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Even though I have been involved in the canine world for many years, it is only in the last couple of years that I have started to show my dogs in the ring.

The dog I showed in the beginning had all the necessary qualities to be a show dog, however there were also enough faults to realize that it would never be a champion. With this in the back of your mind there is no real desire to end high in the ranking. Yet even in that timeframe there were remarks and rumours concerning corruption amongst the judges. My belief then was that these remarks and rumours were the result of disgruntled participants whom had not achieved the ranking they had in mind. Today I know better, although I still do not know the difference between favoritism and corruption.

A small collection of show world experiences?

  • A judge who lets a good friend or family member win with a dog that in no way meets breed specifications. 
  • A judge who travels a great distance to a show, finds board and lodging with one of the exhibitioners, and subsequently gives the CACIB to the exhibitioner's dog that has everybody questioning it's breed purity.
  • A judge who judges offspring of his own animals.
  • Judges, who judge the dog's movement from a distance, yet need assistance outside the show hall because of a visual handicap.
  • Judges who trade sexual favors for winning results.
  • Judges who are insufficiently aware of the breed specifics and subsequently rate these as faults.
  • Judges who inconsistently give a dog the CACIB on the Sunday and a week later dismiss the same dog with a ZG rating.
  • Judges who accept goods and / or services for winning results.
  • And then there is a type Judge who rates the owner, a prominent owner either publicly or within the canine community has a good chance of winning even if he or she brought his or her pet turtle to the dog show.  This unfortunately is more common practice than exception.
  • Then there is the insecure Judge who typically always chooses for "the Champion" and is basically afraid to expose his inability to make a proper judgement.


Unfortunately the above is particularly noticeable with some foreign all-round "judges".  Naturally there are numerous good judges, who do not comply with any of the above. If this was not the case I would have stopped long ago and probably many dog-lovers with me. I have to admit that even after a show where the judging was questionable, the disappointment amongst the participants usually turns to a feeling of solidarity. It has occurred that together we created a new breed standard based on the judgement rapport's, this of course is a silly endeavor.

It probably would be an improvement if the exhibitioners did not know the judges up front. It would be a lot more difficult to reach an agreement with a judge before the show. It does not rule out those questionable judges that have their connections set up based on their own initiatives.

Catalogs for multi day shows should be avoided, issue per day, an extra benefit would be that this is also cheaper.

Judges could ask themselves "why do people do this?"

Generally money is a large deciding factor. If you are visible long and often enough, this will positively influence the price for which you can sell your dog's offspring. Unfortunately there is the misunderstanding that the dog at twice the normal price, is always champion material. Many are disappointed if their dog does not fully complye to expectations. 

A test or competence certification for Judges would also improve the current situation.

My own breed club annually publishes a booklet with all the judge reports sorted by NHSB number. This gives you a selective idea concerning the various judges and their qualities, even if this is not the main reason for these publications, the information can be distilled from the reports.

This story may prevent a number of would-be exhibitors from attending a show; however even if the general tone is negative, I still attend shows and find a lot of enjoyment in doing so, meaning that things are far from all bad.

The reasons I have put these thoughts in writing on my website are mainly for the Judges and council.

       A wake up call : not everything is perfect.

       Do these people really realize what they are doing

       Give the matter enough attention to force a resolution

       It is extremely difficult to complain after a particular show, the Judge is the expert after all, and criticism towards him or her is generally considered as from a "bad loser". Then there is always the chance that the judge remembers your remarks and retaliates next time around by giving you a "decreased" judgement.

I know that large communities of exhibitioners share my concerns and reading this feel a little relieved that it is not in their minds only.

I hope the council takes the criticism to heart and addresses them in an appropriate fashion both at home and abroad, so that everybody is aware of our problem and something is undertaken to resolve them..