AKC Obedience Classic- Judges


Dianne L Allen

Dianne L Allen -- Illinois

I showed my first dog over 42 years ago. I hit the conformation ring first with a German Shepherd Dog, but then found obedience and my passion for it has continued to grow over the years. In the early 80's I switched to Belgian Tervuren and had my first Obedience Trial Champion and my first breed Champion. More Tervuren followed and so far there have been 5 OTCHs, 2 MACHs, 7 CH's, 1 GCH, 1 TD, and numerous Obedience, Herding and Rally titles. Each of my Tervuren has achieved titles in multiple venues and as they say -- "Variety is the spice of life".

My primary passion continues to be obedience and in 1989 I applied for my AKC Obedience Judging License. I thoroughly enjoy both sides of the clipboard and look forward to judging in Orlando. I wish the best of luck to all exhibitors!



Betty Brask

Betty Brask -- Hawaii

What a thrill to be part of AKC's Invitational! I am honored to be one of the judges for this fabulous event. I look forward to seeing all the exceptional, top notch teams. I wish every exhibitor/dog team the best of luck this weekend.

I am grateful for all the dogs who I have shared my life with for the past 63 years. I grew up with dogs, there has never been a time in my life without the companionship of dogs. From obedience to rally to conformation to training assistance dogs, etc. dogs have always enriched my life.

I have taught elementary school for 37 years. During that time, I have been very lucky to have classroom dogs! From a St. Bernard to Cairn Terrier to Beardies, Golden and Labs -- each has helped teach my students kindness, compassion, patience and so much more.

I am also very thankful for the friends I have made through the sport of dogs. "Dog friends" are simply the best friends!

I grew up in Texas, but have been a resident on Maui for the past 25 years. I currently teach 2nd grade with the help of a Golden and a Lab.

Good luck everyone! Aloha!

Marilou McCloskey


Marilou McCloskey -- New Jersey


I caught the obedience bug at my first puppy kindergarten class in 1991, when the instructor brought her German Shepherd Dog "Quincy" into class and demonstrated the Utility Signal Exercise. I was determined that my obnoxious English Springer Spaniel puppy was going to be just like Quincy when he grew up.

That started the journey that lead to applying to become an obedience judge in 2004 and a Rally judge in 2005. I have, since put UD titles and agility titles on my first two Springers and my current Springer is CH Twin Oaks Meant To Be CDX GN RE NA OAK NF, soon to be UD.

There are bumps in the road as the journey moves forward, but with your best friend by your side, the bumps are easier to navigate.

Thank you for inviting me to judge the AKC Obedience Classic and best of luck to all.


Susan Oviatt-Harris

Susan Oviatt-Harris -- Colorado

I have competed in AKC obedience, tracking, conformation, hunting and agility events since 1972, and have been a licensed tracking and obedience judge for over 30 years. I have judged many of the former Gaines Regional and Classic competitions. Two Irish Setters, two English Setters, two Dobermans, a Springer Spaniel, a mini Wire-Haired Dachshund, three Golden Retrievers and three Shetland Sheepdogs have been the breeds I have owned, trained and exhibited in performance, field, and conformation.

I am a retired high school English teacher and live with my husband, one Golden and two Shelties. My 10 year old Sheltie, Ace, has a CD, MX, MXJ and MXF titles and is my husband's companion. His son, Gem, a 6-year-old Sheltie, has his MX, MXJ and MXF titles and is pursuing a MACH in agility. The newest addition is a two-year-old Golden Retriever pup, Trey, who has a TDX title, has multiple agility titles, is training in field and will begin his obedience career in 2015. In my spare time, I read, play bridge, knit, garden, bake, and ride my bike.

It is an honor to be selected to judge the 2014 AKC Obedience Classic.

Best of luck to all the exhibitors!


