Judge Information
Judge Name: Michael Dougherty
Location: California, USA
Kennel Name:
Types of Shows: Conformation
Type of Breeds
Michael J. Dougherty started with his family in purebred dogs in 1961, 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 status in 1977 - teaming with his father, Jack Dougherty. While concentrating on handling he also bred and owned, with his family, Miniature Schnauzers, Smooth Fox Terriers, and Keeshonden, as well as Whippets. As a professional handler, he guided the careers of many top winning dogs, including Best in Show winning Whippets and Bichon Frise. His handling focused mainly on breeds in the Hound, Terrier, Non Sporting, and Toy Groups, but also included many breeds in the other three groups.

A graduate of United States International University, Dougherty has been in the public relations and publishing industry for 40 years. He has represented and worked with such luminaries as Gore Vidal, Maya Angelou, Joseph Wambaugh, Tom Wolfe, Robert Ludlum, Larry King, Donald Trump, Dick Morris, Sidney Sheldon, Judith Krantz, James Clavell, Christopher Isherwood, Richard Reeves, Nancy Reagan, Doris Day, M. Scott Peck, William Manchester, Dick Cavett, Timothy Leary, Irwin Shaw, Arianna Huffington, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Howard Fast, Studs Terkel, Frankie Laine, Josh Logan, Dick Cavett, Ken Follett, Michael Crichton, Rex Reed, Dr. Robert Atkins, Michael Murphy, Ben Stein, and Alvin Toffler, among others.

From 1981 through late 1989 he directed his own Beverly Hills-based public relations firm. From 1989 through 1992 he held the position of Executive Director of Publicity for the book publishing company, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc. From September 1992 through mid-1997 he headed his reestablished independent public relations firm. From mid-1997 through the end of 2002 he was the Director of Marketing/Sales/Publicity at Renaissance Media/Audio Renaissance, a Los Angeles-based book and audiobook publishing company. Presently he heads Dougherty & Associates Public Relations, an independent PR and marketing agency.

In 1985 Dougherty retired from professional handling to pursue a dog judging avocation, again following in his father’s footsteps. He is currently approved by the AKC to judge Best in Show, the Hound Group, the Terrier Group, Manchester Terriers (Toy), Bichon Frises, Boston Terriers, Dalmatians, French Bulldogs, Keeshonden, Lhasa Apsos, Poodles, and Tibetan Terriers, plus Miscellaneous Classes and Junior Showmanship. He has judged at shows across the nation such as Westminster (7 times, including Best in Show in 2013), Montgomery County (4 times, including Best in Show in 2007), Morris & Essex, AKC/Eukanuba, Westchester, Bucks County, Eastern, Ladies, Philadelphia, Chicago International, Atlanta, Maryland, Detroit, Beverly Hills, Great Western Terrier, and Santa Barbara. His international judging assignments have taken him to Australia, Taiwan, Colombia, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Finland, Canada, Mexico, and Japan.

He and his wife Michelle, a fine artist and bonsai artist, reside in western North Carolina.
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