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Interview with Lori Pelletier – 2024 WKC Dog Show Breed Judge

Lori Pelletier

Interview with Lori Pelletier – 2024 WKC Dog Show Breed Judge

What does it mean to you personally to be invited to judge at this year’s historic Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show?

Lori Pelletier: I was truly honored to be asked to judge at Westminster this year. I had many emotions after I opened the invite letter. I was shocked, humbled, and honored to be considered for this assignment.

Can you share a few comments on your various Breed assignments? Please be specific.

Lori Pelletier: I had the privilege and honor of judging three breeds that I have been involved with for the past 30 years. As a breeder and exhibitor of these breeds, I feel I have a deep understanding of their Breed Standards. My assignment consisted of 18 Norwich Terriers, 13 Border Terriers, and 4 Norfolk Terriers. Norwich Terriers had the largest single entry of any Terrier at Westminster. The overall Breed entry for these breeds was deep with quality. There was good geographic representation in each breed. My Breed winners were all excellent examples of breed type.

My Best of Breed Norwich Terrier was stocky and compact, and never took a bad step. The Best of Breed Border Terrier took my breath away as he hit his free-stack and demanded to be noticed. The Border Terrier entry was deep in quality and were a pleasure to examine. It truly came down to the dog that said, “I want to be in the Group ring.” I was lucky enough to have a dog like that in my ring. The Norfolk Terrier entry was small, but again, the dogs shown had great breed type and represented the breed well. My Best of Breed winner was a very nice dog and in great condition. He represented the Norfolk Terrier well in the Group ring. As a breeder of these three breeds, I would be glad to have any of these three Breed winners in my breeding program. As a judge, I feel it is imperative to remember that I am judging breeding stock and the winners should be as close to the Breed Standard as possible.

What are your thoughts on the 2024 show year so far? On the months ahead?

Lori Pelletier: I feel dog shows are suffering overall. Numbers are down and the rankings game affects the ability for “new” dogs to be discovered. I hope, as a judge, I will always enter the ring and judge each dog equally and reward the best example of the breed on that day. I love going over dogs and learning about the breeds I am judging. The overall entry at Westminster was full of quality dogs. The Groups were some of the strongest I have seen in years. The Best in Show line-up had seven beautiful breed representatives and each one was deserving. Mrs. Kramer did an amazing job judging Best in Show and the fancy could not be happier with the outcome. The dog and handler were very deserving. The Westminster Kennel Club should be applauded for all their efforts to put on the BEST dog show in the US.