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  #11  
Old 03-16-2007, 09:11 PM
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Meekas is spoiled too OTCH. I just love that dog, she is so loyal and always makes me feel like a million bucks when she sees me. She's DA, but funny, she's great with Tosca. We brought them together from when Tosca was really small. Sometimes she puts Tosca in her place but other than that, they do really well together. It's kind of surprising.
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  #12  
Old 03-17-2007, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by House Of Jurai View Post
I would be curious to know who you are talking about. I am not aware of any pure JA that did well at last years nationals. Hell, I am aware of only one that showed and that dog was from Italy.
I would just be curious to know what you deam to be "Japanese Expression" because on a AA, that would be totally incorrect.


As to the question at hand, I would assume you mean American Akitas? I can't really tell you who a "good" breeder would be as that would depend on your own definition. I can say that if I where to buy I would look to Sondaisa, Crown Royal and Kofuku-No.
The breeder she [Tempura Tantrum] is speaking of, is in fact, Sondaisa - the dog is Cuervo.

As for the Japanese expression, she knows the difference between JA and AA. It is pretty impossible to be involved in Akitas or Shibas without being aware of the huge difference between the breeds; if you're in Akitas the breed split is a contemporary issue, if you're in Shibas it's an issue you don't ever want to face.

She was not discussing a JA, because again, the breeder she was referring to was Sondaisa. We both (Tempura Tantrum and I) agree that Japanese expression in the JA and AA is a totally different thing. What is correct on the AA is very often completely incorrect on the JA, and vice versa. What she did mean, I believe, is that there *is* something Japanese, if you will, about this particular line, though it is not to be defined as the same "Japanese-ness" found in the Japanese Akita. It is in the cleanness and tightness of the lines, the ear pitch, a bit of refinement, and the balance of the overall dog. We have found that there are a lot of AAs with "mastiff-y" heads, droopy eyes, looser flews, overdone, etc etc. That isn't a problem at all in these dogs that we admire, and there is a Japanese flavor to them which is very pleasurable, yet not incorrect for the A.A. which indeed is generally a more massive dog with greater bone, a completely different acceptability in the range of colors, etc than the JA. Perhaps you could say that we define this "Japanese-ness" as being an apparent Japanese flavor, a certain conformational aesthetic, in comparison to some other AAs.

She didn't mean to imply that the Japanese expression was the same type that she would discuss in reference to JAs or to Shibas, but I suppose she didn't go into that much detail because most people aren't really familiar with the JA in this country at all, and have no idea that there are people arguing about whether or not there is merit in splitting the breed. We're both familiar with the JA and AA and their differences (we've had our hands on both), and familiar with the fact that it would be *very* difficult to finish a JA over here. I can see how this could all get confusing, but I assure you, she didn't mean that the Japanese expression was the same - it was more of the "flavor" idea she was going for.
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:06 PM
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Thanks Sayuri- that's exactly what I was talking about.

Sorry I came across as confusing to you Jurai, my attempt to streamline a post (so I wouldn't end up writing my usual novel), apparently just made it more confusing.

I have no delusions about the differences in terms of expression between Japanese Akita Inu and American Akitas. The "Japanese expression" I was speaking of that I so admire in Colleen's Sondaisa Akitas, is more a nod to the Japanese AESTHETIC that I do believe is present in her animals. The clean, unfettered lines- the simplicity, if you will. My greatest pet peeve in American Akitas is dogs that lean toward looking like Tosa with prick ears and double coats. I don't forgive dogs with too much flew, or overly deepset and hooded eyes. I don't see ANY of that in Sondaisa dogs- which is what I was trying to get across.

I think you were a bit confused as well, when I was talking about dogs that were successful in the show ring. I don't personally know any Japanese Akitas that have been successful. The dogs I was referring to were once again, of Sondaisa breeding. Cuervo, as my sister (Sayuri), explained, and more recently Sauza and Shimmer. I'm also very much liking how McGraw has turned out- he's one of my new favorites.


I've learned a great deal about correct American type from Colleen, and a great deal about Japanese type from Leslie Engen (of San Jo Shibas), who owns a Japanese Akita Inu import. Japanese Akitas really do lean toward looking like giant Shibas (especially the reds complete with urajiro), and her boy Ki, is no exception. It's worth noting that she doesn't bother showing him in AKC, as she knows he would be unsuccessful. It is my belief that AKC needs to get with the program and recognize the breed split as the Akita's native country, and FCI already do. Ki however, is a fantastic perimeter and guard dog- succesfully warding off coyotes, cougars, and anyone silly enough to "call upon" the house unannounced.

