How to become a Dog show Judge

In order to become a dog Judge you have to learn first rudiments.

Who is a dog judge and what's the career like?

A dog judge is also known as a dog show judge and refers to one that is qualified to access and evaluate dogs at shows or a conformation show. These shows can have various judges especially when its a big show but in smaller shows there can just be a single judge.

A judge must be vast and the judgment must not be subjective preference rather it has to be done based on breed standards which unfortunately were created more than a 100 years ago and clearly obsolete or outdated.

These judges have to be extremely familiar with a particular breed standard or a number of breed standards. You must be able to properly analyse the standard of the dog to ascertain his or her qualities. Sometimes judges can put their hands on the dogs to feel their bones and other structures looking for faults.

Dogs deserve better than this outdated breed standard. Time have changed  environment and climate which all affects dogs is changing so why would the standard remain after more than a 100 years? Take for example the American Kennel Club (AKC) values arbitrary physical traits over health and well-being and that is why the AKC recognise the slant back gsd (Show line) than the straight back (Working line).

Take a look at the dachshunds again. They have a very long spine and short legs that makes them susceptible to extreme pains

What about the Great Danes that are bred for long necks and large heads and often develop wobbler syndrome and sometimes end up paralysed.

Cavalier King Charles spaniels is another breed who suffer from syringomyelia. Sometimes they scream in agony because their brains are too large for their unnaturally flattened skulls.

Finally what about the English bulldogs, who are bred to have flat faces. They labour to fetch objects, they find it difficult breathing, they even suffer to whelp and end up in C section 90% of the time. These dogs and others such as pugs, French bulldogs, lhasa Apso suffer what is known as brachycephalic airway syndrome

To ensure that these breed standard traits remain in a dog’s bloodline, breeders make mothers to mate with sons and daughters with fathers (in breeding). The consequences have been dire. Inbreeding increases the likelihood that recessive genes will be passed down to puppies, resulting in a host of serious congenital defects including epilepsy, hypothyroidism and elbow dysplasia, a disease that can cause lameness and arthritis. Don't you think these breed standards should be changed? In another article i would talk about this in-depth.

To become a judge you have to get licensed. You  can get it in two ways which is either through a kennel club or a particular breed association. As a judge you are expected to study.

You could apply to be a single breed judge or multiple breed judge. When you are eventually granted to judge multiple breed then you are known as a group judge.

There is also another category of judge known as an All rounder. This is a judge granted license to judge all recognised breeds.

Let me give you a general overview of what it takes to be a judge.

1. You must apply for  eligibility requirement. By age you must be at least 20 and above with most organisations.

2. Most organisation would require you to be a member of a kennel club or other organisations for some time.

3. Some organisation would require you to have lived in that countries for a particular number of years

4. Some organisation would usually require that you have a minimum number of years as a breeder (between 5 and 10 years) and it must be documented

5. You must have experience with pedigree and pure breed dogs, your experience must be in handling, breeding etc

6. As an applicant you must have a mentor that's already a judge with most organizations

7. An applicant must have a sound background in the breed or breeds for which the applicant is

applying, and documented experience in the sport, (breeding, showing, club membership, official positions, etc.).

8. As a potential judge you must be physically and mentally fit. You must have Ring Stewarding.

9. An applicant must pass a written and oral examination

The license to be a judge specifies the different breeds over which the judge is qualified to officiate or judge and like i said earlier you can be licensed as a single breed judge or multiple breed judge.

Usually Judges are most commonly licensed specifically to the registry with which they are affiliated to but some registries can choose to recognize licensed judges from other renowned registries and organizations.

Sometimes when judges are skilled enough they can be called upon by organisations of other countries to judge.


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