Sue Nelson Smyth
I was raised with beagles! My maternal grandparents lived in the country and owned a beagle kennel. My grandfather was one of the founding members of the Garden State Beagle Club so I spent many weekends observing field trials from horseback. His club continues to exist and run field trials to this day.
When I was 12 years old I met a couple who bred conformation dachshunds, smooth black and tan. I decided to purchase a puppy from one of their litters. A friend of my mothers showed conformation whippets. She offered to take me to shows on the weekends with my lovely female dachshund.
What a great experience for a child. I had a wonderful mentor and a bitch with a great pedigree. She was Best Puppy in Match at the very first match show I entered. As a teenager, if I wasn’t at a horse show I was at a dog show.
My professional career:
I started as an elementary teacher, certified in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. After a few years, I entered graduate school and earned my Masters Degree in Student-Personnel Services followed by certification as a Principal-Supervisor. I enjoyed many years working as a guidance counselor in elementary, middle and high schools.
After many years as a guidance counselor, I returned to graduate school to become certified as a Learning Disability Teacher-Consultant to fill a vacant position in my school district. Working on the Child Study Team in a Vocational High School was a very rewarding experience. In 2009 I earned the National Certification as an Educational Diagnostician. At the time I was the 614 in the US to be certified in this capacity. After 34 years in the field of education, I retired and now spend all of my time within the world of dog shows.
I bred Dachshunds and showed them as a teenager. In the 1970s I acquired a basset hound and eventually bred and competed in the show ring with many of my bassets. In the 1980s we imported a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen from a lovely kennel in England. Since that time I have bred and competed in the show ring with many of my champion PBGVs.
In 1998 I became an AKC Conformation Judge. I also am certified to judge Basset Hound Club of America Hunt Tests and PBGVCA Hunts. I am an Agility scribe, am studying Scent Work, and have trained several breeds to compete in obedience. In addition, I steward at conformation shows and am a member of 2 stewards clubs, am a Chief Ring Steward and I serve as a Specialty Show Chair for several of my clubs.
I am a past Board of Directors for the Basset Hound Club of America, current Public Education Coordinator and have served as an assistant on the Judges Education Committee for many years. I am also past assistant National Show Chair 2014 in Lancaster, Pa.
In the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America I serve as Public Education Coordinator, Chair for the AKC Gazette Column, Assistant Chair for PBGV Rescue, Secretary for the Health and Rescue Foundation, Assistant Show Chair for the PBGVCA 2020 National in Wilmington, Ohio and Assistant Show Chair for the 2021 PBGVCA National in Wilmington, Ohio.
In the Central New Jersey Hound Association, I serve as club Treasurer, past show chair and current assistant show chair.
Burlington County Kennel Club- I am a past President, past Vice President, past Secretary, past Match Show Chair and past Point Show Chair and past Vendor Chair. I also ran several Tracking Trials for BCKC.
Berkshire Valley Basset Hound Club- I am the current President, past Vice President, and Secretary. I currently serve as the Specialty Show Chair putting on 4 specialty shows each year.
Mid New Jersey PBGV Association- I currently serve as a Board Member, am past Vice President and serve as the supported entry show chair in September each year.
A basset hound I co-owned won the 2010 Basset Hound National!
An Otterhound I co-own won the breed and competed in the Hound Group at the 2020 Westminster Kennel Club Show. He looked great with his handler, Zach Helmer, on TV!
I have traveled throughout the US, France, and England studying my breeds. I continue to attend many judges education seminars to gain greater insight into canine anatomy and the unique attributes of each of the AKC registered breeds. I also judge occasionally at the Rare Breed Dog Shows. I have always been a delightful experience meeting those breeders/exhibitors and learning about their lovely and unique breeds.