Sorry about the word choice in my previous post, Jurai. I hope this clears things up (in terms of my understanding of the native Japanese breeds), for you.
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:07 PM
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Can you post photos of the two Akita types? I would love to see them.
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:11 PM
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I'm gonna give you links- because I'm using a Mac...and basically have no idea how to deal with the photo functions on this thing at the moment, LOL.

For American Akitas- my personal pick for the best of the best:

www.sondaisakitas.com

I'll post a link for Japanese Akitas in a couple of minutes
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  #16  
Old 03-17-2007, 10:34 PM
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Holy Cow. The Americans look more like bears!
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:53 PM
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Wow! They do like bears!
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  #18  
Old 03-18-2007, 12:22 AM
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I do really like McGraw. I have to admit that as a breed on a whole the AA doesn't excite me, but I do love stunning black and whites like him. At one time, Black and White was an acceptable JA color but has long since vanished.
I guess I have a hard time seeing anything Japanese at all about the AA, but I do get that Sondaisa on a whole does seem to have produced pretty refined dogs. I think Majick Sun is another breeder of a very simular type.
Aside from that I no longer discuss specific breeders as results may very and the only person I can tell you 100% on is me.
I also get the full shudder down my back when I hear (or read) that JA's are simular in type to Shiba's. Grrrrr Everything is different other than the fact that they both come in sesame and red and white. A pretty Shiba is very pretty, allthough I see so few preetty ones. I really do prefer the NIPPO type. But the temperment of the average Shiba just doesn't float my boat, but that again is just me.


I don't know how to post pics but if you want to see some pics of the most beautiful JA in the world go to www.kajitsuno.it and check out the wonder Kakusui. A once in a lifetime dog IMHO.
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:15 AM
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I would say that Japanese Akitas and Shibas are similar in that the build of both is more refined than in comparison to that of the American Akita, which is more bear-like. Also, the fact that the reds have urajiro- which is most notably absent from AAs. And finally the distinct lack of masking on the Japanese Akitas, that is practically omnipresent in American Akitas (the result of influence from GSDs, and mastiffs in the beginnings of the breed split).

I'm not generally a fan of "pretty" Shibas, as that is a real pitfall of most American breeders. They really aren't supposed to be "pretty" or "cute," but have a distinct natural nobility and sobriety about them. Nothing should be exaggerated. I always have to giggle when people say that they prefer NIPPO type because there isn't supposed to be a DIFFERENCE between Shibas exhibited in NIPPO and any other place in the world. Even in NIPPO you will see very obvious REGIONAL differences between Shibas from all over Japan- none of which are any better or worse than the other. What you're probably seeing when you say you prefer a "NIPPO type" Shiba is the fact that quite simply, quality in the US and elsewhere is still not up to par with Japanese standards. There isn't enough money in the world yet that would convince a breeder of a NIPPO national winner to part with their dog- believe, it's been tried!

That's why I stick to breeders that do manage to get the best Japanese imports they possibly can- Leslie Engen is well regarded to be the at the top of her game in this nation, by many Japanese breeders. She recently obtained (as a gift from a breeder), the top winning JKC Shiba of all time. She also obtained the outstanding Japanese import Tenkuu go Etchuu go Wakasugisou- the top producing Shiba of all time in this nation. If you see a photo of this dog you'll realize right away what a Shiba is supposed to be- nothing "pretty" about him: Just sobering strength. He's been a huge boon to this nation.

I'll have to post a photo later.

And I agree- Kakusai is lovely.
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  #20  
Old 03-18-2007, 01:48 AM
Sayuri Sayuri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by House Of Jurai View Post
I do really like McGraw. I have to admit that as a breed on a whole the AA doesn't excite me, but I do love stunning black and whites like him. At one time, Black and White was an acceptable JA color but has long since vanished.
I guess I have a hard time seeing anything Japanese at all about the AA, but I do get that Sondaisa on a whole does seem to have produced pretty refined dogs. I think Majick Sun is another breeder of a very simular type.
Aside from that I no longer discuss specific breeders as results may very and the only person I can tell you 100% on is me.
I also get the full shudder down my back when I hear (or read) that JA's are simular in type to Shiba's. Grrrrr Everything is different other than the fact that they both come in sesame and red and white. A pretty Shiba is very pretty, allthough I see so few preetty ones. I really do prefer the NIPPO type. But the temperment of the average Shiba just doesn't float my boat, but that again is just me.


I don't know how to post pics but if you want to see some pics of the most beautiful JA in the world go to www.kajitsuno.it and check out the wonder Kakusui. A once in a lifetime dog IMHO.
I love McGraw - he is a wonderful dog in every way - he's got it all.

I agree that Majik Sun is similar in type - probably because they work closely in concert with each other, and co-own many of their dogs. .

