2018 National Championship Judging Panel Now Available

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 Proctor – 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 and Mr. 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 DiSiena

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 akc.org 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



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)
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
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
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
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
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
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.”