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Thread: Become a judge -when/why did you?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Newf's Avatar
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    Jul 2010

    Default Become a judge -when/why did you?

    Considering becoming a NAHRA judge... Seems our club is always looking for judges and it just feels like a good way for me to give something back to the club and the sport. While I'm sure it's not as fun as running your own dog, I'm sure it has its own set of rewards.

    For those of you judges out there, when and why did you decide to become a judge?

  2. #2
    Senior Member John Robinson's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    Bigfork, Montana


    It is very hard work, especially if you take the responsibilty to heart, but is very rewarding. First, if you are really into this sport it is fun to watch good dog work. I enjoy watching dogs, their personalities and how they relate to their handler. Two, you learn more than you could ever imagine watching handlers. You see stupid handler mistakes over and over, you see great handling and everything in between. Finally, every time you judge, you test yourself on your knowledge of how dogs see things and work. You find out in pretty short order whether your test worked the way you and your co-judge anticipated, and hopefully learn a little from the surprises.

    I honestly never thought about being a judge until one of the older club members either saw something in me that led him to believe I would be a good candidate, or they were really hard up for judges, so they asked me to take the test and set me up with a good mentor. As an aside, I can't overemphasize the importance of being paired with the right c0-judge-mentor the first three or four trials.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    On this crazy planet in N.E Texas


    I can't add much more than what John has already said. It is fun for me to watch the dogs and handlers interact together and challenge the test in different ways.
    Many things can be learned by watching several dogs and their handlers run the test differently.
    Bottom line for me is I do it for enjoyment. When it is no longer fun, I will give it up.
    "Force fetch isn't about retrieving as much as it is conditioning a dog to handle pressure, in a very controlled environment. It's about putting a dog in the position of having to figure out how to turn off pressure by finding the correct response. This translates into numerous areas in training." Sharon Potter.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    While I think it is important to "give back" to the sport, it can be done in many ways. Some just aren't cut out to judge. Some do better at chairing a HT/FT, serving on the board or helping in other ways. The important thing is to find your niche.
    Tom Dorroh

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jeff Bartlett's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Pacific nw


    I was asked at a board meeting I was in the game four about 3 years and it was my 1st year in ft
    I turned down the assignment at the meeting and the next day I inquired about co-judge from someone
    That I trusted that knew the co-judge first hand and then immediately accepted assignment. My co judge was
    Judy Powers so I don't need to say but trial went well.
    And john they were hard up)) and as to being paired with a quality judge for the first 3-4 years I say paired with a quality
    Co judge for your intire judging career.
    The club hosting the trial should do everything in there means to make the judges comfortable
    It shouldn't be a taxing weekend on the judges if the club does there job

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010


    Why did I become a judge? Held @ gun point by club members who want to run HRC tests but don't have many judges in the area
    "They's Just DAWGS"
    "Hunting is a skill to be learned whether you do it early or late it still needs to be learned"
    "I train dogs, Not papers"

    GMRH-I HRCH Quick MH (most importantly Duck/Upland Enthusiast) Rip. July-2014
    MHR HRCH Lakota MH (most importantly Upland/Duck Enthusiast)
    HR Storm.. the Pup (Beginning Upland & Waterfowl Enthusiast)

  7. #7
    Senior Member jacduck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Middle of Michigan


    Love of the dogs, sport and fun of watching young dogs do whatever they will. Additionally I hope to learn way more about handling dogs by observation! No just the good but the bad habits I might see and recognize in myself. So you see even though it is giving back it is a selfish endeavor.
    John C aka jacduck

    "Duck hunter's minds are like concrete. All mixed up and permanently set."

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Burlington, Wisconsin


    John's reply says it all. It is very rewarding and you learn so much from it. Just be ready to have handlers second guess your test and decisions.
    HRCH UH C & L 's Madison Grace MH....500 Points (blinddogmaddie)

    HR UH Smokin' Hot Mac-Kenzie.....WINNER of the 2013 Milwaukee Sports Show Fastest Retriever Contest (40 dogs entered)

    Len Gums

  9. #9
    Senior Member David McCracken's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Wedgefield, SC


    I was a teacher by profession. After I retired, judging was a very natural way for me to continue to evaluate talent, mentor people, and to give back to the sport I love. I have been judging HRC for over 10 years.
    Carolina American Water Spaniels

    HRCH UH Carolina's Duck Gumbo MHA SHR RN WDS CGC TDI (Gumbo) 1000 Point Club
    UH HR GCH Carolina's Wild March Hare SH JHR RAE OA OAJ WDX CGC TDI (Bunny)
    HR BISS GCH Carolina's Running with the Hare SH JHR RN WDX CGC TDI (Blew)
    Carolina's Tale of the Hare (Bea)

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Kinston, NC


    For the money!

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