Mary Jane ShervaisMary Jane Shervais -- Washington

Mary Jane Shervais has been an active judge for the American Kennel Club since 1993. She is approved for all levels of Obedience and Rally, and has judged widely in the United States, including the east and west coasts, Alaska, Hawaii, and also in Canada. During a varied professional life that spanned service as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, as a Licensed Veterinary Technician managing a progressive veterinary hospital in Northern Virginia, and currently as the Director of Music at Cheney United Methodist Church in Cheney, Washington, Mary Jane has also pursued her passion for the sport of obedience. Her life as a breeder/exhibitor/trainer began with her first Golden Retriever in 1971. Since then, Mary Jane has titled dogs in both the United States and Canada, and has included other breeds from Papillons to her current Brittany in her family. As a member of Mount Vernon Dog Training Club in Virginia, Mary Jane served for ten years as the Training Director. Now living in Cheney with her husband, Steve, and their four dogs, she joined Spokane Dog Training Club where she has served in various officer/board positions, including President, instructor, and currently as the Director of Training. Mary Jane has also served as the show chairperson for the Inland Empire Golden Retriever Club, and is now the Obedience Chairperson for the Spokane Kennel Club. Mary Jane is totally committed to the furtherance of the sport of obedience. It is her personal goal to help obedience programs flourish, and to provide others with opportunities to experience satisfaction and success in the sport. To that end, and as Director of Training for Spokane Dog Training Club, Mary Jane has been instrumental in developing a program designed to improve focus, attention, and connection with our dogs when we train, work and show.


Elmer Willems

Elmer Willems -- Wisconsin

I became involved in dogs in 1968 when my daughter signed up for the 4-H dog project, but there was not an adult leader in the county; so I volunteered to be the adult leader. My wife and I held this position for 20 years.

After my daughter graduated from 4-H, I was hooked on dog obedience and decided to show our Sheltie at AKC trials. I have achieved UD's on four Shelties as well as Novice and Open titles on several others. I also earned a CD on a Bearded Collie, Agility Excellent titles on three Aussies, and Rally Excellent titles on two Aussies and one Sheltie. Currently, I am training and showing an Australian Shepherd in obedience and agility. He is working toward his UDX title in obedience and in the Masters level toward a MACH in agility.

I became an approved AKC Judge in 1987. Since that time I have judged over 400 obedience trials. I am approved to judge all obedience classes in AKC, United Kennel Club, and the Australian Shepherd Club of America. I am also approved to judge all levels of Rally for AKC and ASCA and have judged over 70 rally trials. Occasionally I still judge 4-H events.

My plans for the future are to continue to show my dog and judge as long as I am physically able.


Larry WilsonLarry Wilson -- Pennsylvania

I've been involved in AKC obedience and dog training since 1985 when I took a rescued Bichon with discipline and biting problems to a beginner's training class. I enjoyed the class so much and the dog was much improved. He went from an aggressive little dog to an affectionate, soft-hearted companion and earned his Companion Dog title; I still have all his ribbons. Since that time, I have trained six poodles, both miniature and standard, in obedience and rally. I have been a steward, match judge, and Obedience Chairman since 1988. Currently, I have a dog training for the Utility Class and an eleven month old in conformation, as well as training for the novice class. In 2006, I applied for AKC Obedience judging approval and have since been approved to judge all obedience classes. In my other life, I own a real estate appraisal company. But that's going to have to go as dogs are a lot more fun.



Carolyn WrayCarolyn Wray -- Oregon

My name is Carolyn Wray and I live in Oregon with three Miniature Poodles and one oversize Toy Poodle; the gang and I participate in AKC events including obedience, rally, agility and tracking. I have done conformation and herding as well. All my dogs are spoiled house pets and they all sleep on the bed.

I grew up in a dog show family and earned my first CD in 1966 (I was still in grade school). I am an AKC obedience and rally judge (all levels).

I have titled and loved a variety of breeds including Keeshonden, Shelties, Doberman, Pekingese, and Poodles. Achieving a CDX title on my beloved Peke, Kenny, is one of my fondest memories. His registered name was Wraynbow Unique CDX and he was indeed unique; I miss him to this day.

In addition to many years of showing, I have also written many articles on dog sports, most specifically obedience and rally. I have contributed to such magazines as the Poodle Club of America's "Poodle Papers," the Versatility in Poodles quarterly newsletter and the now defunct, Kee Topics.

I bring a varied background to the ring every time I judge and this experience gives me a balanced perspective both as a judge and as an exhibitor. I enjoy every assignment. Being a performance judge is the best hobby you can have!