Can Anyone Be a Dog Show Judge?
Technically, anyone can train to judge dogs, however there are points to consider: Are you sure you know a good dog from a not so good dog? It’s no use using your own dog as a guide to what is best in your breed. Many people are ‘kennel blind’ (they only like what they have bred) others listen to gossip – there are far too many ringside ‘experts.’
Do you know how a dog is built, what the points of a dog are and how they are used either to describe a dog’s movement or build?
Do You Have the Knowledge and Experience?Do you know the history of your breed and its purpose and use to man? What about the breed standard and how it translates to each dog? Can you use a breed standard against a dog and write a critique stating how the dog compares to this standard in comparison to other dogs? These will be needed when you start judging as all judges must write a critique of their winners and send it to the canine press.
Ring steward - have you served as a ring steward and learnt how a steward’s duties complement the judge?
Handling - do you know how to handle a dog in a show ring, how to present it and how to move it correctly? How can you expect to judge a dog and its handler if you do not have the slightest idea of how a dog can be moved and presented correctly?
Rules - are you familiar with the rules of the Kennel Club and how they relate to the show ring?
Etiquette - do you know how to present yourself in the ring and how to relate to the judge and other exhibitors? Are you aware of ring etiquette?
Classes - do you know the different classes and what age and maturity of dog to expect in each class?
Respect - do you have the respect of your fellow breed members and are they likely to give you an entry if you are invited to judge your breed? Are you prepared to be hated by the exhibitors who do not have the grace to accept defeat?
Fair - are you prepared to be fair in your judgement, not accept favours or bribes and to remain honest at all times?
Equal - will you treat each dog equally whether it is a puppy, owned by a novice, or already a top champion and give him or her an honest appraisal?
Follow the Flock - will you make your own judgement and not follow the flock by putting up a dog because it has won before?
Time - have you got time to talk to newcomers in your breed, to help and advise them on their dog and the show world? Are you welcoming and friendly?
Study - are you prepared to continually study and learn all there is to know about dogs?
Love - do you love your breed and want to preserve it or do you see it as a step to something bigger within the world of dogs?
If you can answer yes truthfully and honestly to all of the above questions then you are ready to undertake training to be a dog show judge.