AKC Announces Lifetime Achievement Award Finalists

New York, NY – The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) is proud to announce the 2015 Lifetime...

New York, NY – The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) is proud to announce the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award finalists, chosen based on nominations from AKC member clubs. 

The Awards, established in 1989, honor those who have impacted the dog world on a national level. The nine individuals below have greatly advanced the sport of purebred dogs through their dedication to breeding, exhibiting, judging, teaching and club involvement.

A winner from the three finalists in each category—Conformation, Companion Events and Performance—will be voted on by member clubs, with voting ending on September 26, 2014.  The winners will be honored at a special presentation held in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Orlando, Florida this December.

This year’s nominees are:


  • Edd E. Bivin, of Fort Worth, Texas, acquired his first purebred dog, a Pomeranian bitch, at the age of twelve. This dog introduced him to the sport and became the foundation of a breeding program that led to his producing and exhibiting top-winning Pomeranians. He began judging toy dogs at match shows at the age of fifteen and was approved to judge Pomeranians at championship point shows in the US in 1961. Edd is presently licensed to judge all sporting, working, terrier, toy, and all non-sporting breeds plus several herding and hound breeds. READ MORE.

  • Sylvia Hammarstrom of Sebastopol, California, works to improve the health, character and beauty of each generation of Giant Schnauzers bred. Sylvia’s first interest in dogs was obedience and she put more than 100 obedience titles on her own dogs. Today, Sylvia takes great pride in seeing her dogs win around the world. To date, she has produced more than 1,000 champions, and Skansen Giant Schnauzers have won more than 350 all-breed Bests in Show. READ MORE.

  • Dr. Elizabeth F. Trainor, VMD of Oxford, Massachusetts, has spent both her personal and professional adult life committed to the education of individuals interested in the perpetuation of healthy, quality, purebred dogs. She initiated her solo veterinary practice dedicated primarily to dog breeders of all breeds. She lectured at seminars nationwide on topics that included canine structure, reproduction and the use of cooled and frozen semen. By 1977 Betty had received AKC approval to judge her first four breeds, among them Portuguese Water Dogs. READ MORE.


Companion Events

  • Susan (Suzi) B. Bluford of Carmel, California, got her start in the sport of purebred dogs during the early 1970s. She has been an active participant in conformation, obedience, rally, tracking, retriever hunt tests and field trials, herding and agility. Suzi is an AKC judge, approved for all levels of AKC obedience, rally and agility, and has judged many AKC hunt tests for retrievers at the Master level. READ MORE.

  • David Nauer of Colorado Springs, Colorado, developed a love for the young sport of AKC agility in 1995 and has competed since then with his GSPs and a Papillion. He became an agility judge in 2005 and has judged the AKC National Agility Championship (NAC) twice, including the competition’s final round in Tulsa in 2013, where he crowned the National Agility Champions. Nauer has been a member of the AKC Agility Rules Advisory Committee on two occasions, and supports the mentoring of new judges. READ MORE.

  • Robert Squires of Webster, New York, started training dogs and judging obedience trials while in the Marine Corps. After his retirement, he took a job with the American Kennel Club and held several positions, including director of Obedience, where he oversaw the sports of obedience and tracking. He redesigned the obedience and tracking seminars and made them a permanent fixture in the sport. READ MORE.



  • Albert Kenneth Engle of Liverpool, Pennsylvania, retired from the US Navy as a Senior Chief Aviation Electricians Mate in July 1985 and went back to his first love - raising Basset Hounds. He and his father got their start in Bassets in the 1950s. Over his 60 years of involvement in the breed, his Basset Hounds have earned many AKC Field Trial Championship titles and a few conformation titles, in addition to BHCA Grand Field Championships and other titles at BHCA sanctioned hunt tests. Ken is an AKC field trial judge for Basset Hounds and a judge for the BHCA Hunting Performance test. READ MORE.

  • Sandy Moore of Gardnerville, Nevada, has traveled across the United States and several countries as an AKC and American Herding Breed Association (AHBA) trial judge and clinician, gaining experience in many techniques and styles of herding along the way. She currently co-owns Sheepcamp Kennel & Livestock in Gardnerville, Nevada with her business and training partner, Terri Jones. Sandy has put hundreds of herding titles and many AKC and American Herding Breed Association herding trial championships on numerous breeds. READ MORE.

  • Jeannie L. Wagner of Elyria, Ohio, established Karrycourt Irish Setters in 1973 with the aim of producing dogs that could compete in the field, show, and obedience arenas. She has titled both Irish Setters and Brittanys in obedience, hunt tests, conformation, and field trials. Jeannie also judged both hunt tests and field trials. Although retired from judging now, she continues to remains active promoting dual-purpose Irish Setters and performance events. The ISCA presented her with the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award this year. READ MORE.


For more about the nominees and the Lifetime Achievement Awards, visit the AKC website.