Interview with Kathi Brown, Terrier Group AKC Judge
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as an AKC Judge?
Kathi Brown: I live in Stow, Massachusetts. I had an Irish Setter for most of my childhood, but actually count my time in dogs from obtaining my first personally owned Scottish Terrier in 1970 and my first one that I showed in 1972. I bred, groomed, and exhibited Scottish Terriers and became a judge in 2006. Thus, 50 years in Terriers and 16 years as a Judge.
Do I have any hobbies or interests outside of purebred dogs?
Kathi Brown: Apart from purebred dogs, my major interest has been in science education and instruction; first as a teacher and staff developer, and subsequently as Massachusetts Statewide Science Coordinator at the Massachusetts Department of Education. I have continued for many years as a science and mathematics consultant. Although not necessarily a “hobby,” I read.
What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name?
Kathi Brown: My original breed has been the Scottish Terrier, most shown as Blueberry Hill.
Have I judged any Terrier Breed/Group Specialties?
Kathi Brown: I have judged many Terrier Breed and Group Specialties. My very first assignment was a Breed Specialty. Subsequently, I have had the pleasure to judge many Specialties, including two National Specialties at Montgomery County. All Terrier Specialties are a pleasure; not only for the number and quality of the dogs exhibited but because of the opportunity to focus on each breed’s unique characteristics and temperament.
Do I have any thoughts on the status of so many Terriers as “low entry” breeds?
Kathi Brown: There have always been some Terrier breeds more numerous than others. Recently, the differences are more dramatic, with past popular breeds dropping to low entry status. I feel that the learning curve and time required by many of our breeds, especially regarding coat and presentation, is too much work for many. Yes, Terrier coats require time and dedication. Fortunately, our breeders and exhibitors continue to produce quality Terriers. Many are as determined and dedicated as their breed.
What about the overall quality of Terriers at all-breed shows? Do low entries mean low quality?
Kathi Brown: Quality of Terriers tends to vary by location. Low entry does not necessarily denote low quality. It is not infrequent that a single-entry Terrier in Breed rises to the top. Terrier breeders are as tenacious as some breeds in maintaining quality and breed preservation.
Are there areas of the country where Terriers are particularly strong? Any areas where they are in trouble?
Kathi Brown: It would be wrong to generalize on areas of the country.
Do Terriers provide a challenge for judges who come from breeds in the other Groups?
Kathi Brown: All new breeds for judges provide a challenge; Terriers, likely more so. Terrier breeders and exhibitors are rightfully picky. Purpose, structure, coat, gait, temperament, and proper examination are extremely important and differ.
Have there been judges who have influenced my decision to judge? Influenced my manner of judging?
Kathi Brown: Yes, many influenced me as an exhibitor through both positive and negative experiences which we never forget. As I began to judge, I was very fortunate to have a close friend, Linda More, who provided great feedback as a judge. I still seek informed opinions from others.
If I could share my life with only one Terrier breed, which breed would it be and why?
Kathi Brown: Of course, it would be the Scottish Terrier with its unique, self-confident view of the world combined with his dedication to home and family. I have learned to love all other Terriers; Manchester, Border, Russell, and Skye are favorites. I would list Airedales, but we already have one frequently at home as a “grand-dog.”
Do I have a “Montgomery Memory” that best summarizes my feelings about Terriers in general?
Kathi Brown: So many Montgomery memories; too many to pick one. As an exhibitor, winning Best of Breed with an 8-month-old puppy that I bred and showed, and again with a much beloved veteran. Memories of judging breeds at MCKC are extremely special.