Page 62 - ShowSight - November 2019
P. 62

 60 • ShowSight Magazine, noveMber 2019
Not too long ago I was having a conversation with someone that has been in our sport for a little less than five years. During our conversation I was asked “What are some of the differenc- es between AKC shows and those in other countries?” This was a good question and after our discussion and later in the day I thought fur- ther about the question and it recalled the often-mentioned question in social media posts about the judges providing critiques and similar questions as to rating exhibits.
Like a great number of judges, I have had the honor to officiate at numerous shows outside of the United States and under rules very different than those of the AKC. The privilege of being invited is always appreciated and the opportu- nity to see, evaluate and experience the dogs and the various cultures around the world have been wonderful and amazing learning experiences.
One thing that all countries and systems have in common is their love of the sport of pure-bred dogs. Another is they are all very passionate about their dogs and like all of us the exhibitors want to win.
One of the biggest differences I have experienced outside the AKC method of judging is that in many countries the judge does give some type of evaluation to each exhibit he may award. The evaluations may be detailed and written or a very simple verbal one-word evaluation. The judge will evaluate the dogs with some variation of the following rating, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, or poor. One thing I learned the hard way about this system is that if the judge does not say “Excellent” the dog does not win any points. The very first time I judged out of the country I was doing a specialty and awarded the points to a dog and I said “very good” which in my opinion was an accurate description of the dog in front of me. The exhibit was exactly that in my opinion, above aver- age in many ways with a few areas for improvement but very much deserving of the win. I quickly learned that by not saying “Excellent” this very worthy speci- men would not receive any points for the win. I was devastated! I also learned a very valuable lesson that day, “be sure you understand the system before you walk into the ring”. When judging outside of the AKC system most countries >

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