2016 AKC NAC Preferred 4″ Preview: Small Dogs Big Hearts

The Preferred division consists of dogs jumping 4” lower than their regular jump height. Some of the dogs entered in preferred had successful careers at their regular jump height and are enjoying a break in jump height as they age. Others have competed for the entirety of their career in preferred, due to a borderline shoulder height, structure, or a plethora of other reasons.

The 4” jump height is the smallest jump height and, like its 8” regular companion, predominantly consists of papillons and corgis. With only four finalist spots available, the slightest bobble can make all the difference between finalist and non-finalist. Last year, papillon Chase and Andrea Samuels won the PNAC 4” division. Now 13 years young, Chase is going to be competing to defend his crown at this year’s competition. Chase has had a storied Agility career, including having represented the USA at the AWC in both 2005 and 2007. Papillon Buddy Lee and Mike McCoy won the height in 2012. Last year, the team won the Challengers round and finished second behind Chase. As the only two returning PNAC champions, they set the stage for an interesting duel.

Bailie photo credit: Scott Klar
photo credit: Scott Klar
From the Power 60, the speed demons of the 4” division include Pembroke Welsh corgi Bailie and Debbie McGee, papillon Abby and Lisa Cochart, papillon Emme and Beth Rogers, and papillon Zoe and Chelsea Davang. Keep an eye on daschund Zach and his handler, Shirley Mann, who had an impressive showing at the 2015 Invitationals. Another team to watch is all-American Prince Doggie and Tacarra Andrade. Prince Doggie was the first all-American to earn a MACH, once the AKC allowed mixed breeds to compete in 2010. He was the first of the all-Americans to earn every subsequent MACH through MACH 8, after which he moved to preferred.

Tamar Fuhrer

Tamar Fuhrer

Tamar began training in agility in 2012 with her all-American, Murray who went on to earn his MACH and PDCH. Today, she runs Murray in the 8" class and a young lowchen named Riff in the 12" class.