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How Can Exhibitors Improve Afghan Hound Judging? "The Sighthound" 1983 Page 1 Betsy and Jim Prior

Betsy and Jim Prior

Several times, after reading derogatory remarks about judges, their knowledge, their mentality, their agility and their honesty, I have been tempted to answer. This was especially true after reading a wordy, pompus, and Iengthy letter published in two breed magazines lately. It was written by a 4-year "expert" from Canada.

What can the Exhibitor do to improve judging? They can start by becoming more knowledgable about how a judge is licensed and some of his procedures.

1. They can send to the A.K.C. for a copy of the application for breed licenses. (My last application took five hours to fill out, in spite of the fact that we keep an accurate record of all past and future assignments, numbers of dogs, etc.).

2. They can learn the actual procedure we must follow to qualify. (after completing the application, go to a specified show for an oral examination by an AKC Representative).

3. They can get a copy of the booklet giving guidelines for dress and behaviour of a judge.

4. They can learn that every judge, at some time during an assignment, is critiqued by the AkC Representative at that show, and the critique goes in the judge's file at the AKC; we do not see that critique.

5. They can learn that the majority of judges read constantly, and constantly look for the individual points important to each breed

6. They can learn that the majority of judges attend many shows, just to watch others judging breeds they hope to add to their licenses.

7. They can learn that judges spend hours traveling, missing few assignments. (I have missed three assignments in 30 years; my husband has missed one).

Now-on the other hand! The Exhibitor can:

1. Learn his own breed well enough to see what the judge likes in that breed.

2. Learn not to show a second-rate dog.

3. Learn not to be kennel blind.

4. Look at his/her own handling ability. (Too many good hounds toplines are ruined by wrong handling).

5. Learn not to spoil your dog so much that he won't behave in the ring

6. Learn good grooming-whether it is just toenails and whiskers, or coat also.

7. Learn to listen to what a judge wants you to do.

8. Be practical enough to realize that if your darling "Tootsie" is not show quality, keep her at home as a pet and start over.

Last but not least- this is a HOBBY for ALL OF US. We study hard, try to judge carefully because we love dogs; we love the friends we have made; we absorb a great deal of the expense ourselves. Most of the judges we know are out of the same cloth. How would you change us. Feel free to write to us any time with suggestions-we'll answer honestly and bluntly-always with copies of your letter and our reply, to the AKC.


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