In the Adult Male Dogs – A (four years and older) category, the grand prize went to Gomon (five years old), the beloved dog of Mr. Nakano Hideaki, a company owner in Yao City, Osaka Prefecture.
Gomon was born in March 2016 at the house of Mr. Endo Takashi, Chairman of the Akita Dog Preservation Society. Mr. Nakano received the dog when it was six months old from Mr. Endo, who guaranteed that “It is a dog that could win the championship.”
Mr. Nakano has been keeping Akita dogs for 45 years and has won the Akiho Medal of Honor at the 2001 Headquarters Exhibition. He is the kind of person people around him look up to when it comes to Akita dogs.
When asked about the key to raising a good dog, Mr. Nakano quickly replied, “The most important thing is exercise.”
Mr. Nakano runs the dog by bicycle for 30 minutes in the morning and walks the dog for an hour in the evening every day, even when the weather is rainy or windy.
“Rainy days are crucial,” Mr. Nakano continued. “If the dog is not used to being outside in the elements, its ears will move when it’s startled by the external environment, which could eventually impact its performance at the real exhibition.”
Regarding dietary management, Mr. Nakano believes that feeding them with nutritionally balanced dog food is vital compared to giving them human food. Also, in summer, when the temperature rises, measures like turning on a fan for the dogs are suitable for preventing getting sick.
Gomon has been steadily improving his ranking in each category over the years, beginning with third place in Puppies – A (eight months – ten months old), and then second place in Adolescent Dogs – (ten months – 18 months old). It then leaped from second place in Young Dogs – (18 months – 30 months old) to first place in Adult Dogs – B (30 months – four years old).
This year’s exhibition is a culmination of all the efforts combined over the previous years. As a result, Gomon has been successfully trained to stand calmly and remain unfazed by the other dogs, as well as the large crowd of spectators. Mr. Saito Akira, from Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture, was the head of the judging committee. He commented, “Though all the dogs were excellent, Gomon was particularly majestic and showcased his robust physique as an Akita dog.”
“There are dogs that show continuous development to reach prestigious awards, while there are dogs that shine for just one exhibition and decline after,” said Mr. Nakano. “Gomon lived up to my expectations and performed admirably,” he said with a cheerful face.