show your support

Ask The Judge - Volume 8 - October/November 2007

Question 1 - Would it be ok to ask a judge after a show about breeding to one of his males.


Answer- I don't think this subject should be brought up at the show where the judge is judging.  Perhaps a phone call the following week to discuss it.


Question 2 - How many shows per year can a judge be a judge at.



Answer- As many as they are invited to.  Keep in mind judges have restrictions as to mileage and time between their assignments.  Obviously,  one could not judge this weekend in say New York City and then judge the same dogs say 100 miles down the road the following weekend.  

Question 3 - I am just about to enter the world of showing with a nice little bitch.  As a novice with no other bulldoggers nearby to examine my bitch and give me honest feedback, is it okay to ask a judge after the show for their honest opinion?  Can an all breed judge really give me an honest opinion of the bulldog's conformation?


Answer- Judges are allowed to give their opinion on anyone's dog.  Of course in the show itself, you are already getting their opinion by the way they place your dog in competition.  However, it is not uncommon to have exhibitors come up to you after the judging is over to explain the reasoning that went into their picks.  Keep in mind, that judges are only allowed to comment on 'your dog' and NOT other entries.  


Many judges find it very uncomfortable to critique an exhibitor's dog.  More often than not,  the discussion ends up in an argument.  Although, exhibitors usually begin the conversation with 'they need help' of some kind understanding why their dog was placed where it was.  What many exhibitors actually want is for the judge to say something that is perceived to be wrong and then argue with them about their pick.  This is why many judges avoid these kind of discussions.


If you are a novice, it will be obvious to the judge no matter how much practice you do before the show.  This is okay.  I for one, always am even more patient with new exhibitors and try not to put any more pressure on them than they have already created for themself.  


I have no problem discussing a dog's merits and faults after the show.  In fact there are times, when I have taken a novice exhibitor aside and given them advice for the future.  


It is very important that every judge give every dog the same amount of time.  They have all paid the same entry fee and deserve the same 'look' and 'interest', regardless of the quality of the animal they show to you.


As far as 'can an all breed judge give me an honest opinion of the bulldog's conformation"?  I believe and hope that all judges whether they are breeder judges or all breed judges (I happen to be both) will give an honest opinion.  I also believe that one would get a more specific critique from a breeder judge.  With way over 100 different breeds at an all breed show,  it really is impossible to think that an All Breed Judge could possibly know each individual breed as well as a breeder judge.  




Question 4 - What age is to old to start showing a dog and after 10 years of age is really any  point in even doing it?  


Answer - I would not want to show a dog past it's prime which in the bulldog breed is normally between 2 and 4.  There are always exceptions.  A veteran dog (6 years or older in the U.S.) (7 years or older in Canada) can be entered in 'Veteran Classes' and is a popular class at Specialties, especially when the dog had done a lot of winning in the past and the owners are very proud, as they should be.




Question 5 - Do you think the current requirements to be a Champion is to little and should have harder and more requirements to assure a better champion and to make the word Champion more worthy? (USA).  


Answer -  I feel that the point system in the U.S. is very difficult, but because of this it makes the championship title even more prestigious and sought after.   The system is a fair one.


Chris Neilson

'Bulldogs are my love, not my living'

More articles we recommend: