Home > Show Judges > How to Become a Dog Show Judge

How to Become a Dog Show Judge

By: Elaine Everest - Updated: 9 Jun 2015 | comments*Discuss
Kennel Club Kennel Gazette Judge Breed

You are standing in the centre of the ring in your smart suit, hair perfectly styled – your shoes pinch a bit but hey they match the suit! Everywhere you are attracting admiring glances; you are the centre of attraction. But hang on a minute – what’s that? Dogs in your ring – Oh no it’s a dog show and you are the judge, but you’ve never touched a dog let alone judged one!

Yes it’s everyone’s worse nightmare being somewhere and not knowing what to do next. So, before you start pretending you can judge a dog you’d better think about how a judge starts out…

Sit ringside and study how a judge works. Why is he moving the dogs like that? Why is he feeling different parts of their body? Why does he walk from one dog to the next, perhaps run two together? Study your catalogue you may find that he is placing dogs from similar breeding, this shows that he is judging to type – these dogs will be typical of a good example of the breed.

Speak to the Judges

When the judge has finished his work, see if you may speak to him, ask why he picked the dogs he placed. Remember to explain that you are interested in judging otherwise he may think that you are about to question his judgement!

Find the person who owns the dog placed Best of Breed and asked if you can go over the dog, as you are interested in becoming a judge. The breeder/owner will be more than pleased to extol the virtues of their dog. Remember though that this dog may need to go into the Group or Best in Show ring shortly and the owner may be a little tense or busy grooming the dog.

Speak to Breed Clubs

Speak to the secretary of your breed club and say that you are interested in training to be a judge. There may be talks and training sessions you can attend that may guide you on your way. Read your canine newspapers as many general dog talks are advertised this way. Eventually you will be able to go onto the ‘C’ list ready to be invited to judge a couple of classes at an open show.

Offer to help out at your ring craft classes. Organisers like different people going over the dogs as it gets them used to being handled. You may also be invited to judge at one of their match nights.

Canine societies are always crying out for ring stewards. It’s the perfect way to watch and see how a show ring is managed. You will get to know many breeds of dog and how they are exhibited. You will also receive the thanks of the show committee and possibly a free lunch!

Do Your Research

Read everything you can about your breed, immerse yourself in general books about the show world and study the Kennel Gazette so that you know the latest changes of Kennel Club rules.

Remember that a seminar or canine workshop can be enjoyed on its own merits. You are in the company of like-minded people who love their dogs and are not on a career path to riches. Not everyone is cut out to be a judge, it takes time and should be treated as an honour when the first invitation arrives.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Can you clarify this for me . Reserve Best in Sow. Mist be selected from the Best Opposite Sex and the Reserve Best of Sex to the exhibitor declared BIS. Is it Mandatory that they have to be brought into the ring to challenge or can it be left to the discretion of the judge on the day. I am the chairman of a club and would like this clarified. Thank you
Sunny - 9-Jun-15 @ 9:40 AM
Hi im doing a home study course on dog obiedience. Can i judge at fun dog shows. thanks
sheltiesusie - 24-Mar-14 @ 1:30 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Pep
    Re: Find a Ringcraft Club
    Hi looking for ringcraft classes in South Manchester area. Any help would be appreciated thank you. Ann
    17 July 2022
  • Leann
    Re: Find a Ringcraft Club
    Hi I'm looking for ringcraft classes near Wigan skelmersdale and ormskerk thank you
    8 June 2022
  • Kate
    Re: When to Start Training to Show?
    Does anybody know of ring craft lesson in Ringwood or Wimborne area. Many thanks.
    25 May 2022
  • TMH
    Re: Find a Ringcraft Club
    Hi, I am looking for any ringcraft training classes in. We are based in West Bromwich. Thank you
    8 December 2021
  • Islay
    Re: Find a Ringcraft Club
    We are looking for any ringcraft classes in the Argyll or Lochaber or Renfrewshire area We have a four and a half month old Golden…
    1 October 2021
  • Top Dog
    Re: Find a Ringcraft Club
    Hi I have recently moved to Cornwall, I used to run Top Dogs Ringcraft in Bedford and Bletchley. At long last I have found a fabulous venue…
    28 September 2021
  • Lash
    Re: Find a Ringcraft Club
    Looking for ring craft in the North East for to show my new puppy can anyone help much appreciate
    27 September 2021
  • Stu
    Re: Find a Ringcraft Club
    Does anyone know of any Ringcraft classes for a beginner in Beds/Bucks borders area? I have been told about Top Dogs Ringcraft in Wooton on…
    19 September 2021
  • Debs
    Re: Find a Ringcraft Club
    Hi, any ringcraft classes in herefordshire please, I am totally new to the showing side of owning dogs but would love to learn more , thank…
    4 September 2021
  • Ziggy
    Re: Find a Ringcraft Club
    Hi I’m in west Oxfordshire and looking for ring craft clubs. I know there one in kingham but I have young children and I’d get back too…
    5 August 2021