Interview with Janie Bousek, Terrier Group AKC Judge
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as an AKC Judge?
Janie Bousek: I now live in Wisconsin, but when my late husband, Wayne, and I showed and bred Wire Fox Terriers, we lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I have been in dogs for over fifty years. I have been judging for more than twenty years.
Do I have any hobbies or interests outside of purebred dogs?
Janie Bousek: I taught art in middle school, so I like to draw, and during COVID I tried my hand at oil painting. I illustrated the Fox Terrier standard and have made trophies for specialties. Like many dog people, I like to find collectibles in my breed. Wires were very popular from the 1930s through the ‘50s, so there are usually finds to be had.
What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name?
Janie Bousek: I first had a Maltese and then finished a Lhasa Apso, but I married into Wire Fox Terriers. Our Wire Fox Terrier kennel name is Bowyre, which was based on the British tradition of using part of your name and the Old English spelling of wire.
Over the years, we traveled to Britain and imported a number of good dogs to supplement our breeding program. We showed our own Wires and some clients’ dogs. We finished over seventy Wire champions and 51 homebred Champions, including BIS, Group, and Specialty winners.
Have I judged any Terrier Breed/Group Specialties?
Janie Bousek: I have judged Wires at Montgomery County Kennel Club, the Wire Fox Terrier Club of the Central States, regional Fox Terrier shows, and Fox Terriers in Australia. I am approved to judge Terriers, Toys, and Sporting.
Do I have any thoughts on the status of so many Terriers as “low entry” breeds?
Janie Bousek: There are no shortcuts with most of the coated Terrier breeds. They are not wash-and-go dogs. Learning to trim most Terriers takes time and talent to be competitive. It takes a dedication that appears to be in short supply in a society that desires instant results and gratification.
What about the overall quality of Terriers at all-breed shows? Do low entries mean low quality?
Janie Bousek: The Terrier Group will always produce top competitors with the ability to win all-breed shows, even if the numbers are small. The current top Terrier is a low entry breed. A good specimen of any breed will rise to the top, even if the breed is low entry.
Are there areas of the country where Terriers are particularly strong? Any areas where they are in trouble?
Janie Bousek: There are always pockets of strength in the Terrier breeds. It often revolves around a Terrier handler or a strong or prolific breeder in that area.
The Northeast was once a strong area for Fox Terriers, but has suffered the loss of the “old guard” of Terrier handlers, the passing of longtime Wire Fox Terrier breeder, Eve Ballich, Smooth Fox Terrier breeder, Jim Smith, and the retirement of Smooth Fox Terrier breeder, Winnie Stout. It is harder to maintain a number of dogs in today’s society. The day of the large kennels is gone, and now there are not as many small show kennels as there once was.
Do Terriers provide a challenge for judges who come from breeds in the other Groups?
Janie Bousek: If a judge comes from a breed that is indifferent about the head and expression, they are missing the “essence” of a Wire Fox Terrier and many of the other Terriers. The preparation and presentation of a coated Terrier is an art form. It should be easy for those judges who haven’t trimmed a coated Terrier to judge the outline, but that outline is not always created with the proper coat. It is, after all, a WIRE Fox Terrier!
Have there been judges who have influenced my decision to judge?
Janie Bousek: Influenced my manner of judging? Not really.
If I could share my life with only one Terrier breed, which breed would it be and why?
Janie Bousek: I like Wire Fox Terriers. They are outgoing, have a lot of personality, and have a smart appearance! But I must confess, I think the Russell Terrier has a certain charm.
Do I have a “Montgomery Memory” that best summarizes my feelings about Terriers in general?
Janie Bousek: The pilgrimage to the Montgomery County Show is a must for Terrier people. Our best year, we took one dog; an imported bitch that had won a BIS her first time out. She did finish at Montgomery County. But to win at Montgomery, it takes a good one, and the stars and moon need to be in full alignment.
Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences judging the Terrier Group?
Janie Bousek: Terrier exhibitors are a pretty polished group, but I once had to tell an exhibitor she was losing her skirt!