier – Sapphire, North Carolina

MISCELLANEOUS CLASSES – Sr. Juan Miranda – Mexico City, Mexico



BEST JUNIOR HANDLER – Ms. Amy Booth – Fowlerville, Michigan

JUNIOR PRELIMS – Ms. Patricia Anne Keenan and Mrs. Stacy Threlfall


Judges for the seven Bred-by-Exhibitor variety groups are:


SPORTING – Mrs. Danelle M. Brown – Georgetown, Texas

HOUND – Mr. Michael Szabo – Wheaton, Illinois

WORKING – Mr. Terry Stacy – Chapel Hill, North Carolina

TERRIER – Mrs. Rosalind Kramer – Charlottesville, Virginia

TOY –Mr. Dana P. Cline – Greenwood, South Carolina

NON-SPORTING – Ms. Patricia Procter – Southbury, Connecticut

HERDING – Ms. Linda Robey – High Ridge, Missouri


The National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes will be held on Friday, December 14th.  Best in Stakes will be judged by an elite panel of three judges: Mr. Dennis B. Sprung, Mr. Edd E. Bivin andMr. Elliott B. Weiss.


Breed and group judges for the AKC-Royal Canin National All-Breed Puppy and Junior Stakes are:


SPORTING GROUP – Mrs. Karolynne M. McAteer

SPORTING BREEDS – Ms. Pluis Davern and Mrs. Penny Desiena


HOUND GROUP – Patricia M. Cruz

HOUND BREEDS – Mr. D. Scott Pfeil and Sr. Juan Miranda


WORKING GROUP – Mr. Jay Richardson

WORKING BREEDS – Ms. Theresa L. Hundt and Mr. William C. Stebbins


TERRIER GROUP – Mr. Peter Green

TERRIER BREEDS – Ms. Patricia Keenan and Mr. Bruce Schwartz


TOY GROUP – Mr. Terry Stacy

TOY BREEDS – Mrs. Rosalind Kramer and Mr. Mark Lucas


NON-SPORTING GROUP – Mrs. Jacqueline L. Stacy

NON-SPORTING BREEDS – Ms. Evalyn Gregory and Mrs. Mary Wuest


HERDING GROUP – Mr. William C. Stebbins

HERDING BREEDS – Mrs. Danelle M. Brown & Mr. Thomas W. Coen


*See for specific breed judging assignments


Breed and group judges for the 2018 National Owner-Handled Series are:


BEST IN SHOW: Mr. Charles L. Olvis




TERRIER BREEDS AND GROUP: Mrs. Charlotte P. Patterson

TOY BREEDS AND GROUP: Mr. Douglas A. Johnson


HERDING BREEDS AND GROUP: Mrs. Elizabeth Muthard



sporting Group: Breed Assignments:


Mrs. Barbara Dempsey Alderman            Spaniels (Cocker – ASCOB), Spaniels (Cocker – Black), Spaniels (Cocker – Parti Color)


Mr. Euguene Blake            Spaniels (Field)


Ms. Pluis Davern            Setters (English), Setters (Gordon), Spaniels (English Cocker)


Mr. Michael Faulkner            Brittanys, Pointers, Retrievers (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling), Spaniels (American Water), Spaniels (Boykin), Spaniels (Clumber), Spaniels (Irish Water), Spaniels (Welsh Springer)


Mr. Jamie Hubbard            Retrievers (Labrador)


Mr. Douglas A. Johnson            Retrievers (Curly-Coated), Retrievers (Flat-Coated), Spinoni Italiani, Vizslas, Weimaraners


Mr. Carl Gene Liepmann            Retrievers (Golden)


Mrs. Kathy Lorentzen            Pointers (German Shorthaired), Pointers (German Wirehaired) Retrievers (Chesapeake Bay), Spaniels (Sussex)


Mr. Charles L. Olvis            Lagotti Romagnolli, Nederlandse Kooikerhondjes, Setters (Irish), Setters (Irish Red & White), Wirehaired Vizslas, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons


Ms. Linda Robey            Spaniels (English Springer)



Hound Group:                                                Breed Assignments:


Mr. Thomas W. Coen            Dachshunds (All Varieties)


Dr. Anthony D. DiNardo            Bloodhounds, Cirnechi dell’Etna, Otterhounds, Grand Basset Griffon Vendéens, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens, Portuguese Podengo Pequenos, Red Bone Coonhounds


Mrs. Valerie Hamilton            Borzoi, Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Salukis


Ms. Patricia Anne Keenan             Beagles (both varieties)


Mr. Thomas L. Kirstein            American English Coonhounds, Basenjis, Black and Tan Coonhounds, Bluetick Coonhounds, Foxhounds (American), Foxhounds (English), Harriers, Plott Hounds, Treeing Walker Coonhounds, Whippets


Ms. Patricia W. Laurans            Basset Hounds


Sr. Juan Miranda            Afghan Hounds, Ibizan Hounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Scottish Deehounds, Sloughis


Mr. Jay Richardson            Norwegian Elkhounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks


WORKING GROUP:                                                 Breed Assignments:


Mrs. Barbara Dempsey Alderman            Akitas, Komondorok, Kuvaszok, Leonbergers, Rottweilers


