RetrieverTraining.Net - the RTF banner

New judge asking questions

2949 Views 25 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  ChrisRobt
Okay, despite it being over 90 degrees today, I'm wearing my full camo outfit (flameproof) and carrying a stick which is supposed to be a gun. I see a group of RTFers sitting in the shade under a tree and walk up to ask them a couple judging questions; I did my apprenticeship in April but have yet to judge and like to discuss things I see which I believe to be out of the ordinary. When I post my query I am criticized publically (and privately) for asking such a question (new master judge and all that); I'm also criticized about how my dog works and the clothing I am wearing. I thought this forum was supposed to be a good place to discuss training and judging issues.

Many of you do not know that in "real life" I am a primary care physician-now retired. I have found throughout my 35+ years in practice that I can always learn something new from others (not just physicians as other health care workers also have valuable insights and ideas). Thank goodness when I was an intern (a newly certified doctor, if you will), when I asked another physician for an opinion about a patient I was dealing with, I was met with an open mind and not criticism for not having the answer. There is alot to medicine which is not in the books and I have always found it valuable to consult with others over new or difficult issues. As I've become the "experienced" doctor, I've enjoyed passing my knowledge on to those who are new. When we consult with each other, we are careful to protect the identities of our patients (unless they are shared) and do not ever purposely denigrate them

I approach this forum in the same manner but guess I may be wrong about it. Yes, I am relatively new to this sport having qualified my first master dog only last September. I am not a hunter so according to many on this forum have no business even considering becoming a judge. I'll
do as good a job as I can. I can read all the rules but there is still alot to learn about how to interpret them. I believe that I learn best by discussing particular issues which I have encountered with those who have more experience. I know the AKC rules but am interested in how experienced judges interpret them.

So, is there a place on RTF to ask questions about judging issues without the severe criticism? Is this a "good old boys" club to which I can never belong because I don't run a black dog? Because I don't hunt, am I not a suitable candidate to become and AKC judge??
See less See more
1 - 4 of 26 Posts
One thing to keep in mind is that there is no more thankless job than judging. If you're truly wearing your "flameproof" camo, then you'll take the advice that was offered in the spirit in which is was offered and move on. Let your feelings get hurt and you might as well never sit in judgement of dogs for real the first time.

You'll learn that when you're sitting in judgement of other's dogs, you and your co-judge will have to be KEENLY aware of EVERYTHING that's going on in front of the holding blind AT ALL TIMES. As an example from the situation you first proffered, one judge watches the working dog and the other watches the honoring dog (or at least that's the way it SHOULD be set up in an honoring test, even a walk-up with an honor). If the working dog handler is making too much noise trying to control their dog coming to the line, the working dog judge needs to have the intestinal fortitude to tell that handler to go back to the holding blind and try coming the line again UNDER CONTROL, remembering that DURING A REAL HUNT, there might very well be birds working the decoys as you get set up to hunt/do the test, and a handler that can't get their dog under control is not going to be a welcome hunting partner on that day. The dog and handler TEAM are either prepared to be judged to The Standard, or they aren't...on that day.

The next advice I have for ANYONE who wants to judge is to become INTIMATELY FAMILIAR with the regs/guidelines and all the nuances therein. You can't read them too many times. Each time you do, you'll find something new, or relearn something you might have forgotten. Try to judge with as many "old salts" as you can....and LISTEN every chance you get.

Don't wear your heart on your sleeve....and good luck! :wink:

See less See more
Maybe you should hook up with a Nahra group, they're much more friendly and helpfull.
Glad to know everyone that runs NAHRA is more friendly and helpful than anyone that runs AKC events.

Am I the only one that thinks this comment was uncalled for in this context? Was this answer helpful to the original poster?

Never have I been snubbed at a Nahra or HRC event, and I've never had anyone at the akc event introduce themselves or be helpful in any way. Take it like you want, but this is just my personal experience and the reason that I will never attend an akc event again.
There are two sides to every story. Your post was a wholesale indictment about a venue that YOU have an issue with. Seems like a PM might have been more appropriate under the circumstances.

I will read the regs as often as needed but would also like to be able to ask questions about nuances here where there are so many experienced judges and handlers...
The regs/guidelines can only offer so much. There's no substitute for personal experience. There's a TON of it here.

Ask away! :D

This strikes me as strange. When else do we get a second chance. "Ah Judge do you mind if I just try that honor again" as the dog sets sail for the breaking bird, or "Ah, judge do you mind if we just try the memory bird again" when fido is off in the next county.
Nowhere did I suggest that the handler could ask permission. Look at the "honor" thread and you'll see my statement about what you should expect if you ask the judge for an interference call. Any handler that has control issues out the blind is going to attempt to get their dog under control, especially with that "tractably at heel" wording in the regs/guidelines. This was a Senior hunting test. As stated in the HT regs/guidelines, the judges are in control of the testing. Asking a handler at ANY test level to take a dog back to the holding blind puts them and the dog on notice: "Come out of the blind under control, or you may be excused." Judges have a lot of discretion when it comes to making those decisions. You'll see that too when you start to judge.

I thought dog and handler were under judgment from when they left the blind until they were behind the judges. Ignore it, Score it, or Zero it seems more appropriate
They are indeed under judgement at that time...JUDGEMENT being the key word. When you're in the chair, you can pick from those three options only if you so choose. Might want to check with your co-judge before you do, though. :wink:

Possibly a little more leeway in the junior stakes might be appropriate, but I was not aware that the regs and guidelines gave second chances except in cases of no birds unfairness and re-runs.
I would probably tend to give less leeway at the Junior level because the dogs can come to the line under gentle restraint with a flat buckle collar. Any Junior handler that choose to come to the line off-lead is taking their entry fee into their own hands. The second chances you're referring to have to do with unfairness and reruns AFTER the birds go down/the test starts, not on the way to the line. :wink:

Thanks for the nice note you wrote after the Chattanooga trial, and good luck in Utah! :D

See less See more
1 - 4 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.