show your support

Ask The Judge - Volume 23 - Oct / Nov 2009

Q- Chris,  I'm getting started to show dogs and I have stood by rings and watched what people wear.  I've seen from skirts to tennis shoes. What is the proper attire and does it make a difference on your appearance or placing in the ring.  I myself feel, that how you represent yourself in style goes to show how you want your dog to be judged because to me your both being judged



A-Yes, you are totally correct.  You should dress appropriately for the shows.  The way you dress says a lot.  If you come in blue jeans and a sweat shirt, versus a nice suit, the difference is amazing.  The suit tells the Judge and everyone else that this show is important to you and that you really want to win.  


I think by going to almost any show either an all breed or specialty,  you will find that 99% of the men wear suits or sport jackets,  where the women wear pant suits or dress outfits.  Remember the judge has taken the time to make him or herself look professional,  so should you

Q-  When you are asked to Judge at a speciality, what would you like to see in your room upon arrival and what would be your ideal meals?


A- We also run a show up in Ontario  (Ontario Breeders Association in February), so I am able to look at this question from the club's point of view and the judges.  As a judge,  when you arrive at the hotel, and you find a nice greeting bag of goodies,  it really means a lot to us.  It tells us that the club is thinking about us and puts us in the right frame of mind for judging.  Getting off on the right foot is important.  While at the show, we normally are only served lunch.  I find for the most part judges only want something very light.  They most likely will have between a half hour and 45 minutes for lunch so don't have a lot of time.  A bowl of soup,  sandwiches or a salad is usually more than enough for most judges.  The last thing you want to do is continue judging with a full stomach.  


Q-I am new to the show ring. I have a female bulldog that has a slightly wry jaw. She meets the standards otherwise and is a very well built female. I have been holding her back from the ring hoping the jaw would change. She is now 16 months. Should I syill consider showing her? Can a bulldog with a wry jaw be finished? I have also been told that 80% of bulldogs have wry jaws, is that true?


A- Yes a bulldog with a wry jaw can be finished,  but it will not be easy depending on the severity of the jaw.  The best thing to do is get an breeder who you trust, or even better a breeder judge to examine your dog and let you know their opinion.  Most bulldogs go 'off' in their jaw in later years.  It certainly doesn't affect their health, but it is a serious fault no doubt.  I do not agree with your 80% figure,  in my judging I would estimate 10-20%.


Q- Iam new to Bulldogs and I have a 6 month old female and her rope is not all the way across her nose is this ok to still show is, or will she grow into the rope as she matures?


A- as she grows she will most likely grow into it.  A Bulldog doesn't reach full maturity until at least 2 years old.  The last thing to develop is the head so don't be too concerned about this.  Time and patience is all you need.



Q- I have a puppy that is 7 months old.  I have been showing him in the 6-9 month class, but feel he is large enough to go into the Open class.  He is definitely as large as the other boys in the Open class and I think he would probably be more likely to be given "Winners Dog" from this class versus the puppy class.  Can you tell me your opinion of puppies in the 6-9 class as far as the possibility of them being considered for Winners Dog or Winners Bitch?  It seems many judges may like a puppy better than some of the older dogs being shown that day, but will not put it up, even if it is a very, very nice dog.  Thank you very much



A- I would agree that the points are more likely to come from the open class rather than the puppy.   However you have to ask yourself a few questions.  Is your puppy if entered in the open class,  going to look like a puppy versus these more mature bulldogs.  Size is not everything.  Chances are you will be going against dogs over 2 years old that are completely mature in the open class.  To compete against them,  your dog will also have to behave like an adult too, as your puppy will be judged as a adult.  The judge will NOT know your dog is a puppy unless they ask you, which is unlikely.  If they do ask you the age it is probably because they suspect your dog is in indeed a puppy, and the judge will then question why the dog is entered in the open class.


I would continue to show the dog in the puppy class, getting the dog more ring wise and you might pick up some points along the way.  Then once a year old,  move the dog to the open class  or even the 12-18 month class at specialties and I think you will find the odds of winning will be greatly increased.


Chris Neilson

Bullodgs are my love, not my living.



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