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Harold “Red” Tatro III – AKC National Championship 2023 Terrier Group Judge

Head photo of Harold “Red” Tatro III - AKC National Championship 2023 Terrier Group Judge


Interview with Harold “Red” Tatro III – AKC National Championship 2023 Terrier Group Judge

Can you describe your reaction to receiving an invitation to judge the Terrier Group at the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin?

Harold “Red” Tatro III: It is a thrill and a great honor to be asked to judge at the AKC National Championship.


What does it mean to judge a Group at the only all-breed show organized directly by the American Kennel Club?

Harold “Red” Tatro III: Same as No. 1: a great honor to judge the Group at the largest dog show in the US.


In your opinion, how does this show differ from other AKC events?

Harold “Red” Tatro III: Besides being the largest dog show of the year, it is a gathering of most of the best dogs being shown in each breed. Being televised on national TV and including all the breeds is a wonderful educational opportunity for purebred dogs and the AKC.


What were you thinking or feeling moments before you stepped into the center of the Group ring?

Harold “Red” Tatro III: I was quite anxious to see who each of the Breed winners was in the Group.


Was there a heightened energy coming from the dog and handler teams? Did you feel the energy of the spectators?

Harold “Red” Tatro III: I think the dogs and handlers were on their best game. I don’t actually take in the spectators while I am judging the Groups.


How challenging was this assignment? Can you share your selection process?

Harold “Red” Tatro III: The depth of quality in this Terrier Group was as good as any I have seen or judged. I will say it was very difficult to limit the short list to just 10 dogs and even harder to only have four ribbons to award.


Do you have a word or two about your Group winner? About the dogs that placed?

Harold “Red” Tatro III: I would rather not make comments about the specific winners as I don’t think that is appropriate, other than to say they were all very deserving of their wins.


A dog show of this magnitude is a monumental undertaking. Is there anything you’d like to say on behalf of the AKC and the show’s sponsors?

Harold “Red” Tatro III: The AKC and Royal Canin have fine-tuned this event to be spectacular. Their attention to detail is second to none. It is a testimony to all of the AKC staff that work hard to organize and run this event that makes it so special. Kudos to each and every person who participated.


Are there specific ways in which this show furthers the cause of purebred dogs?

Harold “Red” Tatro III: Oh, yes. I think the nationally televised show reaches millions of the general public and helps to educate them about the positive aspects of our purebred and purpose-bred dogs. I have been contacted by several friends from high school and from my time in the Air Force who I haven’t seen in many, many years. They saw me and watched the show and were amazed at ALL the different breeds of dog that exist!


Now that it’s over, what are your thoughts on the 2023 show year? Any thoughts on the year ahead?

Harold “Red” Tatro III: Well, on January 1 we all start the process again; more dogs to show, breedings to be planned, litters to raise, dogs to show, and shows to judge!