by NetPlaces Network Science & Advisory Board
Judges are supposed to evaluate dogs according to the Breed Standard approved by the national (parent) breed club and/or registry. Everyone knows that. And everyone reading this will acknowledge that personal preference is inherent in both dog breeders and dog show judges.
That preference can be a long-held conviction about the importance of a particular virtue or it could relate to a fault which, as a breeder, the judge struggled to correct in their bloodline. Either way, splitting hairs on the Breed Standard is common judging dilemma. A judge may be seen as favoring color, size, overdone, fine boned, over-groomed or natural, or inclined to award the "showing fool" in a breed supposed to be staid and steady.
Judges are also accused of favoring a handler when in fact, the professional handler simply knows and respects each judge's preferences.
Most novice exhibitors fail to do their homework, the excuse being its "only a hobby". So as an owner handler, you take your chances until you finally figure out which judges like what. Or you don’t take the time and thus become discouraged and drop out. That's why entries are falling and the sport of dogs has become like "the sport of kings" where every entry has a jockey...
We hope this survey will help us better understand the real purpose of dog shows and gain new respect for the judges whose opinions we seek.
We are asking American Kennel Club judges to candidly answer the following survey but anyone who has shown more than ten years is asked to participate. A follow-up report will be carried by
TheDogPress.com within two weeks and
will include summary findings, quotes and more...
NOTE: The survey has closed, thanks to all who participated. A follow-up report will soon be presented.
These were the questions:
Are you a Judge? or an Exhibitor? For how long?
What is you primary breed and group?
Are you judging by your mental picture of this breed from a decade ago or how it looks today? Does your answer mean the breed has improved even though the standard has not changed?
Do you believe Judges are doing a good job adjudicating according to the breed standard? What about breeders?
What advice would you give breeders today regarding the standard? What advice would you give handlers regarding presentation?
FYI: June 2017, survey results on "Why Dog Shows Are Failing" was revealing. Both surveys will be sent to the current AKC Board. Every person reading this wants AKC to continue to dominate the sport of purebred dogs by providing publicity, guidance, and oversight.
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