Melissa Scheigert

I was born into a world of pure-bred dogs, with a great grandmother who was an AKC judge, handler, breeder, and President of The Roanoke Kennel Club. I had grandparents who bred and handled poodles and a father who bred AKC champion German Shepherds, Chows and Am Staffs. I entered the ring at only nine years old as an AKC Jr. Handler. It was at that point that I learned handling abilities, how to dress appropriately for the ring, how to conduct myself in a proper manner, and how to present my dog well-groomed and properly conditioned. I continued in Jr. Showmanship for about three years. In 1989 I purchased my first AKC APBT.

In 1992 I bred my first litter of AKC registered puppies, which resulted in three dogs shown and titled, one of which produced a top ten competitor. From 1991 to 2004, I bred, owned, and handled over fifty UKC champions, and grand champions, fifteen top ten competitors, several of which held the number one and two positions. I also finished about thirty AKC champions as well as many ARBA, WWKC, IABCA and Bohemian champions. I have held executive positions on several specialty and all breed club board, including, but not limited to:

* South Florida American Terrier Association (UKC) President

* The Gold Coast Dog Club (UKC) Vice President

* Gold Coast United Dog Club, Inc. (AKC) Secretary

* Sunshine Terrier Club (UKC) Secretary/Vice President

* Florida American Staffordshire Terrier Association (AKC) Secretary

As president of SFATA, we hosted the 1999 American Pitbull Terrier Nationals. I have hosted, served as show secretary and/or ring steward on over one hundred occasions. I am passionate about education and have been involved in training and handling classes since 1998, when I taught a class for approximately six years and gained extensive knowledge under the guidance of AKC judge William Bailey. I later began handling dogs of various breeds in AKC as well as several other registries in and out of the country. I have judged several AKC sanctioned matches, where I, of course, had hands on experience with many breeds. In 2006, I became a UKC judge. I have attended dozens of seminars from handling, breeding, genetics, etc., over the years. I believe we never know enough, and there is never a time to stop listening or stop learning.  In 2011, I took my test to become an ABKC judge, and recently started judging ABKC shows. Although I am relatively new to the ABKC judging panel, I am in no way new to the sport of pure bred dogs, having experienced dogs all of my life, both in and out of the ring, I feel I have a keen eye for proper form and function, and tremendous knowledge of movement and structure. As a knowledgeable, experienced, and successful breeder, handler and judge, I look forward to learning and growing even further as part of the ABKC team of judges.