Press release from the Westminster Kennel Club:
Hot Springs, North Carolina resident, Michael J. Dougherty, is among the judges at the 143rd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. He will officiate over several breeds during the daytime competition held at Piers 92/94 in New York City on Monday and Tuesday, February 11-12, 2019.
Dougherty will be judging the Bichon Frises, French Bulldogs, Keeshonden, Lhasa Apsos and Tibetan Terriers on Monday and the Irish Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Scottish Terriers and Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers on Tuesday. All Best of Breed winners he selects will go on to compete in the Non-Sporting Group finals on Monday evening and the Terrier Group finals on Tuesday evening held at Madison Square Garden.
Dougherty started with his family in purebred dogs, acquiring his first Whippet in 1963. By 1974, he was approved by the American Kennel Club for a limited handler’s license, attaining all-breed handler status in 1977, while teaming with his father. Following in his father’s footsteps, Dougherty retired from professional handling to pursue a dog judging avocation in 1985.
In addition to his passion for purebred dogs, Dougherty has been in the public relations and publishing industry for over 40 years. He is currently approved by the AKC to judge Best in Show, the Hound and Terrier groups, eight Non-Sporting breeds, two Toy breeds and Junior Showmanship. This is his seventh Westminster judging assignment, including the Hound Group in 2007 and Best in Show in 2013.
All daytime preliminary breed and junior showmanship judging, agility and obedience competitions will be held at Piers 92 and 94 on the West Side of Manhattan. The Group, Best in Show and Junior Showmanship Finals judging will be held at Madison Square Garden in the evening. The dog show is preceded on Saturday, Feb. 9, by the 6th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster on Pier 94 as part of the “Meet & Compete” event which also includes AKC Meet The Breeds® on Piers 92 and 94.