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Mr. David J. Kirkland

MR. DAVID J. KIRKLAND of Sanford, North Carolina, attended his first dog show in 1973, the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Starting in Obedience, Mr. Kirkland thereafter acquired his first show dog, a Miniature Schnauzer. He has bred, owned, and handled many to their championship titles, including Group and National Specialty winners. In 1994, Mr. Kirkland acquired his first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and continues in the breed today. He has also owned and bred multiple champions in Japanese Chin and Tibetan Spaniels. Mr. Kirkland became an AKC judge in 1995 and is currently approved to judge the Hound, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting, and Herding groups, Schnauzers, Junior Showmanship, and Best in Show.

He has judged at the AKC National Championship show four times, including the Non-Sporting Group in 2019. During his tenure in the dog fancy, Mr. Kirkland has enjoyed serving as an Officer, Board Member, Show Chairman, and JEC Chairman for several all-breed and specialty clubs. Retired after 27 years with GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, he shares his life with his partner Stephen and spends his time judging dog shows worldwide and working in the music ministry at his church. This is his sixth Westminster assignment, which included judging the Toy Group in 2018.