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Ask The Judge - Volume 9- December 2007

Question - How does the Ribbon colors differ in Canada vs. USA.   


Answer - Our best of breed ribbon in canada is red, white and blue.  Best of Opposite Sex  is green and white and best of winners is purple.   


Question - Do you think over the years with changes in the breed, that our standard is ignored to fit the breed today, when it was wrote years ago, and dogs differ greatly from then. 


Answer- To some extent I have to agree with you.  

When I look at the majority of bulldogs in the ring, most 

of them are way above the desired weight mentioned in the standard.  In fact it is not uncommon to see males over 

70 pds!  Many of these dogs still win consistently as it is common to see a ring full of bullies weighing much more 

than the standard weight.  The judge has to pick one, 

so they base their decision on other aspects of the dog. 


Question- What's most important to you in evaluating a dog.  


Answer-  My first priority is 'balance'.  After that, I really look for a strong rear end, as I find that this quality is lacking in many of our dogs in the ring.  When you see something that is hard to get, you have to reward it.  


Question- I have recently purchased a Bulldog and have gone to several local shows this year to watch and learn.  I noticed in the catalogs that many dogs were being shown by people other than their listed owners, titles such as agent, AKC handler,etc. Is this common and best to use one for showing a dog.  


Answer- I have never used the services of a professional handler  although there are valid reasons why many people do.  Unfortunately,  in our world of today where people want to see results 'now' and aren't willing to 'pay their dues', many make excuses why to pay for a 'hired gun' to win for them instead of taking the harder and much more satisfying route of doing it themself.  Dog shows were never created to provide people with livings, but it is a sign of the times, and not a good one I might add.


Question- What steps should one take to get from novice owner to dog show judge.  


Answer- It's a long road to be a judge in any country.  I was breeding and showing for almost 20 years before I even considered a judging career.  I think it very important that one breeds for many years to learn the pros and cons of their breed and really educate themselves.  Showing is another valuable asset to have when thinking of judging.  It is very important that you develop a good ring procedure and this can only be attained through lots of practice AND by being in the ring yourself.  


To be a judge in Canada, you must ring steward for many hours, judge at sanction matches (practice shows),  write a test on the anatomy of the dog, and also do a test on breed standards.  You must also supply proof that you have been breeding and showing for over 10 years, and have shown dogs to their championships.  


When the above qualifications are all met,  then the CKC, allows you to judge at a 'real' show where you are monitored and a report is put in on your judging.  If you pass this report, you are then allowed to judge further but will still be monitored.  


The system is similar in the U.S. although I believe it is even tougher to get through and almost impossible to attain all breed status.  I am fortunate to have attained this status, but it took me almost 20 years of hard work.  


Bottom line, is you really have to WANT it or you will never get through.  

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