Judges Are People Too: Camillo “Bud” Di Donato

| May 9, 2014 | 0 Comments
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Who needs judges? WE ALL DO! Judges help us earn the coveted ribbons and titles that we want so badly for our dogs. But most of the time, we only interact with them briefly in the ring or in the field when our dog is being observed. We, at Retriever Life, wanted to spend time to get to know these indispensable people better so we are introducing a segment called “Judges Are People Too“. It will be a monthly article within Retriever Life and is part of our efforts to utilize Retriever Life as not only an information resource for our readers, but also as a resource for our fellow competitors, handlers, breeders, and owners to get to know the judges outside of the ring. We hope you enjoy our first edition of “Judges Are People Too”!

If you have a question you’d like asked or you want to recommend a judge to highlight, please contact misha@retrieverlife.com.

About The Judge


Camillo “Bud” Di Donato

Bud was kind enough to set time out of his busy schedule to call me and tell me a little bit about himself. He was very easy going and friendly, which made our interview a lot of fun. We hope you enjoy getting to know him as well!

What are you breeding or what have you bred in the past?

I have bred English Springer Spaniels since 1972. I am not currently breeding dogs but my son has taken over the breeding program.

What breeds are you qualified to judge?

I am qualified to judge 16 breeds, juniors, and am now, under AKC policy, qualified to judge group as long as 80% of the dogs in the ring I am already qualified to judge.

What are you proudest moments or accomplishments? 

I owned the #1 English Springer Spaniel in both 1994 and 95’, CH Maidenheads Advocate. Who won his first best in show before he was two years old and a month later won the national specialty.

Who do you admire the most? (past or present)

My father.

Do you own any pets besides dogs? 

We have six horses and two cats but no dogs currently. My wife has a training program for jumping and dressage but trail rides are more my thing.

What is a phrase that you overuse? 

“What’s up?!”

Do you have a motto?

Live everyday like it is your last and with no regrets.

What are your hobbies?

I like to spend time at the beach as well as to listen to the blues and any kind of live music for that matter. I also like dancing, hunting, and fishing. I am retiring and am looking forward to fishing more with my son.

What are you reading right now?

I currently am not reading anything. But recently acquired a kindle so plan to read more. I generally like to read when flying or hanging out on the beach, because I’ve got nothing else on my mind.

Who are your favorite authors?

I really like Janet Evanovich as she writes a lot of contemporary mystery novels.


What qualities do you look for in friends?

I look for the same qualities I find in myself. I really enjoy fun loving people with a good sense of humor!

What are some words or phrases that your friends would use to best describe you?

1. Compassionate

2. Fun to be with

3. Great sense of humor

4. Always trying to help and be an advocate.

Have you always had dogs?

I have always had dogs since I was young. I had hunting dogs like beagles and pointers when I was younger. When I was 32 I got my first show dog, which was an English Springer Spaniel. He was a pretty nice dog and after he got his championship I was hooked!

If you could come back as a dog, which breed would it be and why?

I would come back as Vizsla because I love their color, temperament, kind nature, and they require no grooming! I also like the fact that they point at their game and wait as opposed to charging in and flushing it.

When and where are you happiest?

I am happiest with I am on a Caribbean beach with my wife.

Do you travel? Where do you most enjoy traveling?

Yes, I travel often, mostly for dog shows but we always have three vacations a year. My favorite place to vacation to is the Caribbean!

If you could have a super power what would it be?

Oh well that’s easy, peace and love throughout the world!

Category : Judges Are People Too

Misha Abbenhouse

About the Author ()

Being surrounded by the Great Northwest for the entirety of my life I have come to really enjoy the outdoors, loving the rain almost as much as the fleeting sunshine and all the activities that come along with it. I've always loved animals especially those of the equine and canine variety. My intense interest in dogs led me to start writing about the adventures that Indy, my black lab, and I shared. Aside from animals, I love to read and write and college really fostered this love and I now find myself being able to couple my two great loves of writing and dogs.

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