The 12” height division includes several current and former international team members in the Small division, since it encompasses dogs measuring 11-14”. Although shelties are the most prevalent breed in this jump height, making up approximately half of the entries, there are several other breeds right up with them when it comes to speed.
Three of the five 2015 AWC Small team members will be competing at this year’s NAC: shelties Dreamer and Abbey Beasley, Racket (alternate) and Kim Line-Berget, and Skecher and Barb Davis, who is the defending NAC champion, having also earned the crown in 2013. Race and Laura Dolan are not entered this year, and Kathie Leggett will be providing commentary for the NAC instead of competing with Shout. Like the 16” and 26” divisions, a top performance at NAC can play an important role in the world team selection process as last year’s the non-win on dogs selected for AWC were Skecher and Shout–the NAC champion and vice champion. Unlike the large dogs, where the “nebulous” selection criteria may have resulted in a redistribution of the 26” class to the 20, 24 and 26” divisions, the small dogs are required to jump their regular AKC height, so world team contenders have never been lumped into an elective class. Instead, they’re all here.
Aside from Skecher, miniature poodle Bliss and Cassandra Schmidt are the only former NAC champion in the 12” division this year. Bliss won the championship in 2014 as a two-year old. Race won the NAC in 2012. The 2011 champion, Sparkle, handled by Patti Gagnon, will be competing in the 8” Preferred division.Besides Bliss, there are two other miniature poodle teams that have represented the United States on the world stage and will be competing at this year’s NAC: Dakota and Dave Pappone and Idgie and Terry Herman, both of whom have also been selected for the 2016 European Open team. Other teams to look out for are miniature American shepherd Pixel and Ami Sheffield, lowchen Dino and Don Roback, and Chinese crested Ziggy and Estelle Robinson. Pixel has been selected to the 2016 Europen Open team. Dino posted several 1st place runs at the 2015 AKC Agility Invitational. Ziggy was a 2014 and 2015 NAC finalist and 2014 and 2015 European Open team member.
Another interesting component to the 12” class will be the split between ISC and Premier. In addition to a cash payout, the winner of the 14” ISC sweepstakes will earn a spot on the 2016 European Open team if they have not already been selected. Nearly 25% of the 12” class elected the ISC sweepstakes over Premier, the vast majority of them in the 14” class.