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Meet The Pros:  The Breeders, Judges, and Handlers Who Shape The DogSport!



Mr. Hisayoshi Kadowaki

Exclusive 2005 Interview by Barbara J. Andrews


Cesar to his friends, Mr. Kadowaki is a Japan KC All Breed Judge, an authority on Akitas and Shibas, Toy Breed specialist, and President of the JKC Chihuahua Club.


Hisayoshi Kadowaki is particularly respected for his knowledge of Toy and native Japanese breeds. He is President of the Japanese Kennel Club, Japan's national Chihuahua Club and considered world-wide as a Specialist in Toys.


His father is a Japanese Breeds Specialist Judge so Cesar grew up in dogs, beginning his judging career when he was only twenty-three years old. He has judged Akita and Shibas in the U.K., Belgium, and Italy, and Toy breeds in Germany, Iran, and China.


Mr. Kadowaki spends about twenty percent of his time traveling to the U.K. and Europe, and is always in the States for the Westminster Dog Show and the Chihuahua National Specialty. He has exhibited at both events so he has a special affinity for exhibitors and is noted for his kindness and courtesy to all.


At home in Kuwana-city Japan, he operates a very successful Import-Export business and owns a busy Grooming Shop. He also plans a very elaborate grooming shop in Beijing China, explaining that the people there are very anxious for good dogs and services for those dogs. He must be right because the Beijing dog tax per dog is equivalent to 300 U.S. dollars!


Beijing is one of the world's largest cities and we both acknowledged most of the canine population had been recently exterminated by the government. He asked "How many you think?" My guess of "maybe as many as a thousand?" made him laugh. He furnished a sobering statistic, saying "More, maybe over three hundred thousand."


His ability to speak, read, and write English is a great advantage that enables him to communicate with dog people in many countries. He can also read Chinese because the characters are so similar to Japanese writing and he is currently helping a group of Chinese Dog Show Organizers. They are anxious to obtain top dogs and to make arrangements to have their shows judged by the best possible judges. As Vice President of Central Japan Judges' Association and the President Asian Division for the International Judges' Assoc. and Registry (IJAR) Mr. Kadowaki is very well positioned to help the Chinese organizers reach their goals.


Mr. Kadowaki is married and has three daughters. One of his lovely daughters, seventeen year old Rina Kadowaki, is a dog specialist translator. She hopes to continue her education to become a professional translator and in the meantime, she is especially gifted in her ability to communicate in the words used by dog people all over the world.


Mr. Kadowaki breeds Chihuahua, Shiba and Dachsund and his father bred Akitas in addition to Shibas. In fact, his father was the top Shiba Breeder in the U.K. for many years and exported the first show quality Akitas and Shibas to the U.K. and to Poland.


As we looked at his magazines from 1973 and 1974 (Japan's equivalent to our Dog World), Mr. Kadowaki pointed out that the Akitas then "were more American type" than they are today in Japan. He was surprised and pleased to find an advertisement of a dog he had handled in the ring! The dog was indeed more "American" in type and Cesar nodded, "Yes, that is what we bred. Big and strong Akita." He seemed reluctant to comment on the Japanese - American Akita controversy so we did not press him.


Cesar is an active member of the Shiba Club Of Great Britain and is also top Shiba kennel in the U.K. His outstanding Chihuahua male, Multiple Champion Suvikasteen Rollo, handled by Peter Green in the U.S., is an International and multiple Specialty winner. In March of 2000, Cesar took the little dog home following a very successful campaign in the States. He laughs with pride and says "Rollo is making babies in Japan. He very good at that, never misses."


Asked to name his favorite show, he replied without hesitation "Always, the World Show. It is borderless and I want to know good dogs and which breeder, which country. That is the best place to learn. Also Crufts in England and Westminster in United States." He will be in Milan in June of 2000 and Portugal the following year.


Curious about his priorities as a judge and how they might differ from those of judges in Europe, Latin America, or the U.S., TheDogPlace asked the age-old question: What do you look at first, when you are looking at your lineup of dogs?


