An AKC Sighthound Judge's Profile: JoAnne M. Buehler
Sighthound Review wants to provide more information about the Sighthound specialist judges. We know that many of them have a long and distinguished background in Sighthounds, and we want our readers to learn more about them, too. Following are some questions we asked …
Please list your name, home city and state, kennel name (if any) and primary breed/breeds that you are active in. Which breeds are you now AKC approved for (provisionally or regularly), and which others do you plan to apply for next, if any?
JoAnne M. Buehler, Sankhya Afghan Hounds, Washington, DC. AKC approved to judge: Hound Group, Sporting Group, 24 Working breeds, 6 Herding breeds, 3 Toy breeds, 2 Non-Sporting breeds and Kerry Blue Terriers. I plan to apply for the balance of the Working Group, several more Herding Breeds, a few more Terrier Breeds, Non-Sporting Breeds and Toy Breeds.
Afghan Hound SBIS Ch. Sankhya Chances Are
Chance's dam, Ch. Sushila's Love Is ("Passion").
Please outline your involvement in dogs, especially Sighthounds: breeding, showing, coursing, other activities.
I have been involved with, bred and shown Afghan Hounds since 1979. I have also put ASFA coursing titles on my dogs, and some have had success in obedience as well (without me!). I am active in both all-breed and breed clubs, holding many seats, including President and Show Chair.
How many dogs do you have at home now? Co-owning? Are you actively breeding? What do you consider your greatest accomplishments in the dog world? Please mention at least one memorable dog that you showed, bred, owned or were otherwise associated with.
I no longer have any dogs with me, though I do still occasionally co-breed Afghan Hounds, I generally end up signing off the puppies by the time they start to show.
My biggest accomplishment is certainly the strength of my pedigrees. SBIS Ch. Sankhya Chances Are, a.k.a. “Chance”, is prominent throughout my pedigrees and thus dogs around the world. He and his mother (Passion) committed me fully into the dog show world years ago. The strength of this pedigree produced a top-winning dog a few year ago, SBIS Ch. Exlysta Aries Ciel Noir, a.k.a. “Ryder,” sired by Ch. Sankhya Defys Grvity Exlysta, whose pedigree crosses to “Chance” in all four quadrants.
Left, SBIS Ch. Exlysta Aries Ciel Noir; right, his itter brother SBS Ch. Exlysta Reflects The Sky.
When did you first start thinking about judging? Why did you want to become a judge? What has your experience of the AKC judges' approval system been so far?
I thought for a long time that I might want to judge someday in the future. I truly enjoyed my sweepstakes and match assignments. In 2002, I realized that “someday” was rapidly approaching and decided to apply for only Afghan Hounds. I never really thought about judging any other breed, although I had shown several other breeds for friends; it just happened over time. I truly love all the various breeds I judge, but my heart belongs to Afghan Hounds and Sighthounds.
The judges’ approval system changes rather frequently. I have experienced several renditions of it. I really believe they are trying to make AKC judges the best they can.
Has judging been everything you hoped for? Any reservations or drawbacks? What has been your favorite assignment or best experience so far? Any interesting foreign judging?
Everything you hope for; I am not sure I really ever had any idea what it would be like, but for the most part I totally enjoy judging — the dogs and the people. Finding an exciting new dog of any breed and of any age, one that won’t leave your memory soon — is always a plus! Finding out all the winners are from a “family” of dogs after an assignment is rewarding.
Some of my most memorable judging assignments have been specialty assignments, Sighthounds and others. Judging at the German Sighthound-only shows or the Melbourne, Australia, Spring Shows, followed by the New Zealand Hound Show; then there was judging Kerry Blue Terriers just before the National.
What are the most important features you are looking for when judging, in general and for any of the breeds you are approved for? Is there anything you see as a real problem in any or all of these breeds?
I am always looking for the complete “package” — the dog that fits the standard in all ways in one complete look!
Please mention at least one dog in each Sighthound breed you judge that you feel is a really worthy representatives of that breed. (Preferably dogs you have seen yourself but that are not currently being shown.)
I judge so many breeds now, I really cannot do this! Even if I keep it just to Sighthounds, I am lost for it! OK, here goes. A Whippet, Eli, GCh. Charlamar Redcliffe Now's The Time, whom I put up at 14 months — later on the won the AWC National Specialty! An Azawakh, Relic, Ch. Azamour Anbar. There are really several Salukis: I loved the Bel S'mbran dog years and years ago, then there was Christine McIntyre’s "Z," Ch. Zahir's Zanzibar, and the Jamora dogs that I have put up several times … Caroline Coile’s Baha dogs, several of them over the years, and Gerri Thornton's cream dog who won my Hound Group in Ohio last summer, GCh. Hajji's Dancing In The Moonlight. And GCh. Impala Ladies Love Outlaws!
I am sure you know that as we judge a lot of dogs at different times and places different ones stand out for various reason. A great dog should be a "walking standard" of the breed. Each breed has a unique character, details and breed specific movement ... and no dog is perfect!
The Whippet GCh. Charlamar Reddclife Now's The Time won under JoAnne Buehler at 14 months.
He later won BOB at the American Whippet Club's national specialty.
Azawakh Ch. Azamour Anbar, Group 2nd under JoAnne Buehler.
Handler Chris Manelopoolos. Photo Don Meyer.
What would your advice be to someone who likes dogs but isn’t sure they want to get seriously involved the sport of dog shows and breeding?
Love your dogs and be proud of them. They love you and will go home with you. Keep your mind and eyes open to learn more, NO dog is perfect — some are closer than others and some just appear that way! Stay around at some smaller shows and chat with people. Most true dog people will be open to sharing some morsels of knowledge with you.
If there's one thing you could change in the dog sport, what would that be?
Poor and/or bad sportsmanship!
What are your hopes and plans for your future in dogs?
I want to continue judging dogs and adding additional breeds as I feel I am ready to. I truly love judging, not quite as much as whelping litters, but nearly!
Saluki Wynsyr Baha Oh Dear Deer, SC, Group 2nd under JoAnne Bueher in 2018, now a Dual Champion.
Photo Don Meyer.
Sura Forever Spring, Best of Winners under JoAnne Buehler at the Afghan Hound Club of Greater Phoenix in 2018, now a Champion.
Photo Bob Kohler.