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Meet Hound Group Judge Bill Daugherty

Hound Group Judge Bill Daugherty


Interview with Hound Group Judge Bill Daugherty


Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a judge?

Bill Daugherty: I relocated last year to Hot Springs, Arkansas, from Connecticut. I’m originally from Kentucky.

What is my original breed? What is/was my kennel name?

Bill Daugherty: My original breed is the Belgian Sheepdog. My kennel name is Bel-Reve.

Can I list a few of the notable dogs I’ve bred? Any performance or parent club titles?

Bill Daugherty: Notable dogs include Am./Can./Arg./PR Ch. Bel-Reve’s Pistolero, World Champion 1995, Puerto Rico; Am./Can. Ch. Bel-Reve’s ZZTopp, World Champion 2000, Milan; and Ch. Bel-Reve’s YYattearp. We have four Hall of Fame dogs; this is a National Club Award.

What are some of the qualities I most admire in the Hound breeds?

Bill Daugherty: The qualities that I admire most are beauty and function.

Have I judged any Hound Breed/Group Specialties?

Bill Daugherty: Yes, I have judged a Beagle Specialty and many supported entries at all-breed shows.

Hounds are, first and foremost, hunters. How does this inform my decision-making in the show ring?

Bill Daugherty: This is very important. I feel that if you know the purpose of the breed, as well as where they work (terrain and climate) and whether they work alone or in a small or large group (in this case, dependent on the game they pursue), the Standard will make itself clear.

How important are breed hallmarks in the Sighthounds? In the Scenthounds? In the “Primitive” Hounds?

Bill Daugherty: Again, form and function for all.

Would I have any advice to impart to newer judges of the Hound Breeds who come from other Groups?

Bill Daugherty: This is a wonderful Group to judge. They are all functional and can still do their various jobs today. I would also suggest that because there are many low-entry breeds in this Group, it is especially important to go to Specialties. Some of the Standards are somewhat brief (Greyhound, Pharaoh Hound, and Saluki, for example) and going to Specialties will help you understand why. (And there is a reason.) Some are much more technical (Azawakh and Cinerco, for example), and again, going to Specialties will be a great help.

In my opinion, how do today’s exhibits compare with the Hounds of the past?

Bill Daugherty: Today’s Hounds compare very well with those of the past.

When it comes to Group and Best in Show competition, do Hounds have a “leg up” or a liability? (Think Westminster.)

Bill Daugherty: I’d say it’s 50/50.

If I could share my life with only one Hound Breed, which would it be and why?

Bill Daugherty: The Treeing Walker Coonhound: A “Made in America” breed, very handsome with a great temperament. (Just smart enough, but not smarter than me.)

Just for laughs, do I have a funny story that I can share about my experiences judging the Hound Group?

Bill Daugherty: I grew up in Paris, Kentucky. In the 1960s, every summer, there was quite a large Coon Hunt. It would begin at the town hall where the handlers would take their dogs off-lead. It was just hilarious to see about 50 Coonhounds running down main street, using their voice. It took three days to gather them all up!