"Most important is head type and expression" he replied. We then asked, in what order do you place these three important parts of evaluating dogs; Type, Temperament, Soundness? He thought a moment, not sure of the question. It was repeated differently and he then responded, quickly and with surety "Type is number one, Soundness is number two, and very important, Temperament is number three."


Rolling right along, TheDogPlace asked how he would rate genetic health in the previous equation. He laughed, amused at what he must have thought to be an absurd question, then, still chuckling, he said "I would not know of the pedigree in the ring so it is only dog's health as it looks then."


As he travels such great distances, we asked if he had any secrete travel tips to share. He shook his head negatively as he considered a reply. "I say, no sleep before leaving Japan, then sleep in airplane ok." He pointed to his watch. "And no change time on watch, stay on my time." He is away from home for extended periods, yet never seems burdened with luggage, is always impeccably dressed and very well organized. Perhaps he did not understand the question or perhaps his travel tips are indeed secret!


What is the state of judging in Japan today? He smiled serenely. Try again. How would you rate the judging in Japan today on a scale of one to ten? He sighed, "Six or seven." Then deciding to elaborate without prompting, he said "More judges do better when overseas because they never know faces. Must look only at dog, overseas experience is good because judge must know good dog, not handler. Dog show is important too and handler must present dog well. In China, they don't "handle" dog yet. Judge must decide on dog although judges can teach - show handler so can better tell quality in dog."


Does that mean that a judge can help the person handling the dog? "Ummm yes. In China I help Chihuahua owner move dog that behave badly. Then I put another in front and then dog moved better and he won."


What is the best educational tool for judges? "Best educational tool is to visit top kennels and go to specialties. Talk with good breeders." What about seminars? He nodded, "AKC give judges seminar in Tokyo. We learned very much the AKC way, very interesting. They very good, very nice to teach." It did not seem that the AKC seminar included breed quality teaching so we returned instead to the original question.


"If I think a dog is very good quality, I ask breeder how to breed that? How to keep (editor's note: genetically speaking) coat, body, things like that. Many judges have no connection with breeders."


What does that mean? "In Japan Kennel Club say no talk with handlers. But that's not so good for judges. Many exhibitors want to talk with judge and judge want to talk to people but not supposed to do that."


Can you ever talk to exhibitors or handlers? "Oh yes but only when not judging. If I look (watch) ringside, people come to talk and we can have good study for judge. Some judges still have not talk with good breeders, sometimes very difficult. It is difficult. Very good friend might show to me but not win because I must be fair to all the people and so people, they know that. I can talk to them and they not win and they understand."


How does judging differ in Japan? Can judges show their dogs? "In Japan, you can not show your dog and judge. If you handle your dog, then you can not judge for six months." No matter how we approached that question, the answer came out the same so we assume that means if a judge shows his own dog, he is ineligible to judge for a period of six months.


Mr. Kadowaki went on to explain that Japan has JKC, Nippo, Akiho, and several other smaller registries. "The Dachshund is number one most popular breed. 60,000 registered out of about 400,000 dogs." He said Nippo only registers Japanese breeds but interestingly, not the Japanese Chin or Japanese Spitz. "They are not considered "natural breeds" such as the Big Size, the Akita; the Middle Size, the Kishu and Shiko Ku, and the Small Size, the Shiba."


So Mr. Kadowaki, what advice can you give other judges when they judge at home or abroad? "I ask myself why this dog is first and this dog is second. I want to know in my mind why that dog deserves to go first. I always think it out that way, is very important. It does not matter where it is I am judging." What about critiques, do you do written critiques? "We only do them for Group and Best In Show critiques in Japan. We then give them to the Kennel Club Man."


Sir, what would you say is most important to judging? "I am always a breeder of Chihuahua and other breeds. I am sometimes a judge."


There are NO language barriers. What makes a top judge was just said in one short sentence.


TheDogPlace thanks Mr. Kadowaki for the interview, conducted in our American offices May 24, 2000.


*Note* - No portion of this interview may be quoted or in any way disseminated without express written permission from or


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