Both a quality AA and a quality JA excite me - but that is just the way that I am. (If it's a beautiful dog in any breed, it tends to get my heart pumping and send chills down my spine). I gravitate naturally toward "nordic-style" breeds, and for this reason, I find both JA and AAs attractive - not because I think they are particularly similar, but because, of their own merits, I find them both to be gorgeous breeds.

People in Shibas tend to talk about the way that Shibas are more similar to JA for a certain reason - we're most of us quite aware that there truly ARE huge differences, and we're by no means blind or naive to the fact. The tendency really stems from the way that the Shiba was introduced to this nation, as it's really a pretty recent breed here. Not a lot of people knew what to think of it, and as many of the first Shiba fanciers were initially Akita breeders, they would speak of the Shiba as "the little Akita" - it too was Japanese, and there were some basic conformational and temperamental traits they shared (*basic* of course - as anyone that is involved with both will tell you there really ARE huge differences). This rubbed Japanese Akita and Shiba breeders the wrong way, because they saw how different the AA was from their JA and from the Shiba, and people were cautioned to, if they *were* going to make a basic comparison, at least look at the JA and remember that there was greater similarity there - no one wanted the Shiba to end up pinto with a black mask and heavy bone, after all. Basically, it was something of a remedial attempt at reeducation - there was fear that people who were breeding AA AND Shibas, would look to their AAs as sort of a drawing board to compare their Shibas to. This was a hint to move in a different direction. I

f you're going to pick one, I guess, the thinking is that it's the JA is more similar. They both have a more evident Japanese expression than the AA too.

Anyway, tt was also a "quick" way to try to describe to someone what a Shiba was to someone with absolutely no conception of the breed at all (when, obviously, a Shiba was not present to who the individual). People would ask about the breed, and the moment someone said the breed's name, it seemed (and still does - sigh) that the first thing they would say was, "Oh so it's one of those little lap dogs." My guess is that they associate it with the word "Shih Tzu," and assume it's either the same breed, or that it must be similar, because the name, in their opinion, sounds similar (foreign language, two words, the "Shi" sound). Obviously, the Shiba is far more similar to an Akita than it is to a Shih Tzu, so people would say - "well, it's kind of like a smaller Akita," fully aware that there really wasn't a great degree of similarity there, but also aware that when speaking to someone that has that initial impression of the breed, there's really no point in going into a detailed description of the differences of the JA and the AA, and then the Shiba.

I can understand why such a comment would aggravate a serious fancier though; you know each point of conformation and each subtle nuance, so even the most basic of similarities has been obliterated for you. It must be kind of like when people say that Shibas look like foxes to me - uh huh...riiiight.

I'll have to agree that "pretty" is not what we are looking for in Shibas, nor is "cute." If that is what you see, you have not seen a Shiba that is correct in type - perhaps it is pleasing in some way to the eye, but it is, nevertheless, incorrect. We are all working hard to change that here, but as my sister pointed out, one reason that, as you said, you like "NIPPO" Shibas better is that that IS where the good stock comes from - the country of origin. NIPPO breeders and the breeders in this country that know their stuff are very cautious to remind everyone that there is no such thing as a "NIPPO" Shiba or an "American" Shiba - they are all just Shibas, and they are either good examples of the breed, or not. We would be horrified to think that there could eventually be a split, "NIPPO" vs "American," for example - the goal is simply to produce the most typey Shiba possible.

Again, this is why so many very successful breeders in this breed import from Japan - because we are attempting to promote type in the breed. We hold shows with NIPPO judges - the "Classic" - for this reason. We want confirmation from Japanese judges that we are heading in the right direction, and instruction for how we can improve. I think all of us recognize that in many ways, this breed has a bit of a journey to travel in terms of type and quality here - but in the same breath, I can say that we are improving by *leaps* and *bounds.* People are very fervently interested in education and in really knowing and applying the standard. Many make pilgrimages to Japan, and seminars are taken seriously and are popular. This is truly a new breed for American breeders, and as such, it stands to reason that we are working to attain the same level of type and proficiency that the country of origin has.

I am *very* picky about Shibas, what I like, and what I don't like. It's not necessarily easy to please me - but I'm truly proud of how hard the American breeders are working to learn.

Here then, is Taro (I figured I'd take the liberty and post him myself):
Ch. Tenkuu Go Etchuu Wakasugisou


Now *there* is a dog that demonstrates kan-i, soboku, and ryosei.
Not "cute." Not "pretty."
A dog that demonstrates natural beauty and sobriety, temperance, unaffected forthrightness, spirited boldness, and good nature. He is one dog that I can see ALL of that in.

Last edited by Sayuri; 03-18-2007 at 02:09 AM.
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