His parents are John J & Joan Walsh, both of whom are international judges; John still use the “Joshren” kennel name for his Collies & Shelties.

Over time they have had in the family kennels Rough Collies, Smooth Collies, Bearded Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs as well as some other breeds, including Welsh Corgi Cardigan.

When growing up, John’s particular interest was in the Grooming and Show Handling.

In 1983, he was the first winner of the “The Junior Handler of the Year” in Ireland, and represented Ireland at the International handling competition at “Crufts” 1984.

BIS dommer NKK Kristiansand 2024: John R Walsh MarchIt was through his handling that John started in Great Danes, he first started to campaign Great Danes in 1988. John and his wife Mary now have their own kennel of Great Danes with the Prefix “Yandamar”, specialising in Blacks, Harlequin and Mantles. In 2005 John and Mary started to show Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers.

John’s first Championship judging appointment was in 1989 were he judged Rough Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs. Since then he has progressed through all groups and since June 2016 he is qualified to judge all FCI Breeds & Groups and Best In Show as well as Junior Showmanship.

He judged Best in Show at All Breed Championship Level for the first time in April 2005.

John is active in many aspects of Irish Dog Shows.

  • Chairman of The Rough Collie Club of Ireland
  • President and Kennel Club Representative for the Irish Great Dane Club.
  • President of Molosser Breeds Association of Ireland
  • Elected Member of the European Great Dane Federation (EuDDC), Health & Breeding Commission
  • Chairman of the Combined Canine Club

John became All Breeds judge in 2016, has judged at EDS 2022 (Paris), WDS 2017 (Liebzig), 2023 (Geneva) and will be judging at WDS 2024 (Zagreb). To date John has judged in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Rep, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico (FCI Section 2019), Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA (including Westminster Dog Show 2014 and 2016.)