Advice for New Judges

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of South Wales

Practical Advice for First Time Judges 

REMEMBER JUDGING IS A PRIVILEGE NOT A RIGHT

The Kennel Club* regulates all dog shows in the UK apart from the exemption shows to be found at many family day out events. This guide is in point form to describe process and requirements of the Kennel Club when invited to judge.

  • It is always valuable to belong to a breed and/or ringcraft club in order to speak with people who have experience of judging;
  • Take any opportunity to help steward at open shows so that you become familiar with procedures;

PROCESS

  • Invite to judge will come from the Secretary of the show requiring a judge;
  • Check you are eligible to judge ie number of classes as novice you are able to judge etc;
  • If required to judge other breed classes than your own be sure to read the relevant breed standard and observe how they are shown if different to your own breed;
  • Respond promptly either agreeing or stating reason why not able to accept.
  • If anything crops up and you are unable to judge e.g. illness, bereavement inform secretary ASAP;
  • You will receive notice from the secretary prior to the show on the number of entries you have in each class.

BREED STANDARD*(ii)

  • Make sure you are familiar with the breed standard and ask people who are experienced on any points you are not clear with and attend any relevant seminars;
  • Read other people’s critiques so that you are prepared and devise a shorthand for your notes after each class;
  • If your first time judging make sure you know ring protocol, stewards and your responsibilities ASK someone who is experienced if you have any questions BEFORE the show.

SHOW DAY

  • Arrive at venue at least an hour prior to your class time and report to the secretary;
  • Make sure you have a spare pen and either a notebook or recorder for your critique;
  • Guys dress appropriately no jeans & tee shirt but a shirt & tie and smart trousers. Girls no short skirts or revealing tops. Remember to be polite at all times and make sure both stewards and exhibitors understand any directions you give;
  • Introduce yourself to your stewards and make clear where you want dogs to line up and where you will place prize winners, do not let stewards fill in your judging book and do not sign slips before completing each class and recording places;
  • Check that you are aware of multi entries and check their eligibility e.g. a dog that has been third in previous class cannot be put above one that was second in the previous class*(i).

RING PROCEDURES,

  • When you are judging make notes in your judging book on specific points e.g. inverted canines, light eye colour etc to help with critique;
  • It is important to go over each dog consistently so that all exhibitors are fairly treated;
  • Once you have judged a couple of shows and wish to continue judging you will need to be assessed by a Kennel Club Assessor, make sure you request this prior to the show, your breed club will give you names.

DEALING WITH EXHIBITORS

  • Always give exhibitors the respect that you would expect from them;
  • If following a class an exhibitor asks why you did not put their dog up always be polite, do not get into a discussion but say that on the day I preferred x above yours;
  • If an exhibitor becomes aggressive just say that you are not prepared to argue your decision is final and that if they have a problem to take it to the secretary of the show who will deal with any complaint.

CRITIQUE

  • You are required by the Kennel Club to provide a written critique of the first two dogs plus number of entries and absentees in each class for a Championship Show & for the first dog entries & absentees at a Breed Show;
  • You are required to send one copy to the club secretary of the show;
  • You are also required to send copies to the publications Our Dogs and Dog World;
  • Judges are not required to send copies to class winners but many judges do.

BE FAIR AND CONSISTENT TO ALL EXHIBITORS 

ADHERE TO THE BREED STANDARD AND JUDGE ACCORDINGLY

REMEMBER MOST OF ALL RELISH YOUR TASK

 

*( i) Kennel Club Guide to Judges and Ring Stewards – www.the-kennel-club.org.uk

*(ii) Breed Standards – www.the-kennel-club.org.uk

 

Jane Griffiths 2013