Search Menu

The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) and Royal Canin are pleased to announce the judging panel for the 2016 National Championship to be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, December 17 and Sunday, December 18, 2016.

The 2016 event will showcase the top national and international dogs 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. The show will once again take place alongside the AKC Agility Invitational and AKC Obedience Classic, with junior events in each sport.

The Brevard Kennel Club, the Central Florida Kennel Club and the Space Coast Kennel Club of Palm Bay shows will precede the National Championship at the same site on Dec. 13-15, 2016 and a day of specialty and group shows will be held Dec. 16, 2016.

Heading the panel as Best in Show judge for the 2016 National Championship is Dr. Anthony DiNardo of West Hartford, Connecticut and Dr. Robert Indeglia of Narragansett, Rhode Island will judge Best Bred-by-Exhibitor in Show.

“We are proud of our judges and particularly honored to have Tony and Bob leading the panel with their talents for our breeders and exhibitors,” said Show Chairman Dennis B. Sprung.

Dr. Anthony DiNardo, of West Hartford, Connecticut, began exhibiting dogs in 1970. “We purchased a family Great Dane for the children,” he says, “and he turned out to be a successful dog in the ring.”

Pursuing a limited breeding program, Dr. DiNardo produced a record-setting Doberman Pinscher that was number-one dog in the breed from 1982 to 1985. He has also bred winners of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America’s Top 20 and the breed’s national specialty show.

Dr. DiNardo became an AKC judge in 1980 and is approved to judge all sporting, hound, working, toy and non-sporting breeds, as well as a few terrier and herding breeds. He includes among his judging highlights Best Bred By Exhibitor in Show at The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship, the Doberman Pinscher Club of America nationals, the Rottweiler Club of America’s Top 20, and judging Best of Best in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr. DiNardo is the founder and president of the Connecticut River Working Group Association, the first AKC working-dog member club. A past president and former delegate of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, and is proud to have “contributed to many changes at the DPCA.” 

He and his wife Shelia DiNardo, have four children, all of whom grew up in the sport of dogs.

Dr. Robert Indeglia is a native New Englander, born and raised in Rhode Island. His schooling has included Johns Hopkins University and Georgetown Medical School, with further training in surgery and cardiovascular surgery at the University of Minnesota during the infancy of cardiac surgery, where he also received a PhD in surgery and biomedical engineering.  He is currently emeritus at the Miriam Hospital, a major Brown University teaching institution. Although he is now less active clinically, he served as chief of cardiac surgery and led one of the most active cardiovascular and thoracic surgery practices in New England.  He also served as chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at several private hospitals in Providence.  In addition, he served as President of the Rhode Island Heart Association and member of the New England Council of the American Heart Association.

His activities in purebred dogs began in early childhood with his parents’ involvement with Cocker Spaniels in the 1930s and 40s.  He became involved with Norwegian Elkhounds in 1960 and over the next 37 years bred 40 litters and has shown over 50 champions. He has been active in the Norwegian Elkhound Association of America and served on its board as well as President and AKC delegate in the 1970s and 1980s.  He was Chairman of the first standard revision committee in 1972.  He bred two Boxer litters in the 1960s and has shown and owned Irish Setters, Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.  His wife, Mary, a Whippet enthusiast, currently has group-winning Whippets and two Elkhound puppies, as well as an ever present Yorkie.

He began judging Elkhounds in 1971 and is currently licensed to judge the Sporting, Hound, Working and Non-Sporting Groups, and a number of Herding breeds. His outside interests include golf, as well as following all major sports. He has been a season ticket holder for the Boston Bruins hockey team and The New England Patriots football team, but his Achilles heel (except recently) has been the yearly trail of disappointment of the classic Boston Red Sox fanatic.


Judges for each of the seven variety groups and the Miscellaneous Classes are:

SPORTING – Ms. Pamela Bruce – Ontario, Canada

HOUND – Mr. Houston Clark – Decatur, Tennessee

WORKING – Mrs. Kimberly Meredith-Cavanna – Pleasant Hill, California

TERRIER – Mr. Geir Flyckt-Pedersen – Raleigh, North Carolina

TOY – Mr. Peter Green – Bowmansville, Pennsylvania

NON-SPORTING – Mr. Wayne Burton – New South Wales, Australia

HERDING – Mrs. Barbara Dempsey Alderman – Moon Township, Pennsylvania

MISCELLANEOUS CLASSES – Mr. Wayne Burton – New South Wales, Australia


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

SPORTING – Mr. Robert Vandiver – Simpsonville, South Carolina

HOUND – Mrs. Toddie Clark – Decatur, Tennessee

WORKING – Ms. Helene Nietsch – Newtown, Connecticut

TERRIER – Mr. William DeVilleneuve – Dix Hills, New York

TOY – Mrs. Gina Weiser – Weston, Missouri

NON-SPORTING – Ms. Janet Allen – Point Reyes Station, California

HERDING – Mrs. Susan Vroom – Denton, Texas


BEST JUNIOR HANDLER – Mr. Edd E. Bivin – Ft. Worth, Texas

JUNIOR PRELIMS – Mrs. Elizabeth Jordan-Nelson of Sacramento, California and Ms. Whitney Perry of East Falmouth, Massachusetts.