Mrs. Dorothy N. Collier            Bernese Mountain Dogs, Bullmastiffs, Cane Corso, Chinooks, Dogues de Bordeaux, Saint Bernards, Tibetan Mastiffs


Dr. Thomas M. Davies            Siberian Huskies


Ms. Evalyn Gregory            Boxers


Ms. Theresa L. Hundt            Alaskan Malamutes, Boerboels, Portuguese Water Dogs, Samoyeds


Mr. Ronald H. Menaker            Giant Schnauzers, Standard Schnauzers


Mr. William C. Stebbins            Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Black Russian Terriers, German Pinschers, Great Danes, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Mastiffs


Mr. Burton J. Yamada            Doberman Pinschers, Great Pyrenees, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Newfoundlands


TERRIER GROUP:                                                Breed Assignments:


Mr. Clay Coady            American Hairless Terriers, Border Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Parson Russell Terriers, Rat Terriers, Russell Terriers, Welsh Terriers


Ms. Patricia Anne Keenan             Bull Terriers (both varieties), Cesky Terriers, Fox Terriers (both varieties), Miniature Bull Terriers, Skye Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, West Highland White Terriers


Mr. Ronald H. Menaker            Bedlington Terriers


Mr. Jay Richardson            American Staffordshire Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Standard Manchester Terriers


Mr. Bruce R. Schwartz            Airedale Terriers, Australian Terriers, Irish Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers



TOY GROUP:                                                            Breed Assignments:


Mrs. Barbara Dempsey Alderman            Cavalier King Charles Spaniels


Mr. Eugene Blake            Chihuahuas (both varieties), Havanese, Poodles (Toy)


Ms. Pamela DeHetre            Brussels Griffons, Miniature Pinschers, Toy Manchester Terriers


Dr. Kenneth DiLorenzo            Chinese Cresteds, Papillons


Ms. Evalyn Gregory            Affenpinschers, Maltese, Pekingese, Pomeranians, Yorkshire Terriers


Mrs. Rosalind Kramer            English Toy Spaniels (King Charles & Ruby), English Toy Spaniels (Blenheim & Prince Charles), Japanese Chin, Pugs, Silky Terriers, Toy Fox Terriers


Ms. Patricia W. Laurans                                    Italian Greyhounds, Shih Tzus


NON-SPORTING GROUP:                                    Breed Assignments:


Mr. Eugene Blake            Poodles (Miniature)


Dr. Joyce Dandridge            Boston Terriers, Chow Chows, Finnish Spitz, Schipperkes, Tibetan Spaniels


Mr. Allen L. Odom            American Eskimo Dogs, Chinese Shar-Pei, Shiba Inu, Xoloitzcuintli


Mrs. Charlotte Patterson            Bichon Frises, Bulldogs, Coton de Tulear, Lhasa Apsos, Löwchen, Norwegian Lundehunds, Tibetan Terriers


Dr. John A. Reeve-Newson            French Bulldogs, Poodles (Standard)


Mr. Jay Richardson            Dalmatians, Keeshonden


HERDING GROUP:                                                Breed Assignments:


Mrs. Barbara Dempsey Alderman            Berger Picards


Mrs. Danelle M. Brown            Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, German Shepherd Dogs, Pembroke Welsh Corgis


Mr. Dana P. Cline            Australian Shepherds, Pyrenean Shepherds


Mrs. Nioma Coen            Collies (Rough), Collies (Smooth), Shetland Sheepdogs


Mr. Thomas W. Coen            Beaucerons, Old English Sheepdogs, Pulik, Pumik


Dr. Thomas M. Davies            Bearded Collies, Briards, Finnish Lapphunds, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Miniature American Shepherds, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs


Mrs. Lorna Menaker            Border Collies, Canaan Dogs


Mr. William P. Shelton            Australian Cattle Dogs, Bergamascos, Bouviers des Flandres, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Norwegian Buhunds, Spanish Water Dogs, Swedish Vallhunds


*Panel subject to final approval.


About Best in Show judge 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 has judged the Terrier, Sporting, and Toy groups, and Best in Show (2010), at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Mr. Weiss owns, exhibits, and occasionally breeds English Setters under the Wyndswept banner.


About Best Bred-By-Exhibitor judge Edd E. Bivin:

Edd E. Bivin, of Fort Worth, Texas, acquired his first purebred dog at age 12. The Pomeranian bitch introduced him to the sport of dogs and became the foundation of a breeding program that led to breeding and exhibiting top-winning Pomeranians.


From this base Mr. Bivin was to first judge toy dogs at match shows at age 15. He was approved to judge Pomeranians at U.S. championship point shows in 1961. Mr. Bivin is presently approved to judge all sporting breeds, all working breeds, all terrier breeds, all toy breeds, all non-sporting breeds and several herding and hound breeds. He and his wife, Irene, enjoyed breeding and exhibiting of Doberman Pinschers and Dachshunds during her lifetime.


“It has been my privilege to judge many all-breed and specialty shows in the United States and abroad,” Mr. Bivin says, “among those being many of the internationally famous ones, including Best in Show at Westminster, 1999 and Best in Show at the AKC National Championship in 2012. A great joy has been the judging of many national specialty shows of various breeds in the groups for which I am approved.”