Independent Specialty Judge
I can’t remember when I was without a dog; however, a chance encounter in 1963 with James Wright, a local judge, started me off in the world of the dog show fancy. The first match show ribbon won by my Irish Setter, Lady, hooked me for life.
I credit the time spent as an assistant handler at Marianne Cook’s sporting dog kennel with furthering my understanding why a dog has to be built a certain way to do what its breed was meant to do. I later became an AKC licensed handler, and was approved as an AKC judge in 1974. My wife and I still show our own dogs, and this makes me appreciate the physical, mental, emotional, and financial effort it takes for every exhibitor to attend a show, and that reminds me that each one deserves the judges’ best look.
I am currently approved to judge BIS, Sporting Group, Hound Group, Terrier Group, Dobermans, Bouviers, Samoyeds, and Juniors. I am a former AKC Delegate.
In addition to my first show breed, Irish Setters, I have also owned Beagles, English Springer Spaniels, English Setters, English Cockers, Flat-Coated Retrievers, Pointers, and a Border Terrier. I have bred champions in Irish Setters, English Springers, Beagles, and English Cockers I was one of the founding members of the Irish Setter Club of Long Island and its second President, and have been active in many all-breed clubs throughout the years. I was the proud owner-handler of Ch. Bayberry’s Sonnet, a National Specialty BOS winner and one of the top-winning Irish Setter bitches of all time.
I received my Master’s degree from Empire State College, and my “real world” job is as a National Sales Training Manager of a very large company. I live happily with my wife, Shelly, our Irish Setter and our Beagle.
Otterhound National Specialty Sweepstakes Judge
Laura is an AKC Breeder of Merit, retired Member of the Professional Handlers Association and an AKC Conformation judge. Laura is a second-generation breeder, focusing on German Wirehaired Pointers under the Scotia Kennel Banner. Her background as a newspaper reporter, marketing rep and researcher/writer for audio driving tours has served her well in her current adventure as host of the Pure Dog Talk podcast, a popular breeder and exhibitor education platform.
Laura's Scotian GWPs have earned well over 100 titles, in the show ring, in hunt tests, field trials and NAVHDA (including a CH/VC/UDX and multiple CH/UT dogs); in agility, tracking, obedience and rally. Her dedication to breeding dual-purpose dogs reflects a stated goal of preserving the all-weather, rugged, sound-minded versatile gun dog the breed's founders envisioned.
She spent her childhood hunting with her family, training field trial Labs with games of baseball to improve their blind retrieves and teaching Clumber Spaniels how to swim. She has run numerous German Wirehaired Pointers to hunt test and NAVHDA titles and participated actively in horseback pointing breed field trials. Join Laura at www.puredogtalk.com to listen to more than 250 hours of educational input, insight, interviews and ideas.
Otterhound National Specialty Judge
I am so appreciative of this invitation – which is a great honor – to judge the Otterhound Club of America’s National Specialty this fall. Truly I am humbled!
I grew up with dogs that included several mixed breeds, a
St Bernard and then an Irish Wolfhound. Then as an adult, I have owned and bred Basset Hounds. I came to Basset Hounds initially when my then-partner and I were trying to find a dog we could agree on. Big dog (for me). Short stature (for my partner). Initially our Bassets were rescue dogs. Then seeking a healthy, well-socialized pet, we were introduced to a breeder who is to this day my mentor, and obtained Phoebe, who we agreed to “try showing for a year”. That was in 1997. Phoebe (CH. Sasquatch’s Equinox Moon) became our foundation bitch and led to a true love affair not only with the breed, with the show ring, and ultimately with the process of breeding and raising dogs from their start as puppies to their old age.
My love of Bassets led to my love of hounds in general, and I set about learning as much as I could about all the hound breeds. I am indebted to my mentors and to long-time breeders who have share their knowledge and love of their breeds with me. I am currently approved for the Hound group, and for five working breeds.
I met my first Otterhounds at an all-breed show in Dallas, Texas in about 2013 – they were in a pack of about five or six, and I was so impressed by their unique mix of nobility and good humor, and completely taken in by their amiability and great big heads! I’ve been chasing after them ever since whenever I’ve had the chance at shows and on one particularly lucky day in my own home town. I think the hound’s owners were as shocked that I recognized their dog as an Otterhound as I was to find an Otterhound hanging out on the patio of my local Starbucks! I was thrilled when the OHCA National Specialty was held in Pleasanton, California where I spent all day being mentored, learning and grinning.
I am looking forward to going over the beautiful Otterhounds that I expect to find this fall, and probably won’t stop grinning all day again! My goal in the ring is to have every exhibitor feel that their dog was given a good and fair evaluation and the opportunity to showcase their strengths. I will do my best to give you that experience at your National Specialty and I thank you sincerely for the trust you are placing in me.
The Otterhound Club of America, Inc.
The Otterhound Club of America, Inc. (OHCA) was founded in 1960 with the purpose to promote, protect and preserve the Otterhound breed. It is recognized by the American Kennel Club as the official parent club of the Otterhounds in the US.
The OHCA sponsors an annual National Specialty, Regional Specialties and Supported Entry shows around the country. Most of these events also offer additional companion events, such as tracking, rally, obedience, Good Canine Citizen and Trick Dog trials and other activities.
This website will provide event-specific information, links to facility and superintendents sites to assist in planning the travel, submitting show and trial entries, as well as useful information.
Please visit the Otterhound Club of America, Inc. website for the Breed and Club information:
Breed Standard & History
Life with an Otterhound
Otterhound Breeders in the US
Rescue & Rehoming
Club Information: Board of Directors & Club Committees
Worldwide Otterhound Database
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