Sporting Group:                                            


Mr. Edd E. Bivin

Setters (English)


Mr. David Kittredge 

Spaniels (American Water), Spaniels (Boykin), Spaniels (Clumber), Spaniels (Cocker – ASCOB), Spaniels (Cocker – Black), Spaniels (Cocker – Parti Color), Spaniels (English Cocker), Spaniels (English Springer), Spaniels (Field), Spaniels (Sussex), Spaniels (Welsh Springer)


Mrs. Marion Lyons                                         

Brittanys, Retrievers (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling), Retrievers (Curly-Coated), Retrievers (Flat-Coated), Vizslas


Mrs. Paula Nykiel                                          

Lagotti Romagnoli, Pointers (German Shorthaired), Pointers (German Wirehaired), Pointers, Spinoni Italiani, Wirehaired Pointing Griffons, Wirehaired Vizslas 


Ms. Beth Sweigart                                         

Retrievers (Chesapeake), Retrievers (Labrador), Spaniels (Irish Water)


Mr. Elliott Weiss                                             

Retrievers (Golden), Setters (Gordon), Setters (Irish), Setters (Irish Red and White), Weimaraners




Hound Group:                                                 


Mr. Luc Boileau                                              

Cirnechi dell’Etna, Dachshunds (All Varieties), Sloughis


Mr. Michael Dougherty                                  

Basenjis, Borzoi, Greyhounds, Harriers, Irish Wolfhounds, Otterhounds, Plotts, Redbone Coonhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, Treeing Walker Coonhounds, Whippets


Mr. Frank Kane                                              

Ibizan Hounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks


Mrs. Barbara Pepper                                     

American English Coonhounds, Basset Hounds, Beagles (Both Varieties), Black and Tan Coonhounds, Bloodhounds, Bluetick Coonhounds, Foxhounds (American), Foxhounds (English), Petit Basset Griffon Vendéens, Pharaoh Hounds, Portuguese Podengo Pequenos


Mr. Gene Vaccaro                                         

Afghan Hounds, Salukis




Working Group:                                      


Mrs. Dorothy Collier                                       

Cane Corso, Komondorok, Kuvaszok, Leonbergers, Mastiffs, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Saint Bernards


Mrs. Sheila DiNardo                                      

Bernese Mountain Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, Tibetan Mastiffs


Mr. David Kirkland                                         

Giant Schnauzers, Standard Schnauzers


Mrs. Paula Nykiel                                          

Boerboels, Bullmastiffs


Mr. Robert Vandiver                                      

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, Black Russian Terriers, Boxers, Dogues de Bordeaux, German Pinschers, Rottweilers


Mrs. Wendy Willhauck                                   

Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Chinooks, Great Danes, Portuguese Water Dogs, Samoyeds, Siberian Huskies




Terrier Group:                                               


Mr. Edd E. Bivin                                             

Fox Terriers (Both Varieties), Parson Russell Terriers, Skye Terriers


Mr. Gary Doerge                                           

American Staffordshire Terriers, Bedlington Terriers, Bull Terriers (Both Varieties), Cesky Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Irish Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Manchester Terriers (Standard)


Ms. Kathy Ferris                                            

American Hairless Terriers, Airedale Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Welsh Terriers, West Highland White Terriers


Mr. Frank Kane                                              

Australian Terriers, Norfolk Terriers, Norwich Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers


Mr. David Kirkland                                         

Miniature Schnauzers


Ms. Beth Sweigart                                         

Border Terriers, Rat Terriers, Russell Terriers




Toy Group:                                                    


Mr. Edd E. Bivin                                             

Pomeranians, Poodles (Toy)


Mr. Andrew Brace

Italian Greyhounds


Mr. Frank Kane                                              

Miniature Pinschers, Pugs, Shih Tzu


Mr. David Kirkland                                         

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, English Toy Spaniels (King Charles & Ruby), English Toy Spaniels (Blenheim & Prince Charles), Japanese Chin, Silky Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers


Mrs. Rosalind Kramer                                    

Affenpinschers, Brussels Griffons, Toy Fox Terriers, Manchester Terriers (Toy)


Dr. Gareth Morgan-Jones                             

Chinese Cresteds, Havanese, Maltese


Ms. Margaret Reed                                        

Chihuahuas (Both Varieties), Papillons, Pekingese




Non-Sporting Group:                                      


Mr. Edd E. Bivin                                             

Cotons de Tulear, Poodles (Miniature), Poodles (Standard)


Mr. Andrew Brace                                         

Bulldogs, Chinese Shar-Pei, Lhasa Apsos, Löwchen, Tibetan Terriers


Mrs. Sheila DiNardo                                      

French Bulldogs


Mr. Gary Doerge                                           

American Eskimo Dogs, Bichon Frises, Chow Chows, Finnish Spitz, Keeshonden, Norwegian Lundehunds, Shiba Inu, Xoloitzcuintli


Ms. Pamela Bruce                                         

Boston Terriers, Dalmatians, Schipperkes, Tibetan Spaniels




Herding Group:                                               


Mr. Edd E. Bivin                                             

Australian Cattle Dogs


Mrs. Dorothy Collier                                       

Bouviers des Flandres


Mr. Frank Kane                                              

Pembroke Welsh Corgis


Ms. Minna-Liisa Koltes                                   

Beaucerons, Bergamascos, Border Collies, Briards, Canaan Dogs, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Finnish Lapphunds, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Norwegian Buhunds, Pumik, Shetland Sheepdogs, Spanish Water Dogs


Mr. Ken Rayner                                            

Australian Shepherds, Bearded Collies, Miniature American Shepherds, German Shepherd Dogs, Pyrenean Shepherds


Mrs. Sharon Redmer                                     

Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdogs, Belgian Tervuren, Berger Picards, Collies (Rough), Collies (Smooth), Old English Sheepdogs, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, Pulik, Swedish Vallhunds


*Panel subject to final approval.
Get Your Free AKC eBook

Agility for Beginners E-book

Are you looking for a fun new activity for you and your dog? Agility may just be the perfect option. In the “Agility for Beginners” e-book you will learn everything you need to know to get started.
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download