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Interview with Desmond J. Murphy – 2023 MCKC Dog Show Breed Judge

Desmond J. Murphy


Interview with Desmond J. Murphy – 2023 MCKC Dog Show Breed Judge

What does it mean to be invited to judge at one of the most important dog shows in the world—Montgomery?

I have been judging for 47 years and I’ve been very active in the sport for 65 years. I have judged in well over 50 countries. I have judged Best in Show at the two largest shows in the Western Hemisphere, Morris and Essex and the AKC National Championship Show.

Coming from a Terrier background, the Montgomery weekend is the most exciting weekend of the year. It is the only weekend that some breeds see very large entries; we have small shows where the Terrier entry is around 20 Terriers.


Can I share my thoughts on my Breed assignment?

This year, I had the pleasure of judging 83 Norwich Terriers at the National. 60 years ago, I was breeding Norwich when Norwich and Norfolk were one breed. About 20 years ago, I judged the National when, like all the breeds, the entry was much larger.

I was so surprised at the strong depth of quality this year. The Winners Dog, Reserve Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, and Reserve Winners Bitch were all outstanding pups. They all will have a promising future.

There were only four Awards of Merit. Many very high-quality dogs went without a ribbon.

The Breed winner looked so much like all four of the top winners in the classes. He had done very well in the classes last year and is just starting his campaign. I make him to be one of the best Norwich I have ever seen.


In my opinion, what does the future hold for the Terrier Breeds in America and around the world?

For Terrier lovers, Montgomery is the most exciting weekend of the year. People come from all over the World to see the Greatest Terrier Show in the World. This year, 24 breeds held their National with Montgomery. I am already looking forward to judging Lakeland Terriers next year. I judged Lakelands over 20 years ago, and 66 years ago I owned a Lakeland.

Terriers all of the world have top quality, but the numbers are dropping. People do not have the time or ability to trim them. We are seeing fewer and fewer young handlers who show Terriers. Luckily, we have a large family, the Waters, and several of them do a GREAT job preparing and showing Terriers. Several of the younger brothers are still in their teens.

I have not missed Montgomery in over 60 years and have such great memories.